The Upside of Being Sick – Daily Quote

interesting-things-always-come-from-being-really-exhausted-and-really-sick.-adam-driver.

I have been off my coffee since Monday morning. That is never a good sign. Exhaustion, achy muscles, boiling hot in one moment, then teeth-chattering cold the next, have ruled my daily existence. Regular doses of white caplets do nothing to ease the pounding in my head. A darkened room, a fluffy duvet, and sweet sleep offer the only escape. Days and nights meld. The passage of minutes and hours develop a rhythm that defies the norms associated with the accepted standards.

My brain left to its own devices declares a play day. My thoughts wander down overgrown paths, exploring avenues we normally zoom past. I discover characters in unexpected settings, their dialog reveals shocking truths and unimagined motivations. My mind spins new stories, introduces me to interesting protagonists, and intimidating antagonists. The cast grows, and red yarn connectors tie them together in a tangled web of intrigue.

When I wake, I frantically scribble notes. I try to drive as many stakes as possible to anchor the richly textured tapestries to the realm of reality before they dissolve into wispy filaments that retreat to the deep recesses of my dream world. I read my hasty scratchings and smile. There is enough material to keep my writing fueled for a long time. It is a good thing I only get sick once a year.

How does sickness affect you?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – February 20

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 51 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? If you didn’t, what stopped you? Self-doubt can leave you feeling like a deer in the headlights, petrified, off-balance, and powerless. Instead of using your precious minutes to type even a handful of words on the page, you allow yourself to be distracted.

Perhaps you stare at a blank screen, convinced your work recounts an incoherent trip along a winding road leading you nowhere. Your vivid imagination has forsaken you, leaving you in a void of uninspired darkness. You suspect you are a fraud who will never be good enough.

Breathe. Think about the adventure you want your audience to experience, explore your plot, meet with your protagonist, and learn about his hero’s journey. Practice composing your favorite scene in your head. Eliminated distractions, lock worry in a cage with your evil antagonist, and just write. Remember what you love about writing and remind yourself this is about creating a world for your ideal reader. The story is the path you share, and your destination is the beginning of another tale.

Try it and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Pushing Past Failure – Daily Quote

you-fail-only-if-you-stop-writing.-ray-bradbury

Some weeks are harder than others. They try your patience. Every step you take is a struggle as you trudge forward. Failing, not reaching your stated goal, is demoralizing, and painful, and a test.

I have no intention of succumbing to defeat in the long run. I won’t be denied. Instead, I recommit to my intentions, and I write and rework my goals. Sometimes though, rest is a good idea. Tonight, I plan to relax, recharge, and sleep like a baby. Tomorrow presents another chance to win.

What challenges will you take?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – February 19

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 50 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? If you didn’t, what stopped you? Self-doubt can leave you feeling like a deer in the headlights, petrified, off-balance, and powerless. Instead of using your precious minutes to type even a handful of words on the page, you allow yourself to be distracted.

Perhaps you stare at a blank screen, convinced your work recounts an incoherent trip along a winding road leading you nowhere. Your vivid imagination has forsaken you, leaving you in a void of uninspired darkness. You suspect you are a fraud who will never be good enough.

Breathe. Think about the adventure you want your audience to experience, explore your plot, meet with your protagonist, and learn about his hero’s journey. Practice composing your favorite scene in your head. Eliminated distractions, lock worry in a cage with your evil antagonist, and just write. Remember what you love about writing and remind yourself this is about creating a world for your ideal reader. The story is the path you share, and your destination is the beginning of another tale.

Try it and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Touching Divinity – Weekend Writing Prompt

Title: Touching Divinity
Source:  Weekend Writing Prompt # 144 – Sculpture
Objective: Write a poem or piece of prose in exactly 71 words

lady statue

Photo by Matthieu Pétel on Unsplash

Lenore dared to bend normalcy, pursuing a love the world condemned.

She imagined perfection and drew truth from her memory like a strand of silk from the Bombycidae. Ancient powers surged from an eternal source. Devine words merged with graceful movements, creating a work that demanded to be made. Delicate fingertips balanced the intersection of fleeting inspiration with brute determination.

Her hands revealed universal feelings which manifested in her beautiful sculpture.

__________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Setting the Stage to Avoid Failure – Daily Quote

failure-is-a-great-teacher-and-i-think-when-you-make-mistakes-and-you-recover-from-them-and-you-treat-them-as-valuable-learning-experiences-then-youve-got-something-to-share.-steve-harvey

I admit it. Recently, I have hit the failure button a lot. While I can meet my minimum daily word count goal, I struggle to reach my stretch goal. Since my aim is to increase my daily productivity, I need to increase the days I hit the stretch goal. Because a daily goal needs to be, well, daily.

Time to conduct a study, collect data, crunch numbers, and run them through the analysis machine. I discovered a pattern for the days I attained the stretch goal. The prior evening, I planned. Don’t worry kids, no outlines were harmed (or created) in this process.

Instead, I set the stage. Each session was different, but they bore similar themes. I prepared the tableau for the next day’s writing session. Think about throwing a party. You decide what you want to serve, go shopping, hang decorations, and make a few dishes in advance. On the day of the party, you cook. I have a new tactic. Each evening, I set the party, so the next day, I only need to write. We’ll see how it goes.

What takeaways have you learned from your failures?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – February 18

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 49 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? If you didn’t, what stopped you? Self-doubt can leave you feeling like a deer in the headlights, petrified, off-balance, and powerless. Instead of using your precious minutes to type even a handful of words on the page, you allow yourself to be distracted.

Perhaps you stare at a blank screen, convinced your work recounts an incoherent trip along a winding road leading you nowhere. Your vivid imagination has forsaken you, leaving you in a void of uninspired darkness. You suspect you are a fraud who will never be good enough.

Breathe. Think about the adventure you want your audience to experience, explore your plot, meet with your protagonist, and learn about his hero’s journey. Practice composing your favorite scene in your head. Eliminated distractions, lock worry in a cage with your evil antagonist, and just write. Remember what you love about writing and remind yourself this is about creating a world for your ideal reader. The story is the path you share, and your destination is the beginning of another tale.

Try it and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Taking Fear Out of Suspense – Daily Quote

this-suspense-is-terrible.-i-hope-it-will-last.-oscar-wilde

I don’t like suspense. I disdain horror, splatters, thrillers, mysteries, police procedurals, or almost any story where a character’s sole reason for existence is to serve as a dead body. As you might imagine, Stephen King and the authors of his ilk do not grace my TBR list. Watching any graphic displays in the form of movies or series has also been a hard “no” for me.

I found myself in a difficult situation. My hotel offers limited TV options. Reruns of Law and Order, CSI, Chicago PD, and their spin-offs, compete with the Weather Channel for my attention. Forced to view something, I created an intellectual challenge and decided to analyze and dissect the plotlines. To do this, I needed to reassure myself the program was imaginary, and people were not harmed during filming. The themes are designed to elicit intense emotions and heighten awareness. This made unfinished threads, and unsolved plots both memorable and annoying.

We are wired to solve problems, complete puzzles, and this propensity compels our focus. Confronted with tension, conflict, suspense, unresolved questions, and personal concerns, our brains drive us to act, even if the action is only to figure out “who done it” by the end of the show.  It caused me to consider how I could use suspense to increase reader engagement and create a page-turner in my writing. Without a gratuitous corpse, of course.

Do you include suspense in your stories?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – February 17

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 48 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? If you didn’t, what stopped you? Self-doubt can leave you feeling like a deer in the headlights, petrified, off-balance, and powerless. Instead of using your precious minutes to type even a handful of words on the page, you allow yourself to be distracted.

Perhaps you stare at a blank screen, convinced your work recounts an incoherent trip along a winding road leading you nowhere. Your vivid imagination has forsaken you, leaving you in a void of uninspired darkness. You suspect you are a fraud who will never be good enough.

Breathe. Think about the adventure you want your audience to experience, explore your plot, meet with your protagonist, and learn about his hero’s journey. Practice composing your favorite scene in your head. Eliminated distractions, lock worry in a cage with your evil antagonist, and just write. Remember what you love about writing and remind yourself this is about creating a world for your ideal reader. The story is the path you share, and your destination is the beginning of another tale.

Try it and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Should I Stress, or Should I Rest? – Daily Quote

laziness-is-nothing-more-than-the-habit-of-resting-before-you-get-tired.-jules-renard

Sunday, and I am so exhausted. There’s a huge difference between laziness and exhaustion. We often declare we are lazy when, in truth, we are dead-dog tired. But are we feeling fatigued from the right activities? Are we filling our days with insignificant movements, or are we making strides towards reaching our fondest ambitions?

It is a balancing act. We push too hard, working to attain our goals, and discover we have become a workaholic in significant peril of burnout. They say we increase productivity when we rest, and recharge our batteries. However, resting on our laurels can lead to inertia, a break in our routine may derail our previous efforts, and picking up the pieces is discouraging. It’s difficult deciding what we need to do. I think I will write two hundred words and take a nap.

How do you decide when to push and when to rest?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer