The Gift of One Word


“Order brings peace.”

~Saint Augustine

Welcome to my office.

I don’t know what your standard of tidiness is, but now when I peer into my little nook in the northwest corner of our house, I smile and say ahhh. It brings me such peace, and I can’t wait to get started.

It wasn’t like this two weeks ago.

See, I love words.

That’s a blessing and a curse. A blessing because, well, words are everywhere, so unlike, say, yacht-collecting, harvesting scrumdillyumptious words is simple and affordable. So simple, in fact, that I had copied down a bunch of words on scraps of paper and stuck them everywhere.

Right in front of my face.

Taped them all over the window frame so they would inspire me.

Then, of course, there were the story ideas, word pictures, and seeds of ideas

I just had to jot down on more scraps before they grew feet and bolted out of my mind.

My desk was cluttered.

As a result, I was too distracted to get anything done.

Then I remembered my word for 2019: Simplify.

I removed all those delectable quotes from my window frame and stuck them in the box to my far right (behind the coffee mug in the photo) for when I need them. I took all those seed ideas and stuck them in a manila “Writer’s File.” (Thank you Word Weavers!)

I cleared my desk.

The only thing left to do was start writing. But where to begin?

I’ve always been a list-maker. At this point, I have to say I am pretty good at it. One of the things I’ve learned when making a list is to make it manageable. Don’t overburden yourself. You only get twenty-four hours, and eight of those should be spent sleeping. Get something done, but if you can be efficient about it–ahh!–that’s the key!

I take an 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of recycled paper and cut it into quarters. It’s the perfect size for a manageable list, and I haven’t killed another tree because I actually rescued the paper from the trash.

See that small paper hanging from a clip on a tack on the window frame? That’s my list. I taped a label over it that says: What’s Next? Now I always know where to begin when I sit down to work.

This way I can do one thing at a time. But actually DO it.

And, like Hemingway, when I leave my desk for the day, I know where I will begin the next day.

To me, that’s honoring my writing time, being a good steward of my days.

My word-gift for you today is: SIMPLIFY.

(No point in ignoring the elephant in the room. Yes, this is my first post since July. I’m not ashamed or apologetic. Life happens. But it was because I prioritized my writing to-do list that I was able to write this today. I share this with you not to boast, but when we find things that work for us, don’t we owe it to each other to share? I mean, that’s how Pinterest started, right?)

Until next time. . .

Be blessed. Bless others.




About Amy Nicholson

A busy wife and mother pausing to ponder the beauty and complexity of life and share it with words.
This entry was posted in Gifts, Gratitude, Kindness, Learning, Priorities, Resourcefulness, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Gift of One Word

  1. JaneMBailey says:

    Helpful and inspiring post:)


  2. Catherine V says:

    Right on, Amy! Simplify is a good word indeed. Thank you for sharing these wise words. You are also very trendy as as Marie Condo seems to be everywhere these days!


  3. Richard Benton says:

    Took me a few days to get to this. Glad I did. I had the “life gets in the way,” syndrome. “Taxes” blasts across my vision, but I like simplify much better. I like your writing space. It is homey, with just enough in it to denote charged energy about to be displayed. Writers write. Enjoy.



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