Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

February 1, 2010

One Little Word : February 2010

wood type letter O letter N letter E
letter L I letter T letter T letter l E
W o letter R D

One of the things I am planning to do this year is a monthly post about One Little Word. My hope is that it will serve as a reminder, a check-in, and a chance to re-focus.

I am starting off with three basic categories: learn, create, and write. Each word includes a suggestion for an action to take related to your word.

Here's three simple actions for February 2010:

LEARN : Locate a book (online, library, bookstore) that addresses your word and make it a priority to read/learn something new about your word this month. Let it feed that part of you that is wanting to make a change. I am planning to get back into a book I started on a recommendation last fall called Writing Motherhood.

CREATE : Grab your camera and photograph the letters of your word. This is a really fun exercise that can be done as you go about the normal routines of your life. Look up, look down, keep your eyes open for cool typefaces. Upload them and print them out and as a visual reminder of your word. If you can't get out or you want a little instant gratification you can always check out Spell With Flickr (what I used to create the "one little word" above). 

WRITE : This idea came from the One Little Word comments. After she chooses a word each year, Lynnelle at A Writer's Life writes a letter to her future self. Consider writing out where you hope you will be in one year and the role your word will play for you in 2010. Here's a nice write up of suggestions about writing a letter to yourself: If You Could Talk To Your Future Self What Would You Say? You can even send an email to your future self at

Hoping that your word is already making a difference for you in your life.


  • 1.
    Sue said…

    Great ideas!

  • 2.
    Lara said…

    thank you

  • 3.
    Jolande said…

    I like the idea of shooting the letters of the little word.
    My word indeed made already a difference in my life.
    My word is ENJOY and I am making a journal and everyday I glue, draw, make a picture etc of something I really enjoyed that day, not big things, but small things.
    If you like to look:
    The journaling is in Dutch but pictures speak every language.
    Greetings from Jolande

  • 4.
    Jo Sowerby said…

    hi ali,
    this is such a g8 idea…….i have found my letters and will be blogging later about it all.
    i love the 3 prompt ideas too and will try it out this month,
    Jo xxx

  • 5.
    Susan said…

    i too love the idea of photographing the letters. have a great week!

  • 6.
    SandyB said…

    Thanks for your inspiring ideas. My word is HOPE. I am in the middle of reading 90 Minutes in Heaven. I have written a letter about hope to my daughter who passed away, but what a great idea to write one to myself! And love the idea of taking photos of the letters to print out.

  • 7.
    Katrina Kennedy said…

    My word “community” is making such a difference. Thank you for the wonderful ideas to even deepen my connection to it.

  • 8.
    Joy Buss said…

    Thanks for great inspiration to keep our one little word alive. Can’t wait to get going on these!

  • 9.
    jackie said…

    Although a rainy and icky Monday here in FL, I can NOT wait to get out and start locating the letters of my word for the year~F~O~C~U~S!!
    What a gr-8 idea and thank you so much for sharing it with us. I wish that I could think “outside” my lil box sometimes, but it sure does help that you share your awesome ideas.

  • 10.
    Tappin' Tamara said…

    Great ideas…I haven’t done a good job with my word thus far, but maybe this will inspire me. I am the one who had considered switching to “me”-that seemed so easy. LOL!
    Just a side note, my children’s school did a poster of the alphabet with photos they took in the park beside our school. (Just like what you’ve shown above). It was a fundraiser for the 1st grade class that did it. Might be a neat way for some of you to make some $ for your school and volunteer your photography talents!

  • 11.
    jakki said…

    It amazes me what you come up with to do!

  • 12.
    TaraM said…

    that’s a cool program

  • 13.
    Natalie said…

    Ali, I keep a small daily journal in my purse and write down things I am thankful for each day. Does anyone have a suggestion for a book about being thankful? I love the idea of reading a book that has to do with your word of the year. I’m eager to read Don Miller’s book upon your suggestion. Happy Monday!

  • 14.
    Anna Aspnes said…

    Great suggestions. I particularly like no. 2.

  • 15.
    Anna Aspnes said…

    Great suggestions. I particularly like no. 2.

  • 16.
    Anna Aspnes said…

    Great suggestions. I particularly like no. 2.

  • 17.
    Linn said…

    I’ve had Writing Motherhood on my wish list for a while now…I can’t wait to hear how you like it. And I love the idea of photographing letters. That’s a project my kids could get into, too.

  • 18.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Have you ever read Simple Abundance? It’s a classic :) .

  • 19.
    Kristy Gussio said…

    Reading your suggestions really made me feel like I am off to a great start!! My word for the year is “WRITE” and I have really been working hard to incorporate some sort of writing into my daily life……posting to my blog, writing in my new journal, writing letters to friends, etc….
    You can read more about my writing journey here:
    Thanks for all that you do!!

  • 20.
    donna!ee said…

    awesome clever prompt…thrilled to go on a snapshot of architectural letters scavenger hunt…my word this year is equipped … my determined re-focus living in the present, equipped by God in all things, provisions for mind, body & Spirit!

  • 21.
    Jo said…

    Loved the idea of spelling our One Little Word’s with photos of each letter. Had to play straight away with Spell with Flickr. Here’s what I came up with for my word ACHIEVE Think I’ll get my camera out and photograph some letters for myself too. I’ve been thinking a lot about my word and trying to ‘achieve’ my goals, so far it’s going quite well and I’m getting a lot of things done.

  • 22.
    Jan Barlow said…

    Love the idea of checking in monthly and really revisiting and thinking about our words.
    Regarding photographing the letters for your word – I have an acquaintance who goes around photographing “letters” that she sees in life around her – but formed by nature or architectural elements or just happenstance and not actual letters you’d see on signs. For instance, if you think about the side of a swing set, you have a letter “A”. (Thought you’d really appreciate that one, Ali!) :) A manhole cover could be an “O”. And so on… Talk about being on the lookout all around you… She saves these digital photos, of course, and then uses them for creative gifts. When my son was married, she made them a framed work that spelled out their last name. It was SO cool!
    Thanks for the inspo!

  • 23.
    Jan Barlow said…

    I should also mention that she took the photos in black and white, so you could really focus on the form of the letters… :)

  • 24.
    Suzette Mahoney said…

    Fantastic idea, Ali…thank you!
    Question: after your project life post I decided to play along. Do you plan to occasionally update us on your progress? I hope so. You made me realize it is ok to not stress if I don’t get a picture daily!

  • 25.
    Deb J said…

    Ali, these are great ideas. I can’t wait to try them. I am doing a modified version of Kolette Hall’s “Every Needful Thing” journal and have made a section for my Word. I put the questions and answers from Christine Kane’s discovery tool that you told us about in it. I will put the results of these ideas in there too.

  • 26.
    MaRiA said…

    thanks for the inspiration! i like the three points very much but i love the idea of the letter to my future self, i chose “magic” for 2 reasons: because i think i need “magic” to achieve some of my dreams but i think that in the meanwhile i can also put some other “kind of magic” on my daily life. the letter will help me to check my achievements in one year from now.

  • 27.
    Ali Edwards said…

    I definitely plan to update – probably once a month :) .

  • 28.
    Paula said…

    very cool idea with the letters :)

  • 29.
    Meredith said…

    Giving Thanks: The Gifts of Gratitude by MJ Ryan is a book worth checking out.

  • 30.
    Michele in Texas said…

    Ali – thank you for being such an inspiration. I love the letters!

  • 31.
    Lori said…

    Hey Ali-
    With CHA last week – have you seen all the new products released? Do you have a top 5 or 10 list that you want to include in your future layouts :) Just curious what you saw/liked.

  • 32.
    Teresa said…

    Thank you for this post. I definitely need to check in with my word. You’ve given me some great ideas in order to do so.

  • 33.
    Terri Q said…

    Great ideas. Thanks. I find that if I really FOCUS everyday on my word, which ironically is “FOCUS” I not only accomplish my daily goals but have a much happier self at the end of the day. What fun it would be to walk around the neighborhood, camera in hand, searching for my letters. Unfortunately we are still dealing with the 3 inches of sleet and ice covered by 9+ inches of snow that we got on Thursday & Friday – and it snowed lightly again yesterday – and I’m in OKLAHOMA. We’ve had more snow in the last 2 months than I’ve seen in my entire life here. My FOCUS is being tested! Maybe if I FOCUS on a beautiful warm beach it will happen…the warm that is. Hard to get a beach in such a landlocked area. I already feel warmer!

  • 34.
    leanne said…

    Really fantastic ideas, Ali. You provide such inspiration and creative spirit to me, and I thank you so much! I’m bringing the camera with me, now, and will look for my letters TODAY! Thanks so much for sharing with us again and again and again!

  • 35.
    Suzette said…

    awesome…thank you! I love your take on the project.

  • 36.
    Canay said…

    Well, I finally jumped into the word game but wasn’t sure what to do with my word. Thank you so much for the inspirational ideas.

  • 37.
    Peggy said…

    Ali…great ideas…can’t wait to start. I sat here after work today thinking about how a month has gone by and I haven’t done much with my word. That ceases today. I’m going on a quest for books…and pics. Thank you!!!

  • 38.
    Poppy Simpson said…

    My word for this year is Fearless and the first book I read this year was “Fearless” By Max Lucado.(I planned that on purpose. lol!) So since I have the Learn part down from your article, I think I’ll start on the Create and Write part of your article this week. Thank you for such great ideas that inspire us to think outside the norm and search a little deeper into our creative souls. Thanks Ali!

  • 39.
    Heidi said…

    Hi Ali: Are you familiar with this site:
    Users contribute words they photo. I even have a few! :)

  • 40.
    Maria said…

    Love this idea… Great way to learn not only something about the world but about yourself too… Thanks!!!

  • 41.
    Melissa said…

    Ali, thanks for the link to Martha Stewart’s “Family History in the Making”… I am checking it out and am SO EXCITED to have some fresh ideas as to what to do with all of the fun memorabilia I’ve collected over the years!
    Awesome ideas for creativity (yours and links to others’) and awesome sponsors are the reason that your blog is the first one that I check every morning. Uh, after so that I know how to dress the kids, that is. ;->

  • 42.
    Lynnelle S said…

    What a surprise, Ali! I just warmed up a cup a tea to enjoy my favorite blogs and I read away and I see my name! Thank you for mentioning this. On a side note, I just returned my former students letters and as I read them I had a wonderful time responding to them and wishing them well in 2010. Thank you again, Ali…very honored.

  • 43.
    D'Nese said…

    Oh Ali this idea totally just knocks my socks off. Love the starting 3 suggestions. Can’t wait to see what is in store in regards to One Little Word. You are such an amazing person and the hope and positive energy that you spread is above and beyond.
    Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

  • 44.
    Dawn said…

    Thank you for sharing these ideas.
    Your little A is just the sweetest! :)

  • 45.
    Effie said…

    Ali… since you’re exploring story… I thought you might like to see this article I just read, where the author talks about trying to write narrative non-fiction about someone who lived 50 years ago… and how the details she has spent years searching for — the look of a shoe, or the color of a wall — were the most valuable. And it occured to me that all these scrapbookers doing what they do (I do it a bit too)… and especially those picture a day/week/year collections … might be just the thing someone needs to tell our stories 50 years from now.
    from a longtime lurker…
    <3 Effie

  • 46.
    Natalie said…

    Thanks for the suggestions :)

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