Live Boldly, Dare Greatly, and Let Your Friday Adventures Begin — Daily Quote

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Friday. This one feels different. Snow is melting, the sun is shining, temperatures slowly creep into the realm of warmth, and the prognosticators aren’t calling for any form of precipitation until Tuesday. Granted, forty-five degrees is a tad too nippy to sit outside and write, but maybe I can crack open a window for a while, breathe the cool, invigorating air, and imagine an adventure.

Will the Gods smile on our intrepid protagonist, or will the evil villain devise surprising pitfalls to thwart our favorite heroes and doom them to certain failure? A ship. There must be a creaky Schooner, captained by a despicable, dirty, cheating, low life, with a soft spot in his heart for the hapless adventurers and a sense of loyalty to his beloved cause that is deeper and wider than any ocean. No drama is worth telling without a trusty sidekick, whose buffoonish comments somehow always contain a kernel of truth or the key to escaping the current dire situation. Along the way, they encounter peasants, kings, and scoundrels to add color to their journey.

Their task is impossible. A fool’s errand destined to send the entire band to an early grave. Tests of character greet them at every turn and make them question their sanity. Maybe the prophecy is wrong, and our hero only believes she is the golden child, and saving the world belongs to someone more capable. In the hero’s darkest hour, Fate intervenes, golden-winged messengers deliver a swift kick in the pants that alters her perspective and renews her resolve to fight the final battle.

Ok, pep-talk to self, complete. It is time to find my desk, hang my Do Not Disturb sign, and work on creating storylines and developing my characters. With luck, I hope to devote many productive hours to brainstorming this weekend.

What stories will you create?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Unexpected Twists, Abrupt Turns, Sudden Stops, and Altering Your Perspective — Daily Quote 

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The universe is full of signs. Signs she wants us to recognize, internalize, and maximize. She can be subtle, but she becomes annoyed when you do not pick up on the breadcrumbs she strews in your path. Prepare for a rude awakening if you are preoccupied, obtuse, and don’t notice. Your lack of awareness guarantees she smacks you right between the eyes with the message you’ve been missing.

It happened to me yesterday as I sorted through a backlog of less important emails. I was quite bored, somewhat distracted, and anticipating this specific chore’s completion. Bargaining with myself, I agreed to open one last email, and this sentence hit me, “The unexpected is to be expected.” I sat in stunned silence. Even the soothing playlist crooning from my earbuds faded from my consciousness. The world shifted on its axis, my perspective changed, and the trail markers I passed without seeing now came into focus.

The sudden glitches, the perceived brick walls, and the uncontrollable forward movement followed by the whiplashing abrupt stops weren’t problems. Well, they felt like complications I needed to solve before this phrase altered my outlook. Fresh eyes viewed them as gifts. The most arduous way to climb a steep mountain is to draw a straight, narrow course and proceed by staying on the shortest route. Seasoned hikers ascend the same summit by following natural grades, utilizing switchbacks, and conserving their energy. The road they follow may entail more covered miles, but the journey develops a unique beauty when you move slower, stop at the junctions labeled as a “Scenic Viewpoint,” and enjoy the picture postcards laid out before you.

Chances are you will still reach your destination ahead of those walking the straight line.

Have you taken a moment to enjoy your journey’s views?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Don’t Offend the Fairy Folk by Suggesting They Are Imaginary — Daily Quote

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This quote tickled me. There are characters in my brain who would object to others questioning their existence. They have just started speaking with me, so I don’t want to offend them and risk losing the astonishing tales they are sharing with me. It places a tremendous responsibility on my shoulders. I feel an obligation to them, to the stories they whisper in my ears and etch upon my heart.

As a writer, I need to convey my friends as believable and fascinating individuals. Their magical powers are stunning in my imagination, and my burden is to describe in mere words the wonder and enchantment that fills the air when they touch the mystical realm and make it visible to a simple mortal. Each of them interacts and accesses their abilities in different ways. One tells me she is wrapped in a bolt of lightning, while another says she breathes the power into her fingertips. I take notes, ask questions, and attempt to get to the core of what makes them tick.

If I do my job well, I will introduce my dear companions to cherished readers in a way that is as animated and memorable as I see them. My fondest desire is for them to no longer exist only in my head. I want to share these unique creatures with the world. I hope my skills are sufficient for the task ahead.

How do you tell your character’s stories?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Risk Failure, Dare Greatly, Defy Mediocrity and Never Compromise Your Dreams – Daily Quote

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It is easy to get discouraged. We make plans to improve our lives, transform our trajectory, and help others. The moment we set our intention to change, the universe takes notice. The cosmos believes it knows best, and everything is running fine. Who are we to step out of line and mess with perfection?

I am not interested in living with the status quo or setting incremental goals that only require marginal increases. Minor improvements allow the concept of failure to seep into our expectations when we are not looking. Thoughts like, “I’ve done this before,” or “this is a cake-walk.” invites us to take our foot from the gas pedal and let our eyes stray from the prize.

Overcoming pushback is crucial, requiring concentration and determination, regardless of the goal’s scope or complexity. Whatever the goal’s size, the stamina to overcome inertia is similar. Studies show challenging objectives correlate with greater expected satisfaction. Why waste the initial outlay of internal strength required to begin the journey on anything less than spectacular results? Whether I endeavor to move a mountain or a molehill, I must first gather the will to act.

With that in mind, I plan to beat the odds, surpass my perceived limitations, and dream big. I won’t be wasting my time and energy on modest intentions; I am reaching for the stars.

Have you set lofty goals?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Set Limits, Define Boundaries, and Impose Structure to Discover Your Creative Freedom — Daily Quote

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Being creative is a messy business. It requires work clothes, steel-toed boots, a sturdy hard hat, a trusty jackhammer, a backhoe, a crane for the heavy lifting, a construction fence to hinder the gawker’s view, and an enormous five-gallon bucket of elbow grease. I need room to sprawl, kick up dust, throw mud at the wall, and dig deep holes into the heart of my design. If I am lucky, I avoid roadblocks, anticipate setbacks, manage material delivery, labor negotiations, and hit pay dirt when I pass the required inspections. The intention is to deliver a completed project on time and under budget.

It all sounds so easy until something or someone steps in to gum up the carefully drawn plans. Writers, artists, and other creative people need access to a dedicated place and time to roll up their shirtsleeves and create, free from distractions. Freedom within specific constraints is an odd pairing, but they are crucial elements in the creative process. You can’t effectively work on an unlimited number of projects and hope to complete any of them. When you limit your concentration to one primary goal, organized chaos is often the next step.

Critics help an artist focus, improve their final product, and compel them to attain higher levels of meaning, competence, and beauty. But a critical eye imposed too soon in the development stage can demoralize, block, or even end a project before it has begun. It is a game of setting limits, defining boundaries, imposing structure, and then attempting to push past the artificial restrictions.

Don’t knock at my door when I am working. I don’t want, need or value your feedback before the shape takes form. The vision is mine. The struggle is personal, and it is a road I must walk alone.

What limits do you set on your creative process?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Goodbye Cruel Winter, Welcome Warm Spring – Daily Quote

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Winter’s end is coming. My countdown calendar says we are a mere twenty days from the first day of spring. Tomorrow we flip the page to March 1. Monday morning, dawn to a bright day loaded with possibilities, the beginning of a week filled with promise, and a month dedicated to starting anew. March always feels like a breath of fresh air and hope. But throwing away old, tired and broken patterns is often easier said than done. Peer pressure is real, established habits are hard to break, and slippery slopes catch us unawares. We fear the unknown and approach change with caution.

If you have abandoned your New Year’s Resolutions, gotten caught in the sensational worries of the daily headlines, or fallen into the trap of thinking you are not worthy, remember each morning offers you another chance. Wait for your future to unfold before you write your story in stone. When and where your adventure begins is not an indicator of where your journey will lead you. Every day, ordinary people make massive changes, achieve astonishing feats, and create their dream life.

The sun is smiling, nature is waking, and your supporters stand in your corner, cheering for your success. Become a master at embracing and enjoying unique activities, and walking unfamiliar paths, laugh when you trip and fall, then get up and try again—it’s how we learn.

What will you confront head-on today?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

My Saturday Morning Ritual, Procaffeinating — Daily Quote

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It is the final Saturday in February and the close of the longest month on the calendar. Yes, I know there are only twenty-eight days, but they pull double duty to outlast and outperform their competitors. Endless gray, gloomy, monotonous hours make it almost impossible to discern day from night and create a gaping hole of misery. This year forty-five inches of snow followed by ice and bitterly cold temperatures convinced me hell really had frozen over. I have a secret weapon. It helps me stand up, wake up, and face the next twenty-four hours. What would I do without my morning cup of Joe?

My black gold gives me courage, puts vim in my steps, stiffens my backbone, and lets me know I will persevere. My stalwart friend guided me to this point where we can applaud February’s backside and welcome March with her promise of spring in a mere twenty-one days. Of course, February won’t go without a final salute and another layer of snow. I think I will pour a cup of coffee and see if March will melt the white, fluffy flakes and save me from another adventure in shoveling.

How do you take your coffee?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Identify Your Gift, Work Your Talent, and Realize Your True Nature — Daily Quote

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I see prime examples more often than I would like. They are the people with extraordinary gifts who work in professions removed from their core strengths. You’d never know their true potential. They might be a ground-breaking architect, the next Albert Einstein, an Ansel Adams phenomenon, or a Nobel Laureate. Instead, they bag your groceries, deliver your latest Amazon order, pour your morning latte, or complete your tax return. Those paychecks ensure you pay the rent and put food on the table while it strips fulfillment from your grasp. Life is insidious. It undermines what exists in our DNA for the false safety inherent in making a living and shouldering the mantel of becoming a responsible adult. There are countless stories depicting artists as unsavory characters, leading unenviable lives, except for their brilliant talent. The underlying message is, “don’t pursue the genius inside of you.”

Louise Nevelson said: “My theory is that when we come on this earth, many of us are ready-made…Some of us–most of us–have genes that are ready for certain performances. Nature gives you these gifts.” When I ask people about their unique talent, few can answer. Finding the clues to identify your calling is a simple process of observation. Listen when others comment about you how well you perform a task that is so difficult for everyone else. Pay attention when time slips away while you accomplish the work you love. Your ability lies in that activity. But knowing still isn’t enough.

Natural talents require nurturing to develop to their fullest, and that demands dedicated practice. Keep the day job and invest in working artist’s hours. Early mornings, late nights, lunch breaks, and weekends provide untapped moments to live, breathe, and fuel your passion. It is the one thing that will guarantee you a fulfilling life.

Are you honing your rare gift?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Treating Your Brain Like an Elite Athlete – Daily Quote

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It has been a succession of endless, busy, stress-filled days. Work deadlines required late nights, early mornings, and the effort has left my batteries drained. During the week, I pause when I remember and only for a few seconds before I and push myself pedal to the metal to reach the endzone. But you can’t sustain that pace for long. I need less thinking, fewer decisions, and a real break. The signs are easy to spot if you look. I’ve noticed my lack of energy, lack of motivation, and my “fuzzy-headed” inability to concentrate.

My feeble, overworked prefrontal cortex sends me SOS messages, and I ignore them at the peril of sacrificing productivity. Scientists have identified this region as the center responsible for decision-making, problem-solving, and performance management. I have learned downtime is just as important as working hard. Elite athletes know the importance of recovery days. They schedule their downtime slotting them at strategic intervals between periods of intense training. It is time for a relaxing cup of tea, a blazing fire in the fireplace, a book, and perhaps a nap. No, there will be a nap. Then I will return to my regularly scheduled productivity.

How often do you take breaks and recharge?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The Never-Ending Work of Learning New Lessons – Daily Quote

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I was that strange kid who couldn’t wait to start school. No teacher taught me how to read – I learned before kindergarten. I completed most of my homework while I sat listening to lectures. Extra credit work was fun, and I enrolled in every advanced placement class my school offered. As a result, A’s populated my report card. My lower marks reflected my associated boredom level.  An instructor once reprimanded me for working ahead in a math workbook, even though the answers were correct. I didn’t stop. Her class was boring.

I love challenges. Cracking a code, solving a puzzle, or learning a new skill is exhilarating. Throw me in the deep end, and while I might thrash around and almost drown, chances are, I will soon be swimming like Michael Phelps. A wise man enlightened me on the benefits of becoming a perpetual learner. He warned me that no one knows less than the person who thinks they know everything,

This week, I started an online course, studying a topic I don’t yet understand. I am pushing my limits, making connections, and it is as scary as Nik Wallenda’s volcano walk. I am happier than a teacher on a snow day.

Are you pushing your limits?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer