One Thing At A Time

I am writing this blog post in response to the Writing Contest: You Are Enough, hosted by Positive Writer.

Last time I went to London, my brother recommended a book for me to read. It’s called ‘The One Thing’ by Gary Keller.

‘Oh cool’ I said, ‘have you got it?’

‘No, the title says it all’. He grinned at me. ‘I mean, it’s pretty self explanatory- focus on one thing at a time and you’ll get there’.

I laughed and agreed that it did sound pretty simple.

It reminded me of the saying or Hadith of the Prophetﷺ:

I’ve noticed this is true with anything worth accomplishing. As long as we stick to it; do a little bit every day inshaAllah (God Willing) we’ll get somewhere at one point.

You can compare it to digging a large hole. If you were to dig in a different spot everyday, it would take a long time to get to a decent depth. However, digging in the same spot would give you significant results in a shorter span of time.

Here is quote from Martin Lings:

“…to quote a Sufi of the last century (the Shaykh ad-Darqāwī) ‘like a man who tries to find water by digging a little here and a little there and who will die of thirst; whereas a man who digs deep in one spot, trusting in the Lord and relying on Him, will find water; he will drink and give others to drink’ (Letters of a Sufi Master (Perennial Books, London, 1969) p. 29.

And so my brother explained that the reason he felt I wasn’t progressing (as much as I could) in my fictional writing is that I’m concentrating on too many different things at once.

Now, my brother is the one who reminded me to live in ‘day tight compartments’, impressed me with his motivation to lose weight, began an inspiring Instagram account (here’s the link) which was the seed that helped to grow a wonderful personal business and as if that wasn’t enough, has lately been motivated to straighten his diet out for the good of his health. Bless him. He speaks little so when he does have words of wisdom to share, we all listen up!

He spends a lot of time reading, as opposed to talking, maybe that’s why he is wise beyond his years.

All these reasons are why, when he gave me this tidbit of advice, I listened.

If you think about my life and all I have to do, I take the role of a mother, a wife, a chef, a taxi driver and many other roles in between. I don’t think he meant that I can’t be all these things. I think he meant that with my writing if I was to concentrate on one aspect at a time, I’ll get somewhere.

So now, how do I use my space on my blog to get better at writing fiction?

Maybe I could share a regular 500 word fictional entry with you?

Maybe I should start now?


Aargh I can’t do it! I haven’t shared much before and it feels so sacred…

OK I’ll have to think about this one.

I don’t want to go quiet on my blog as I work on my fiction, but maybe I can help those of you who are pursuing a creative dream of their own?

I’ll start with my 6 top tips hoping they will motivate all those budding writers out there to get writing!

1. Search for a local writers’ course.

2. Consider applying for an online writing course. Many are free and just require an online application.

3. Create a supportive writers’ group after meeting lots of wonderful people from the courses that you’ve managed to join.

4. Use a social platform like Twitter to connect with lots of writers, authors and publishers and like-minded people.

5. Consider writing ‘morning pages’ (3 sides of writing in a notebook; start small if it’s easier) as this can be very therapeutic and excellent if you find yourself stuck on what to write.

6. Apart from that, set yourself a monthly and an annual goal and try to stick to it.

If you get round to doing even one or more of these things, and remember to stick to one thing at a time in your writing I promise you, you will see wonders in your writing that you’ve never seen before!

You will unlock the beautiful potential that you didn’t even know you had. Give yourself a chance to shine. Put some time aside everyday to do ‘one thing at a time‘, soon you will see your writing dreams turn into reality.

You are amazing! I know you can do this!

I hope that’s inspired some of you to pursue your creative dreams.

The message is to begin and continue until you see success.

The beauty of this is that it’s transferable to all areas of life.

Do you have any other goals you could apply this advice to?

Make some time to do a little bit every day and inshaAllah you’ll get there!

So that’s it from me for now,

Until next time,

Peace and Love,

Sidra Ansari

PS To help me on my journey to enoughism I will write down 3 things I am grateful for at the end of each post. These are:

1. The sunshine! ☀️

2. Electric fans and AC! 😅

3. A beautiful new member of the family in the shape of a fluffy white baby bunny named Snowdrop. 🐇

Since you’re here I have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the than ever but advertising revenues are non-existent. I want to keep my writing as open as I can. So you can see why I need to ask for your help. These posts take a lot of time and hard work to produce. It would be amazing if you could help fund me by donating a coffee a two to keep me going! Please press here to give.

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