Small Daily Effort Propels You to the Winner’s Circle — Daily Quote

write-every-day.-dont-kill-yourself.-i-think-a-lot-of-people-think-i-have-to-write-a-chapter-a-day-and-they-cant.-they-fall-behind-and-stop-doing-it.-but-if-you-just-write-even-one-hundr.

It is easy to fall behind. You set goals, make plans, create schedules, and the world intervenes. The result is you flounder, miss the mark, call yourself a failure. Your grand plans lie in ruins. Thinking in black and white terms, in happiness or disappointments, can encourage you to forsake your dreams. Thankfully, colors have countless shades, and we can measure success in degrees.

Life ebbs and flows. A writing session may see words appear on the screen without effort. At the next scheduled session, your fingers can’t communicate with the keyboard. Consistency is the key to helping you create within the day’s constraints. If you do your best, if you compose what you can, then you are a winner.

How many words will you write today?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – October 22

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 296 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? Half of the year is in our rear-view mirror, and I am drawing a line in the sand. The targets I missed, the stories I didn’t compose, they no longer matter. These last six months are history. Done. I won’t lie, 2020 kicked me in the head, leaving me stunned, unsteady, and incapable of completing anything beyond basic tasks. I bet I am not alone, but don’t count me out yet. They say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? I am confident I will discover I am more capable than I have ever been. I dug deep, reevaluated my annual goals, and I decided to double down. Can I get a year’s worth of work accomplished by Christmas? We will find out.

My turning point happened when I remembered reading somewhere that anxiety and excitement create similar emotional responses in the body. Anxiety raises your heart rate, your cortisol level increases, and your nerves prepare you for action. Most often, we respond by stress-eating a late-night pint of chocolate ice cream. The only difference between the two emotions is anxiety has a negative connotation, while we view excitement as positive. The answer seemed clear. I needed to reframe the context of my emotions and proceed as if my success lies on the horizon.

All that remains is for me to divide my workload into bite-size pieces, and do the next right thing. I am aligning my creative endeavors to focus on writing, editing, and creating a brighter future.

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

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Hiding Behind Time Blocks and the Beauty of Noise-Canceling Headphones — Daily Quote

i-write-for-three-or-four-hours-and-then-hopefully-ill-have-something.-then-i-draw-for-the-rest-of-the-afternoon...-i-literally-block-out-wednesday-thursday-friday-i-more-or-less-disappe.

Carving out time for creative endeavors is a challenge. Work, family responsibilities, mundane chores, and an endless string of must-do items conspire to keep us from our goal. I have decided on a new tactic and am attempting block scheduling. It is a learning process for both me and the household. I am discovering it helps if I can disappear.

Once upon a time, my go-to escape plan was a trip to the coffee shop. Sadly, that is no longer an option. I have lost my desire to brave the outdoor patio now that the weather is cold and damp.  A locked bedroom door is a second, albeit less workable choice for an untrained family. Noses sniff, puffing at the crack at the door’s bottom as they try to see what you are doing. Grubby little paws claw the door.

Noise-canceling headphones help muffle the constant crying, sobbing, and begging on the barriers’ opposite side. If you are stalwart, they will eventually give up. That is when your pets get in on the act and launch their assault. I surrender, gather my supplies, and prepare to write in my car.

How do you block out creative time?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – October 21

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 295 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? Half of the year is in our rear-view mirror, and I am drawing a line in the sand. The targets I missed, the stories I didn’t compose, they no longer matter. These last six months are history. Done. I won’t lie, 2020 kicked me in the head, leaving me stunned, unsteady, and incapable of completing anything beyond basic tasks. I bet I am not alone, but don’t count me out yet. They say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? I am confident I will discover I am more capable than I have ever been. I dug deep, reevaluated my annual goals, and I decided to double down. Can I get a year’s worth of work accomplished by Christmas? We will find out.

My turning point happened when I remembered reading somewhere that anxiety and excitement create similar emotional responses in the body. Anxiety raises your heart rate, your cortisol level increases, and your nerves prepare you for action. Most often, we respond by stress-eating a late-night pint of chocolate ice cream. The only difference between the two emotions is anxiety has a negative connotation, while we view excitement as positive. The answer seemed clear. I needed to reframe the context of my emotions and proceed as if my success lies on the horizon.

All that remains is for me to divide my workload into bite-size pieces, and do the next right thing. I am aligning my creative endeavors to focus on writing, editing, and creating a brighter future.

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

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

A Vivid Tapestry Created by the Voices in My Head – Daily Quote

i-have-so-many-different-projects-i-hear-voices-in-my-head-the-characters-talking-all-at-once-and-i-have-to-write-to-make-them-stop.-eli-rothd

I am home alone when I hear a strange noise downstairs. It is a break-in, the neighbor’s crafty cat. No, I see three black-suited men who I noticed following me this week. Wait, maybe it is a homicidal maniac with a knife. In reality, it is the dishwasher beginning its pre-programmed cycle. The next morning, as I shower, I overhear two peasants discussing their plans to depose the evil king. On my drive to work, a voice concocts an elaborate story. The narrator describes the setting, while the characters inform me of the challenges they will face.

No, I am not crazy. Yes, I hear and speak to voices. They fuel my active imagination and provide details for the stories I write. I depend on them, using them as an essential part of my writing process. They are integral to discovering my character’s motivations and desires. They direct the plot, and they challenge me when I want them to do something out of character. I use these internal conversations to get into their head.

When I sit down to write, the words flow. Telling their stories makes them happy. There is one voice I avoid. I know it almost before it speaks, the voice of self-doubt. I smash it with my boot, squash it like a bug.

Do your characters speak to you?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – October 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 294 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? Half of the year is in our rear-view mirror, and I am drawing a line in the sand. The targets I missed, the stories I didn’t compose, they no longer matter. These last six months are history. Done. I won’t lie, 2020 kicked me in the head, leaving me stunned, unsteady, and incapable of completing anything beyond basic tasks. I bet I am not alone, but don’t count me out yet. They say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? I am confident I will discover I am more capable than I have ever been. I dug deep, reevaluated my annual goals, and I decided to double down. Can I get a year’s worth of work accomplished by Christmas? We will find out.

My turning point happened when I remembered reading somewhere that anxiety and excitement create similar emotional responses in the body. Anxiety raises your heart rate, your cortisol level increases, and your nerves prepare you for action. Most often, we respond by stress-eating a late-night pint of chocolate ice cream. The only difference between the two emotions is anxiety has a negative connotation, while we view excitement as positive. The answer seemed clear. I needed to reframe the context of my emotions and proceed as if my success lies on the horizon.

All that remains is for me to divide my workload into bite-size pieces, and do the next right thing. I am aligning my creative endeavors to focus on writing, editing, and creating a brighter future.

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

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

A Blown Deadline Doesn’t Make You A Failure — All Is Not Lost – Daily Quote 

-was-in-my-20s-when-i-started-writing-my-goals-down-assigning-each-a-date-that-i-would-achieve-them-by.-i-was-amazed-when-i-started-reaching-these-goals-by-the-date-i-had-listed-on-them.

I don’t recall my first attempt at written goals. I remember having detailed lists when I was in high school. The habit followed me to college. Over time, I refined the format and changed my process to better suit my needs. It has become part of my DNA. Like Howe, I notice when I write my goals and commit to completing them, they get finished. Magical, right? I prefer to think of it as a hyper-focus.

It may be a well-established habit, but it requires dedication. Today, I find myself behind on a deadline. The date has passed, and I cannot remove it from the list. I have good news. The task is more than half done, and I have reached my anger point.

Anger is a great motivator, and I am more determined to finish. Knowing myself, I suspect a few late nights and a big push in my future. I also set a new completion date. If I succeed, I will complete the project one week later than initially planned.

How do you cope with missed deadlines?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – October 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 293 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? Half of the year is in our rear-view mirror, and I am drawing a line in the sand. The targets I missed, the stories I didn’t compose, they no longer matter. These last six months are history. Done. I won’t lie, 2020 kicked me in the head, leaving me stunned, unsteady, and incapable of completing anything beyond basic tasks. I bet I am not alone, but don’t count me out yet. They say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? I am confident I will discover I am more capable than I have ever been. I dug deep, reevaluated my annual goals, and I decided to double down. Can I get a year’s worth of work accomplished by Christmas? We will find out.

My turning point happened when I remembered reading somewhere that anxiety and excitement create similar emotional responses in the body. Anxiety raises your heart rate, your cortisol level increases, and your nerves prepare you for action. Most often, we respond by stress-eating a late-night pint of chocolate ice cream. The only difference between the two emotions is anxiety has a negative connotation, while we view excitement as positive. The answer seemed clear. I needed to reframe the context of my emotions and proceed as if my success lies on the horizon.

All that remains is for me to divide my workload into bite-size pieces, and do the next right thing. I am aligning my creative endeavors to focus on writing, editing, and creating a brighter future.

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

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

My Sunday Morning Commitment to Creating My Weekly Writing Schedule – Daily Quote

if-you-only-write-when-the-muse-strikes-you-wont-get-anything-done.-you-have-to-write-consistently-when-your-schedule-says-you-should.-and-thats-hard.-ramez-naam

I keep a daily schedule listing the items I want to accomplish. It is my Sunday morning ritual. I wake early, and while the household is still quiet, I sit with my coffee and my planner and create a detailed strategy for completing the coming week’s projects. I make entries from Monday to Sunday, dutifully blocking an hour each day to write.

And life laughs at me. Phone calls, text messages, hunger pains, dirty laundry, tv programs, and a thousand other diversions conspire to distract me from my best intentions. They are tests, each designed to challenge my commitment to my stated goal.

I find myself engaged in the excuse removal business. I schedule laundry time, plan meals, silence the phone, and other notifications. When my scheduled writing time arrives and laundry beckons, I refer the request to its scheduled time and push the beast out the door. Leaning hard on the door, I block the other diversions and attempt to summon my muse by writing.

Is your daily writing time scheduled?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – October 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 292 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday? Half of the year is in our rear-view mirror, and I am drawing a line in the sand. The targets I missed, the stories I didn’t compose, they no longer matter. These last six months are history. Done. I won’t lie, 2020 kicked me in the head, leaving me stunned, unsteady, and incapable of completing anything beyond basic tasks. I bet I am not alone, but don’t count me out yet. They say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? I am confident I will discover I am more capable than I have ever been. I dug deep, reevaluated my annual goals, and I decided to double down. Can I get a year’s worth of work accomplished by Christmas? We will find out.

My turning point happened when I remembered reading somewhere that anxiety and excitement create similar emotional responses in the body. Anxiety raises your heart rate, your cortisol level increases, and your nerves prepare you for action. Most often, we respond by stress-eating a late-night pint of chocolate ice cream. The only difference between the two emotions is anxiety has a negative connotation, while we view excitement as positive. The answer seemed clear. I needed to reframe the context of my emotions and proceed as if my success lies on the horizon.

All that remains is for me to divide my workload into bite-size pieces, and do the next right thing. I am aligning my creative endeavors to focus on writing, editing, and creating a brighter future.

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

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer