WRITING ROUTINE: WEEK 1

Well… it’s that time.

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Let’s get ourselves together and write all the words. Here’s a break down of your first week. Don’t worry that Monday and Tuesday have already passed. Start today. See where you can get.

FIRST THINGS FIRST: MORNING PAGES
MORNING PAGES sound very complicated and writerly, but it is a really simple concept.
On your writing days, or every day if you’re ambitious, when it’s time to sit down and write, write or type out all the thoughts in your head. All of them.
Even if you start with a curse word.
Even if you start with “I don’t know what to write.”
Start.
What you will find almost immediately, is that this “primes your pump” and gets the words flowing. Don’t worry if you don’t know what to do with your words. Don’t worry if you don’t know where to put them. These are for your eyes only, though they can certainly be the inspiration or basis for something else.

My MORNING PAGES yesterday morning became this blog post.

SECOND: YOU MUST PREP YOUR SPACE
You need a place to write. Maybe you have a corner home office like me, or maybe you have a lap desk and a comfy chair. I’ve been there too. Whatever you have and whatever it is, you MUST make your writing space a writing space. That means for the writing time you’ve scheduled, that office, corner, bedroom, etc. IS your writing space and nothing else. If you have a desk, clean it. If you need to move some stuff around, do it. You will be grateful for this in time.  
You need a surface and a chair. There’s not much else you require. Bonus is a quiet room with a door that shuts, but not everyone has that luxury. When prepping your space, ask yourself what you really need. 
First I think you should determine how you’re writing. Do you need pens and a notebook? Room for a laptop? Do you need noise cancelling headphones because you don’t have a door to shut?

Here’s my before:

It’s not horrible, but it’s also not conducive to focused writing. I needed to remove all the unnecessary and nonessential items and get myself organized. Now I have everything within reach and I have my writing routine calendar right in front of me

This is what it looks like now:

Much better. Let’s move on.

THIRD: TRACK YOUR PROGRESS!
This is very important too. Find or create your tracking process and stick to it. Now look, you have already done your MORNING PAGES and PREPPED your space, so there’s two things you can write down already. Then you write down that you TRACKED your progress. I’m going through this process myself along with you, so my tracking system looks like this. It’s very simple.


See? It doesn’t have to be special or even pretty. It can be functional and plain. Because I like pretty stuff too, I made a different one that I will probably use during the NANOWRIMO months.
If you go to GET ACCESS at linseyewing.com, you can also get this pretty writing tracker for FREE as well as the 5-week writing calendar we’re going through.

NOW IT’S TIME TO WRITE:
The next three days are about making 15 minutes to sit down and write. That’s 45 minutes over the next three days. You can do it. What is going to keep you writing for fifteen minutes? What’s going to be a distraction to you while you write? Move it. Get it out of the way. Turn off the TV or shoo your kids outside and put your phone on do not disturb. Get rid of the things that will keep you from writing. Remember this is only for 15 minutes.
Now write your morning pages.
Write about what you have done and write about what you dream for your space in the future.
Guess what. You are doing it. You are a writer.

REST: It’s just as important to schedule your rest time as it is to schedule your writing time. Since we’ve done an intensive three days, this is the day to rest. You will find your rhythm as you move forward. Right now just schedule it and take the day off.

PREP FOR NEXT WEEK. If you’ve already been to linseyewing.com and gotten your free resources, you should have a guide for next week already, but you can always schedule on different days. The point is to get a routine. Make time to do 4 writing sessions instead of 3. Plan for 2 of those to be 20 minutes instead of 15.

That’s it! You’ve made it through week one. How does it feel?

Drop me a line to tell me how this is working for you or how you think it could improve.
I’d love to hear from you.

xxxlinsey

Announcements: 2 books and a website

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Last week I asked about your struggles. I was surprised by the confidences and by the honesty.

If you don’t already know, I’m taking part in a few professional challenges, and it’s just as hard to deal with the answers as to ask the questions.

For example, now I have to move forward knowing my writing matters and is helping people. That’s a big step for me. I’m no longer just blogging for myself.

so here’s what I’ve decided to do.

I’m creating a series, here and on my YouTube channel working my way through some writing routines that have helped me in everyday life.

If you’re trying to get yourself in order this year, this series is for you.

while you’re waiting for that to begin next week, I have some action steps for you:

First, if you haven’t already, head over to linseyewing.com and sign up for the waitlist. You’ll receive this graphic for free as soon as the website goes live.

This is where we’ll begin next week so you can get a head start 🙂

SECOND, snag your copy of the newly released Variations on the Theme of Goodbye available for sale on Amazon

THIRD, snag your copy of the equally fabulous Saint Devil by my partner R. here on Amazon

{a word of warning…these titles are not for all audiences and the latter is for very mature audiences}

Thanks for hanging with me here and for your support elsewhere. It means the world to me.

Get ready to whip those routines into shape. See you next week.

xxxlinsey

The Struggle is Real

Can you believe we’re over halfway through our first month of the new year?

I bet no one can say it’s been easy.

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Though the world may seem to be falling apart, we do have control over the chaos we let into our lives. We have something else in common. We all STRUGGLE.

If ALIGNMENT is my word for 2021, I want STRUGGLE to be my mission.

Both bearing witness to my own struggles and helping others through theirs.

So,

What are you struggling with right now?

I really want to know.

If we can help each other we will not struggle alone or in vain.

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Drop me a line HERE to share your struggles in private. I’ll address as many as I can.

Thanks,

xxxlinsey

Alignment

It started as something silly. A facebook post on my cousin’s page

FIRST FOUR WORDS YOU SEE WILL DEFINE YOUR 2021!

Something like that. I don’t remember what my four words were, things like love and gratitude, but ALIGNMENT stood out to me.

I thought, what can I do this year to bring myself into ALIGNMENT? And to what do I align?

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The answer came yesterday in my planning processes full of frantic energy.

My finances for one, my schedule for another, and my free time finally

I’m pretty satisfied with where I am, but I do have some areas that need adjustment.

For the first time in a long time I’ve made a resolution: to make time for the things that matter, appreciate the time I have, and get everything that doesn’t make me happy under control.

If I succeed, I don’t know where I could possibly go from there, but it’s fun to imagine.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? What are some of yours?

2020 Highlight Reel

Can you believe 2020 is over? Did you have a good end of the year? Are you glad it’s over?

Here’s to a new year and the new changes it brings. May it be better than the one before.

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Since it’s the thing to do, I think I’ll do a recap of what happened to me and this blog in 2020 since it was, in practice and in fact, the year of the blog.

Blogging is still hard. I still have to make myself sit down and do it, but it’s not the challenge it once was. Writing in general has gotten easier and my voice is clearer than it has ever been. For that I am grateful and proud.

2020 in stats: litewingsink had

54 posts

354 visits

736 views

I have you all to thank for that, so thank you for helping me grow my space. In the new year, you can expect at least one new page from me as well as the usual posts about writing, blogging, or living. I don’t know yet what my plan for the year will be, but as soon as I know, so will you.

I’m also starting a new website that will incorporate, but be separate from, this blog. If you’d like, check it out at linseyewing.com

In the spirit of looking forward, let’s look back no more, but remember the good times we had.

Here are some of your favorites and mine:

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MOST COMMENTS: no surprise here, 20 2020 Questions which you’re probably sick of seeing and is now unpinned from the home page.

MOST LIKES: My BUJO setup, how fun and thank you.

MOST POPULAR: It’s a FOUR-WAY TIE, but you can break it: it seems the monthly series are popular
MAYFLOWERS
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU
AUGUST, A LIGHT IN
LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION

MOST HELPFUL: NANOWRIMO LIFE I’m still living it, y’all, and it’s been wild, but fun, and my ROUTINE

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Thank you for being part of this year with me. I hope the best for us all in this new year and see you soon.

xxxlinsey

PEACE on Earth

What to say about PEACE?

There was a time when PEACE was the only thing I wanted. My brother asked me years ago what it was I was seeking or missing in my life that made me so miserable. My answer was PEACE.

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As with all these ADVENT pillars, PEACE is not something that just appears in our lives. We have to find it and make it a priority.

I usually have plenty of PEACE and quiet in my life, but this holiday season has not been peaceful or quiet. There’s been a lot of noise around me the last few days, but I have been peaceful inside.

I realized PEACE isn’t the absence of noise; it is patience with the noise.

I’ve worked hard to cultivate PEACE in my life, and I think I’ve done a decent job. It isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible either. Neither do I believe PEACE is something that just exists in the world to be grasped. If PEACE isn’t a skill, it’s at least a muscle we need to exercise.

Thank you for traveling this ADVENT journey with me. I HOPE you have found something you LOVE or something has brought you a little JOY or a moment of inner PEACE.

Here’s to a peaceful and happy new year to each of you.

Cheers

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xxxlinsey

JOY to the World

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Don’t forget the little things.

Wow.

JOY.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t anticipate these ADVENT pillars being as hard to write about as they are.

Unlike HOPE and LOVE, I can remember very clearly a time in my life when I was without JOY.

2012 was a hard year. Many things had gone wrong, and it was only February. After 2020, you all will understand what I mean.

My first nephew was born, and I knew I should feel something I wasn’t feeling. It took me almost three years to figure out what that was.

JOY

I don’t mean to say what I was feeling was wrong, but it didn’t match the moment. My outsides and insides weren’t aligned. I think many of us feel that way this time of year, and maybe this year in particular, for a plethora of reasons.

Let me encourage you to find your JOY anywhere you can. Look for it. seek it out. Try to manifest it in your life.

I’ve learned that JOY is also a choice…like looking for pieces of mica in a pile of rocks…a choice to see brilliance where others see gravel…

This year, I’m doing things that make me happy, even if they don’t make sense to others. I’m decorating what I want, wrapping what I want, and showing up for those I want. If it doesn’t bring me JOY, it’s not for me right now.

I HOPE you will take the same path. Chase your JOY and surround yourself with people and things you LOVE. I’ll be back next week to usher in a PEACEful New Year.

Merry Christmas to you all.

xxxlinsey

LOVE One Another

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The simplest and hardest thing to do. At least for me. I don’t think I’m alone.

LOVE is another hard subject. Again, I feel about it something like a calling, but I also feel very private about the things and people I LOVE. It’s hard for me to define and hard for me to ask for, but it’s maybe the most important thing we can do on this planet. It helps us to see other people through their own eyes.

Empathy is the greatest gift we give and receive.

LOVE ties us together as humans. If HOPE is what separates us from the animals then LOVE is what shows our humanity. LOVE is another choice. It’s one we make every day we take care of ourselves or others.

What does LOVE look like in this broken world?

Sometimes it’s the words.

Sometimes it’s actions.

Sometimes it’s silence, letting other people be who they are. It can be inaction, letting others do and be themselves.

Nothing says “I love you” like permission to be just exactly yourself.

Also important is self-LOVE. We cannot give to others from an empty tank. We must fill ourselves up with things that bring us JOY

…but that’s for next week…

xxxlinsey

HOPE in the Holidaze

Every year I struggle with Winter in general and the Holidays in particular.

Many of us are broken this time of year for a number of reasons. Perhaps we miss someone we love. Perhaps something awful happened to us. Perhaps we do not find pleasure or joy in what the world finds worthy of celebration. Perhaps we are The Grinch.

Whatever our reasons for not loving the Holidays, we deserve some time and space to celebrate that.

I HOPE that place is here and that time is now.

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I’m glad we get to start the season of Advent with HOPE. HOPE is an easy subject for me because it is a mission and a calling. I believe HOPE is what separates us from every other being on the planet. HOPE makes us special creations, here for a purpose.

HOPE is that knowledge that things can be better because they have been better.

HOPE is knowing you will be ok, no matter how far you fall.

HOPE is knowing, not feeling or believing, but knowing better exists.

HOPE might also be the worst place to start, since I can’t remember a period when I have lost my hope entirely. In the scariest situations, there was hope I would not be there forever. In the worst pain, there was hope that help was on the way. Even when I knew I couldn’t do it alone, I always had help when and where I needed it. I have been close to hopeless, no doubt. I have been in the darkest of the dark places, but there was always a peephole of light.

HOPE is not the same thing as anticipation.

HOPE, just like its Advent counterparts, is an act, a choice, to look up or look around and see that you are not alone. Many of us feel alone this time of year, but you are welcome here and in other places you might not expect. When you get out of bed in the morning, you have HOPE. When you smile at your children, you are showing HOPE. When you plan for the future, your HOPE is made manifest.

In this season of literal bells and whistles, flashing lights and carols ringing, remember your HOPE. Maybe it’s not a struggle for you, but remember for others, it’s a single light in the darkness.

I’m excited to be part of an organization that has bringing words of HOPE into the world as their central mission. I’m glad I get to call myself a hope*writer

ADVENT for the Brokenhearted

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I’ve long been asking what I could do to bring more HOPE to my writing and specifically to this blog. The answer came in a lovely call with my hope*circle friends. We gather virtually every other week to discuss our progress and plans. I’d thought about doing an ADVENT series before, but something in that conversation gave me the courage and the will to plan it.

The Holidays aren’t a happy time for all of us. This holiday season, I’d like to examine the pillars of ADVENT and what they mean to us especially in 2020. I’d like to speak into the brokenness of my own past and into someone else’s present. I know ‘someone’ because I have been there myself, and I know how it feels to be lost, traumatized, or brokenhearted, during “the most wonderful time of the year.”

SO…WHAT IS ADVENT?

ADVENT is a time of welcoming and expectation during the holiday season. It is a ritual part of some Christian liturgical calendars and generally a season for anticipating and celebrating the birth and second coming of Christ. It’s celebrated in the church by the lighting of four candles to represent the four pillars of ADVENT, HOPE, LOVE, JOY, and PEACE, and the middle and final candle of the ADVENT wreath is the CHRIST candle.

Though I am a believer in both, I’d like to keep Santa and Baby Jesus out of this examination of ADVENT. Those magical elements that mean so much to some can be stumbling blocks to others. I’d like to speak in a more global tone, and if I don’t, I want to be called on it.

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The universal principles of HOPE, LOVE, JOY, and PEACE we can all lean into every day, no matter the time of year. They aren’t necessarily Christian or Christmas principles. The pillars are open to interpretation from all walks of faith. These are the principles I wish to focus on this holiday season to get us all through what may be a dark time for some and a source of misunderstanding for others.

I want to show those who are ok what it is like to be lost in darkness, and those who are currently there to see light in the world.

This is what my ADVENT SERIES is going to look like.
I hope you will join me for part or all.

HOPE in the Holidaze

LOVE One Another

JOY to the World

PEACE on Earth

If you’d like to see another challenge from my hope*circle, follow me on Instagram to see my DECEMBER series: LIGHT IN THE DARKEST SEASON @ewinglinsey

Also, if you’re looking for a Christmas gift for a book lover this year, my cousin has just written this jewel available on amazon. In Unexpected Ways: Christmas in Everyday Life is a devotional for living into the principles of Christmas all year round. Check it out!

See you next week!

xxxlinsey

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