A new home: Always the write time for hope, humor & heart

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A big or little thing called perspective: it’s all in how you look at it

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perspective

Welcome to my inaugural blog post! Although it actually marks my 959th entry (you can access previous posts at Always The Write Time Blog), I’m excited to hang out with you at my new home—where today’s topic focuses on perspective, brought to you by a recent hike in the mountains. While my surroundings changed from [click here to continue reading]…

Reap a harvest: making ‘fallow seasons’ work for you

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Photo by Isak Engström on Unsplash.

On a recent podcast, the guest talked about working through a “fallow” writing season. Fallow—meaning idle, unproductive or uncreative—describes the past five months of my life. In the article Why We Need to Be ‘OK’ in the Fallow Season, Ryan Fahey asks the question, “Are you in a season that doesn’t seem to be producing any results?” followed by, “Are you spinning your wheels…frustrated at not seeing the results you want?” Yet, the fallow season is actually the most important season of growth. In fact, it’s essential for producing something wonderful. Unfortunately, some of these seasons take longer than others to deliver the outcome we desire; i.e., not all fallow seasons are the same. But the good news: fallow does not equal failure. And if we focus on the process, rather than the outcome, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Are you in a fallow season? Let me know at chrismadayschmidt.com, and remember to sign up for my free monthly emails.

Morning rituals: finding a sustainable practice that sustains you

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Sunrise

Let’s talk morning rituals. Over the past year, I’ve read tips on making the most of the initial hours in a day—from “eating the frog” to exercising to avoiding social media to praying or fasting. Although I’ve tried all of the above and more, my focus over the past year and a half has included three top priorities: prayer, purpose and performance. During the first hour of my day, I reconnect to my “source” through devotions and Bible readings. Then, I journal for 15-20 minutes before jumping into that day’s creative pursuits. Finally, I hop on my exercise bike, hit the yoga mat and power walk through my neighborhood or head for the mountain trails. And not only has this morning ritual sustained me during an unsettled 2020 and into the new year, but it also proves to be a sustainable practice that I can adjust as needed.

Visit my new home at chrismadayschmidt.com and let me know what type of practice, morning or otherwise, sustains you?

Getting the dirty work out of the way

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Photo by Anton on Unsplash.

First, let’s tackle a little housekeeping: If you’ve signed up for my free monthly emails at chrismadayschmidt.com, thank you. I’m anticipating my “inaugural” deployment on the first Wednesday of June, with a similar schedule planned for subsequent months. If you enjoy the types of stories I tell—sweet (and sometimes sassy) real-life “fairytales”—and believe it’s always the write time for hope, humor & heart, stop by my new home where my blogs will be hosted starting June 1. And now I’m curious: When confronted with a to-do list, do you attack your least favorite task first, or are you the type to dive right into those activities that cause you to sparkle? In my case, I attempt to deal with the “less pleasant” items before pursuing my passion. But while this approach results in less distractions vying for my attention, it oftentimes leaves me running out of steam—and time—once I finally get to the fun stuff.

Do you tackle your least or favorite tasks first?

More growing pains = reasons to celebrate!

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Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

I’ve finally reconciled the pruning process—aka growing pains—is not going away anytime soon. In fact, I recently mentioned to a girlfriend that every time I understand a concept I need to address in my life, another layer (like the skin on an onion) peels away to reveal even greater (and oftentimes more painful) insights. One thing could not be clearer to me: these growing pains represent forward momentum, the latter of which deserves to be celebrated. Speaking of growing pains: as I continue “growing” my email list, I invite followers of Always The Write Time blog to visit my new home: chrismadayschmidt.com. And please note that on June 1, fresh posts will be hosted on my website only. If you enjoy what you read, I encourage you to sign up to receive my free monthly emails to keep current on exclusive content—like previews of my upcoming real-life “fairytales”—free giveaways, special promotions for subscribers and more.

What growing pain do you need to work through?

Pockets of peace: the practice of unplugging

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Almost everything will work again
if you unplug it for a few minutes,
including you. ~ Anne Lamott

Some people live on autopilot. According to one online site, autopilot means something happening—or doing something—automatically, without thought. In January 2020, I shared the key to a successful year: practicing resilience, or the ability to bounce back when knocked down; to “pivot” or change course. While it feels like this past year set the world on autopivot, our bodies are not machines made to live on “auto” anything—except to breathe. And following my latest post (see “Burnout vs. boredom…”), rather than add one more thing to my plate, I started intentionally creating space to “unplug” each day, as needed. This might look like stepping away from my desk (and technology) to fold a load of laundry, step outdoors, pray or meditate. Even within those few minutes, this practice rewards me with pockets of peace.  

How do you unplug? Share in the comments and visit me at chrismadayschmidt.com.

Burnout vs. boredom: knowing the signs

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Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash.

A typical day in my life begins by rising at “zero dark thirty” for coffee and prayer, part I creative side gig, power workout, day job, part II side gig, dinner, preps for next morning, chores, walk, collapse into bed and repeat. Although I profess to be living the life of my dreams, recently I woke up in the middle of a “funk,” unable to identify why. Until I listened to a podcast titled Burnout. The host ticked off the signs: fatigue, irritability, social withdrawal, self-doubt. Check. But then she warned against mistaking burnout with boredom—which often masks a problem in which one desires to do a particular activity, yet something prevents it. Right now, I’m knee deep in revisions of my manuscript. But maybe I need to shake it up…explore a new hobby or volunteer opportunity, or make room for a guilty pleasure. Or perhaps I must simply take a moment to breathe.

Burned out or bored? Drop a note in the comments and follow me.

 

Don’t sweat ‘the gap’

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The gap

You could say I’m a fangirl of motivational quotes. Over my desk hang several popular missives, including one that states: Dream bigger. And don’t forget the ever-popular: Do something your future self will thank you for. I notice, however, that nobody spends much time extoling “the gap”—which I talk about in my post “Gain vs. gap: realigning our focus.” A while back, I mentioned to a writer friend my excitement about a second short story of mine scheduled for publication in a national magazine—a dream come true! When I recounted the time lapse between subsequent submissions, she said, Don’t sweat the gap. Although I’ve drafted a few short stories since that conversation, for myriad reasons they remain tucked out of sight. But, instead of worrying I might miss the next opportunity, I’m utilizing the gap to hone my craft in the hopes I will be better prepared to step into bigger dreams…when the time is “write.”

How do you cope with “the gaps” in your life?

Photo by Lubo Minar on Unsplash.

Oh, what a knight: a sweet romance with a touch of sass

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Oh, what a knight! in stores now

On the heels of my recent blog in which I shared news about my Valentine’s short story published in Woman’s World magazine, I’m excited to promote my latest 5-minute sweet romance, “Oh, what a knight,” on sale now in stores and online. The story opens with the heroine trapped between floors in an elevator alongside an Armani-clad stranger who holds the key to Sutton’s immediate predicament—and her financial future—both of which depend on an advertising campaign pitch that she cannot afford to miss. If you love a modern-day damsel in distress fairytale (swap out the horse with a limousine) paired with a touch of sass that is guaranteed to make you smile, then pick up your April 12 copy of Woman’s World today. If you cannot find the issue for purchase, I heard from one of my readers and dear friend that her library carries an online version. Which brings me to my weekly question:

Do you prefer to buy books or visit your local library?

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