Getting the dirty work out of the way

Leave a comment

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) contemporary “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!

Leave a comment

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 contemporary “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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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’

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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?

Day in the Life: exciting news ‘under construction’

Leave a comment

Photo by WebFactory Ltd on Unsplash

Although still “under construction” (aren’t we all?), behind-the-scenes work continues on my new website, as well as the launch of Always the Write Time once-monthly emails that contain exclusive content, free giveaways for eNews subscribers, special promos to win fun book-related goodies and previews of my upcoming contemporary “fairytales.” Spoiler alert: Stay tuned for my latest sweet short story featured in Woman’s World April 12 issue (on sale April 1)! I promise your inboxes won’t be bombarded — and your support would mean the world to me. Connecting with readers who believe it’s always the write time for hope for new beginnings, humor in the messy middle & heart for happy endings will help me better craft the stories that you want to read. As a thank you for signing up, you will receive a complimentary PDF of my Top 5 Sweet Romance Reads for 2021.

Visit my home page at chrismadayschmidt.com, and click on the “subscribe” button to be added to Always the Write Time free monthly email.

Pertaining to work: doing what you love, loving what you do

Leave a comment

Early in my vocational pursuits, my father told me I would be lucky to find a job that not only pays well, but one in which I enjoy. Although you will never have to work a day in your life, if you choose a job you love (according to Confucius), and “the only way to do great work is to love what you do,” per Steve Jobs, I believe to do what you love and love what you do requires removing ourselves from the equation to ask: How does my work impact or bless someone else—a colleague, customer or stranger I might never meet? Perhaps Kahlil Gibran got it right when he penned: “Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.”

How can you do what you love and love what you do?

Image source: associationsnow.com.

 

 

Delete, delete, delete: A better way to break free from toxic thinking

Leave a comment

The other day I sat in a messy space of negativity. You could say I wallowed in it (not a pretty picture). The following morning, I began writing an email to a friend listing all the moody details. After about 20 minutes of spewing onto the “page,” I backspaced through the majority of the conversation. At the same time, a lightbulb popped on to reveal an ah-ha moment: If we could visualize ourselves backspacing (or deleting) over a negative script in our minds—hurtful comments received or spoken, limiting beliefs that continue to bombard our thoughts—how would that affect our moods, our days…the quality of our lives? Personally, I prefer to live without any reminders that I “screwed up again” and to focus on the clean page. To fill that space with positive affirmations, words of gratitude and encouragement (to myself and others). And to quickly “backspace” whenever I find myself trapped in another endless loop of toxic thinking.

How do you keep from rehashing negative thoughts?

Let’s play: Can you describe your life in a six-word sentence?

Leave a comment

I love these types of questions. As someone whose day job and part-time gig (aka the writer’s life) revolves around all things words—such as word counts, both minimum and maximum—I often play little games with myself; e.g., have you ever counted the number of words in any of the blog posts I’ve written over the past several years? Spoiler alert: 168. Even creating a story with 750-800 words stretches me in different ways than writing a 60,000-word manuscript. And that’s because it requires concise word choices sans the “fluff.” In the Bucket List Journey, which I embarked on at the beginning of 2021, one of the 365 questions includes a challenge to identify six words that condense the finite essence of our lives. Non-writers might also enjoy playing along. For me—within the framework of this moment—the six-word sentence that best illustrates a snapshot of my journey can be summed up as Living the life of my dreams.

What six words describe your life today?

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash.

Older Entries