Happy Chinese New Year – Daily Quote

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Happy Chinese New Year. Also known as the Spring Festival, or Lunar New Year, the festivities begin January 25th and conclude February 8th. Have you slipped with your good intentions, or maybe you haven’t even started your resolutions? Perhaps this is your opportunity to set aside the past and embrace your new moon lunar restart.

2020 is the year of the rat, the first animal of the calendar cycle. A myth recounts the legend of the Jade Emperor issuing a party invitation. He declared he would decide the animals’ placement in the zodiac, based on their order of arrival. The Rat asked his friend the Ox for a ride. As they reached the Emperor’s palace, the Rat jumped from the Ox’s back and entered ahead of him. Can we all take a page from the Rat’s story and get a jump on our goals?

There are taboos we should consider. One is not to use negative words, while another cautions us to avoid fighting and crying. If you ask me, that is excellent advice no matter the season.

The best tradition is purchasing a new wardrobe. They deem it auspicious as it offers protection from evil spirits. They further say to select red and skip black and white, colors that are unlucky and negative. A fresh collection of clothes, a second chance at a reboot, and the promise of finding my rightful place are encouraging. I am ready to kick off these celebrations.

How will you honor the start of the lunar new year?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The Value of Overcoming Hardships for Better Writing Success – Daily Quote

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Writing is easy until it isn’t. I don’t believe in writer’s block, but I concede there are reasons and situations which often derail our best intentions.

It sounds simple, to sit down and put pen to paper, fingers to the keyboard, and the pedal to the metal. Many would-be writers discount learning and developing the required processes. Hitting on a brilliant novel premise, navigating hard to establish beginnings, mucking through messy middles, and devising satisfying endings to create your masterwork, are the initial steps to completing your first draft. Next comes ego-crushing revisions, where you remove your darlings, followed by never-ending edits. No pressure there.

The worst part is writing reveals our lack of knowledge or competence. When the narrative stalls, leaving us staring at a blank page, and volunteering to clean the bathroom, it is a sure sign we need to pinpoint the cause. Sometimes the solution is obvious. Concentration is difficult when we become tired, preoccupied, or stressed, and the remedy is taking care of ourselves before we begin. Perfectionism, over-analysis, and fear of failure stop us before we even start.

Other times the issue lies within the story we are creating. Maybe the real problem is a scene that doesn’t flow, and it prevents forward progress. We must identify the specific point where we have gone wrong. Would our character react the way we have written? Is there a logic flaw? Did we engage in information overload?  Or are facts missing? The more detailed we are, the sooner we can devise creative solutions, return to our regularly scheduled work routine, and write our best story.

How do you ensure productive writing time?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Making Time for Great Things – Daily Quote 

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It happens to the best of us. We plan and schedule, set boundaries, minimize distractions, and we still get blindsided. A family emergency, a burst water pipe, a bout of flu, a flat tire, or an unexpected snowstorm slated for rush-hour can derail a meticulously crafted itinerary and creates a time jam. We live time-crunched lives where everyone’s default setting is “busy,” and we wear the badge with pride.

When situations arise, when we cannot manage, we shift into overdrive and sped down the road toward burn-out. Along the way, we begin our battle, declare war on reality and wonder why we can’t have our heart’s desire right now.

If your days are like mine, my schedule sometimes consumes every waking moment. Keeping yourself off the casualty list when everything goes sideways is often about your perspective. We want good things to happen. It is the impetus behind the work. But there is no reason to carry the burden alone. It is ok to ask for help. Asking is difficult, it hurts my soul, chips my ego, and proves I am human.

Part of the human condition is ambition, the need to leave a mark, improve our life, and lend a hand to others. A packed calendar is my ticket to making improvements possible and being dead dog tired at day’s end ensures a decent night’s sleep. I find when I have a compelling why help arrives at my door. Besides, it is better than sliding into cruise control and binging Netflix.

What reason drives your busy schedule?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Allowing the Natural Development of the Story’s End – Daily Quote

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My daily writing periods are an opportunity to sow idea seeds. I prepare my space, set the conditions, and hope for a positive outcome.

Seeds come in a vast array of sizes, colors, and shapes. An epiphytic orchid has the tiniest seed. This baby, at 1/300th of an inch (85 micrometers), and 1/35,000,000th of an ounce (0.81 micrograms) is not visible to the naked human eye. From the mother plant, they float on the air, and with luck, they find a home with an ideal environment in the rainforest’s upper canopy, perfect for germination within a month or two.

Over 4 decades, a giant redwood attains heights of 100 feet and begins with a small 1/8-inch-long seed. The world’s largest seed belongs to the Coco de Mer Palm and weighs in at almost 40 pounds with a circumference of 3 feet. The seed reaches maturity in 6-7 years and needs an additional 2 years to germinate. Mung beans are about the size of a pea, and sprout by day five, ready to add to your salad.

I never know the precise identity of the concept I select until I sit to write. Some ideas drift with the wind. Is it a fluke they discover me, take root, grow, and deliver an exotic blossom? Other stories are epic, they anchor themselves deep in the ground, and soar skyward. Some require heavy lifting, never-ending endurance, and an ability to imagine a far distant future. The cosmos sometimes delivers my fiction in a flash, and by the bucket load. Images explode, words overflow, filled pages become a deluge, and my writing sessions run past the appointed stop time.

How do you nurture your idea seeds?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Let Go, Write, and Deliver Your Sublime Message – Daily Quote

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Poets and writers in the same category as seers and prophets? Those are interesting companions. And on a certain level, it makes sense. Sometimes I scribble, rushing to transcribe the fleeting images in my brain. I create my story with little regard for anything other than getting everything on the page before it evaporates. Later, as I re-read the words, I often find unintended meaning.

However, I don’t believe writers are bereft of wisdom. I feel they tap into their inner genius, accessing experiences, deep emotions, and disjointed facts as they mold, message, and convert thoughts and ideas into a physical manifestation visible to others. They hone their perspective to a degree where they develop their universal knowledge.

Daily writing develops the author’s sophisticated process, which further deepens their connection to instincts and inspirations. The precise mechanical applications may be an unconscious invocation, but the results show in the finished work.

Do you rely on your instinct when you write?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Running Hot and Cold – Daily Quote

I have great difficulty sitting in the middle of the night and writing. Everything I do comes spontaneous. Sometimes it takes a long time; sometimes it comes just like that. Ravi

The multiple ways a story can develop, form, and become written words on the page never ceases to amaze me. Sometimes I sit, and the writing is laborious. Each word is a struggle, sentences form with difficulty, thoughts are fragmented, and jumbled. But I continue because there are often golden nuggets in those disjointed ramblings. They only require a sane mind to rearrange and augment.

Then there are halcyon writing sessions, where words flow like water, time slows, and pages are filled with a minimum of perceived time and even less effort. We wish every writing session could be thus.

What tactics do you use on difficult writing days?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Making the Perfect Day Happen Every Day – Daily Quote

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When your life flashes in front of you, will the movie be a blockbuster? Will your friends shake their heads, or celebrate your unbelievable good fortune and call you lucky as they watch the long session of incredible mornings, adventurous afternoons, and stunning evenings playing on the screen?

Each January, I perform a ritual, an exercise that doesn’t require breaking a sweat, straining a muscle, or paying for a gym membership. The activity requires a pen, paper, and boundless imagination.  I envision my perfect day, an hourly accounting starting the moment I wake and ending when I fall asleep. Imagining multiple versions takes little effort, besides, reliving the same day would be boring. They do have one thing in common. Each is amazing. I fill them with adventure, joy, and the people, places, and things that make my heart sing.

My detailed scenarios enlightened me. They revealed straightforward changes and obvious additions I can incorporate today to move me closer to making the impossible dream a reality. A daily walk, designing my fabulous office space, and even developing my writing habit, are easy tasks to add to my to-do list. My imagined lineup reveals what is important to me and provides challenges and goals to work towards. I realize by incorporating minor alterations and daring to do what others won’t, my reward is living in a way most mortals can’t.

What happens on your perfect day?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The Quest for Creativity and Inspiration – Daily Quote

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Inspiration and creativity are indelibly linked. Inspiration materializes from the ether, exploding like St. Elmo’s Fire. The event is awe-inspiring, forging a connection to a powerful energy, and the motivation to create. You emerge with certainty, clarity, and a vision. A concept to launch your project, intuition on how to proceed, or a novel way to complete your task, is the product of your transcendental experience.

Recreating the encounter is an exercise in futility, and chasing it makes it more elusive. When I hit a wall, the best solution is to step away from my screen and do something else. I have a laundry list of preferred activities. I shovel snow, do yoga, walk outside, indulge in a hot bath, or brew a strong pot of coffee to sip with fresh baked red velvet cake. Ideas have struck while weeding, crocheting, arranging a bouquet, listening to the wind dancing in the trees, and feeling the sun warm my skin.

Some writers report success with reading, finding quiet moments, immersing themselves in nature, or engaging in other creative pursuits. I have discovered taking risks helps me tap into my source. I often start a new project without knowing what I am doing. By creating high failure potential, I cause the cosmos to take notice. The payoff comes when a story appears, the entire piece written in my mind before my fingers ever touch the keyboard. The common thread is a willingness to let go, play, and consider possibilities hidden within the realm of the seemingly impossible.

Where do you find inspiration?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Winter’s Contribution to Fueling Vivid, Imaginative Stories – Daily Quote

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Winter writing appeals to romantics. It conjures images of fingerless gloves, roaring fires, heavy sweaters, howling winds. Accumulations of ice and snow create the desire to be anywhere else. We brave the cold, dark outdoors, and retreat to familiar, cozy surroundings to sip a mug of steaming mulled wine that warms us from the inside out. We embrace Scandinavian hygge by lighting scented candles, baking pies, and cookies, selecting a favorite book to read, as we curl up on the couch before nodding off for an impromptu nap.

Dreams fuel active imaginations that seek refuge in creating alternate realities, strange new worlds, and intriguing characters. We nurture our stories like exotic plants in a glass conservatory. The tales become our babies and we watch, guide, and develop the plot, construct character arcs, and hone our storytelling craft. When the story blossoms we happily and proudly open the door to share our creations with our fellow adventurers.

Winter fosters hibernation, withdrawing to a pleasant haven to reflect, ponder, and find existential meaning. Writing is a natural extension, a way to process and clarify thoughts and ideas. We tell stories to make sense of our world. If we are lucky, we and the adventurers who follow our led, discover the obliteration lurking between the sentences.

What tale transports you to another world?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Discovering Your Brilliance in A Great Book – Daily Quote

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It is a secretive club. The members rarely advertise their affiliation in public, but when two of them meet, something passes between them, a nod, a smile, a bond. We are people who read. Research seems to support the conclusion that brilliant individuals, the ones who impact the world, read. They expose their minds to diverse subjects, and submerge themselves deep into a topic, knowing the exercise will propel them to higher levels of personal and professional excellence.

When avid readers recognize a peer, their conversations move easily covering their preferred genres, recent reads, classics, good books, great books, and the hallowed ground of life-changing books. Details aren’t necessary. We know the feeling of reading a story that alters our chemistry, changing us from the inside out. Words lift our mood by confirming we are not alone. Memorable characters have lofty aspirations, and impossible dreams, they struggle to do the right thing and become better humans.

Good books are mirrors reflecting our inner truths and revealing the pathways which connect our past and present to our hopes for a brighter future. As we turn the pages, we laugh, cry, tremble in fear, and rejoiced in the protagonists’ victories. We increase our knowledge, develop our brain, improve our imagination, and boost levels of concentration and focus. If we are lucky, reading changes not just our life, but the lives of those around us.

Have you read any great books lately?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer