Small Success Thursday: Write It Down


Small Success ThursdayI do not know why my brain and will do not work without a notepad and a pen. Quite simply, if it isn’t written down, I don’t care how vital whatever it is might be, I promise you, it won’t happen. So when my notepad ran out of paper (and yes, I use both sides), my week went into mini-crisis, resulting in two days where things sort of happened without much structure. By the end of those two days, I was a mental mess, and the house wasn’t much better.

Suddenly we were at Wednesday and I had not written my SST post for this week, I hadn’t done the paperwork we needed done and I had no clue if there was some meeting at some point this week I needed to make sure I attended. I think our faith lives work much the same way, if it isn’t presented to us, our everyday distractedness can keep us from accomplishing not just good stuff but any stuff. Despite the apparent silliness of writing down things like “Take your vitamin, write SST, finish paperwork, patrol upstairs, main floor and basement”, I find all those things sit waiting if I don’t write them down. So it is with next week when we start Lent.

I know many people who say, “I don’t give up something for Lent.” for the same reasons they don’t go to weekly mass, because they can talk to God anytime, and they don’t NEED to give something up to grow in holiness. But you know what, I find I don’t get to all I should do even if I write it down, it just makes it more likely I will get to it because the list is there reminding me. I don’t know that I could grow in love for anyone, let alone God, if I didn’t have constant reminders of how I am to show it and the need to actually go outside of my own little world. Lent is an opportunity to write down what you need to do to grow in holiness, to make it more likely that we will seek to enter into a deeper relationship with God. The Holy Spirit will leap on that crack in our heart, and fill us until we burst if we allow.

That being said, I have a list from last week of my small successes, those moments when I actually did what I said I would do, and have the checkmarks on the piece of paper next to them to prove it.

1) I printed up and mailed off a copy of The Book of Helen to the Catholic Writer’s Guild for Seal of Approval. Here’s hoping they find the themes within to be worthy of granting that seal.

2) Reading with my two young daughters caught fire, they are now waiting for the next chapter in The Little House in the Big Woods. I’m reading them a chapter a night, and I see them discovering a richer deeper world than merely their own experience.

3) My mom sent me a CD version of the Iliad and we’re listening to it in the car or I am, and I’m really enjoying hearing the story as it was intended. Now I’m thinking I want to find an oral version of the Odyssey for the same reason.

4) Accidental witness: I told a friend in the parking lot about my favorite way to pray the rosary, a way my brother taught me, to say a petition before each Hail Mary. It is a lovely way to say the rosary with your family. She’d never heard of it, and she loved it.

I’m looking forward to reading about your check mark moments, and get ready for next week, because by then, we’ll have to have something new on our to do list for Lent!


About Author

Sherry Antonetti is a mother of ten children, published author of The Book of Helen and a freelance writer of humor and family life columns. You can read additional pieces from her blog,


  1. Pingback: Small Success Thursday - Blessings & Breakthroughs

  2. Sherry, I totally concur that we NEED to discipline ourselves in order to accomplish tasks – small or great – each day, as well as growing in our interior lives. It seems to me to be a form of sloth when we use the excuse, “I don’t need to give up anything for Lent, because I can grow in holiness throughout the year,” etc. The truth is, because of our concupiscence, we NEED that self-discipline to order our senses in their appropriate place in our lives. I really appreciate that perspective! Also, how do you get a book to get the Seal of Approval from the CWG? I just joined CWG, but I’m not entirely sure how it works!

    • Go to the CWG website and look under Seal of Approval. They open up for submissions and you fill out the form and submit. If your book is an ebook, you must print it out for submission. Otherwise, you must send a hardback to whatever member of the committee they direct. Then it is reviewed and a recommendation made. That reminds me, I need to read a book I’ve received, which needs a review. Didn’t write it down…now I will.

  3. I wrote 3 Thank you notes.
    I attended an out of town funeral.
    I somewhat fasted yesterday and paid some major bills.
    I walked on Monday with a friend.

  4. I am off to write my post now, because I didn’t write it down this week on my blog list. Booo. I am list maker. I sometimes need a list of lists (around holidays and such). Like anything else, it keeps me organized and honest.
    I have decided I am going to start writing down lines I love when reading and listening to video.
    Last night’s line “Diversity is divine. It’s division that is diabolic”. Huh?
    Anyway – should I join CWG before my book is finished? Is there a benefit?
    Great successes. Love reading your posts.

    • Joining CWG…I would say yes for three reasons.

      1) the people in it write, care about their faith, and provide tangible intellectual, professional and spiritual support for any writer –with posts about where to submit pieces, thoughtful commentary, beta readers, blog tours, reviews…they’re a great network.

      2) I attended the Catholic Writer’s Conference Online, hosted by CWG, it’s how Helen got published, I learned to make a pitch and had the opportunity to do so at the online conference. It’s a free conference held March 10th through the 14 although I believe registration for this year’s conference is closed.

      3) Having a community of writers helps keep me from slumming on my current WIP.

    • I would like to chime in on joining CWG. My book is still an idea–I’ve barely begun the research. But I joined, and am finding encouragement and camaraderie and inspiration and I am learning about all kinds of wonderful books I might not otherwise have found.

  5. This is the third thing I’ve read today about the importance of writing things down as a part of self-discipline. And I know this. And now I need to DO this–a lot more. Thank you for the reminder!

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