ACW

ACW

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Small Beginnings, by Fiona Lloyd

(With apologies to the ACW committee, who have heard some of these thoughts before!)

What can you do with one of these?


Answer: probably not much, apart from causing extreme pain to a family member if you happen to leave it lying around on the floor. Add a few more, though, and it’s a different story (or maybe even a different storey). A varied collection of bricks – especially when coupled with an active imagination – can result in all sorts of spectacular edifices.


As a child, I loved playing with Lego, although I generally preferred designing things for myself rather than following a set of instructions. But every model, whatever the size, started out a with a single brick.

There’s a good analogy here for our writing: every novel, every poem, every blog post has to start from a single word. Now, you may call me sad, but flicking through a dictionary has me quivering with excitement. Words fascinate me. However, there’s a limited amount to what one word on its own can achieve. (Not that this seems to discourage teenagers…) But if we take a word and add another, and another, and so on, our words turn into sentences. Sentences become paragraphs, which grow to become articles, short stories or even chapters in a 200,000 word novel.

Another ACW member took to Facebook the other day to share how hard she found it to get the opening sentence right for her new novel. Thankfully, she got there in the end, but it demonstrates how tough it can be to find the precise word or phrase we are looking for. But if we don’t persevere and get at least one word on the page, then we’ll never get anywhere.

There’s a well-known verse in Zechariah which talks about beginnings, and starting small. Last week, I re-read it in the New Living Translation, and it was the second part of the verse that caught my attention: Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…(Zechariah 4: 10, NLT).

As Christian writers, we believe that God has called us to write for Him. This doesn’t mean that our work has to be overtly religious: rather that we view everything we do – including our writing – through the lens of faith. How amazing, then, to realise that God gets excited every time we set pen to paper. One word on its own might not seem much, but the potential it offers is mind-blowing.


Fiona Lloyd is vice-chair of the Association of Christian Writers, and is married with three grown-up children. Her first novel, The Diary of a (trying to be holy) Mum, was published by Instant Apostle on 18th January 2018. Fiona has also had short stories published in Woman Alive and Writers’ News, and has written articles for Christian Writer and Together Magazine. Fiona works part-time as a music teacher, and is a member of the worship-leading team at her local church.

Twitter: @FionaJLloyd & @FionaLloyd16











10 comments:

  1. So true Fiona. I love that verse. Thanks for reminding me about it today (moving day!) It's a great one to remember, especially, as you say that second part 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Deborah. Hope the move goes well. xx

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  2. Ha - loved your teenager joke. Good post, Fiona - I need reminding of this kind of thing every now and again. (For 'every now and again' read 'minute by minute'.)

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  3. Oh Fiona thank you so much for this timely post. I'm about to start writing the book for which I've been researching and prepping for well over a year - and the thought is slightly terrifying. But to be reminded that God rejoices to see the work begin, that puts the oomph into me to get cracking. Think I'm going to put that note on a Post It and stick where I can see it every day! Thank you xx

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    1. Glad it was helpful, Mandy. So excited to see what happens with your book! xx

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  4. Great reminder: look at our writing through the lens of faith (even, or especially, when the work in progress is stopped in its tracks by the demands of life), and you can wonder if God is wanting you to keep going or give up!

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    1. Thanks, Mari - it's easy to forget that this is something I believe God has called me to when I'm overwhelmed by busyness!

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  5. Thank you so much for this. Timely encouragement. I'm familiar with the verse about 'small beginnings' yet had never noticed it say that God rejoiced to see the work begin. I love that! What joy it must bring to God's heart when he sees us doing that which he has made us for.

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    1. I don't think I'd read it in that translation before - it's such a lovely encouragement (as you say). Thanks for reading and commenting. xx

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