Finding Great Joy in Tiny Moments – Daily Quote

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The weather forecaster says it will snow tonight and into tomorrow morning. I listen to people groan and complain about the inconvenience it causes, the messy, slow-moving rush hour gridlock, and the need to fire up the snowblower. I commiserate with the traffic issue, but my soul loves when it snows. Shoveling the driveway is an enchanting occasion. My favorite time to complete my cherished chore is late at night, while big, fluffy flakes float from the heavens, and slowly settle to the ground.

The neighborhood is quiet. On the main road, heavy-duty dump trucks, equipped with giant blades, scrape the pavement. The plows won’t venture down my tiny residential street until they clear and salt the major arteries. For now, it is me and the astonishing, comforting silence. The snow shovel grates on cement, cracking the brittle cold air as I erase any evidence of the white powder. The temperature gauge hovers around freezing, but I am warm, and I couldn’t be happier. These are the minutes I live for.

What are your happy little moments?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Using Trial and Error to Discover Your Destiny – Daily Quote

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Every year approximately 130 million miracles occur. Each bundle of joy arrives brimming with promise, unlimited possibilities, and untold ways to affect the world. Certain individuals maintain we are born wired with a purpose, a singular destiny that is ours alone to fulfill. While some people insist that they connected with their life’s mission at an early age, I have yet to meet any. Most of us flounder, waiting for a lightning strike, hoping, praying for an epiphany. Meanwhile, daily activities consume our waking hours, and cannot provide the sense of accomplishment we seek. Something seems wrong.

Answers seldom drop from the clear blue sky into our lap. Nothing comes without effort. I believe you become what you do, what you consciously practice.  By living, your passion finds you. How can we know our true calling until we experiment?  Select an area that sparks your enthusiasm, a task which you imagine might be a dream. Follow where it leads for 90 days, go all in, and see where what happens.

After a set time, assess your progress, then, make a deeper commitment, or choose an untested activity. If you lose interest, allow yourself to try a different job, explore a new possibility. Don’t wait for a neon sign with your name on it. It’s not likely to appear. The path to your unique reason is to experience life. Discover your loves, the work that makes your heart sing, the areas where you excel. One day you will turn over a leaf and find your answer.

Have you discovered your why?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Making Your Writing Space Work for You – Daily Quote

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Everyone knows how a writer creates a masterpiece. They hibernate in secluded woodsy cabins, channeling Thoreau, as they cuddle next to a roaring fire, penning profound theories, and communing with nature. Some writers become recluses, hoarding poetry in self-bound volumes, and sharing their creations with select friends and family members. Writer’s block frustrations are drowned in alcohol and bad behavior. Today’s modern incarnations haunt coffee shops, with laptops, and earbuds as they compose caffeinated diatribes.

There is no perfect writing space. The challenge of putting words, sentences, and thoughts on a page is also what makes the process so rewarding. I scribble ideas on napkins, sales receipts, and the back of parking tickets. I pound my fingers on the keyboard while sitting in hospital rooms, doctor’s offices, and waiting areas. Notes appear on my phone when the mechanic repairs my car, and during quiet moments at boring social events.

I have found a little difficulty, the test of a struggle, helps hone my resolve and forces me to dig deeper, concentrate on my assigned task, and do the work. Some days I am happy to perch on my milk crate, with my laptop balanced on my knees. None of it matters when the narrative flows. Time stops, reality recedes, and for a while, I live in the fantasy.

Do you have a favorite place to write?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daring to Move Past Criticism – Daily Quote

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It takes a brave person to share their secret hopes, impossible dreams, or cherished aspirations with the world. We work on cultivating positive thoughts, believing in ourselves, and dispelling our fear of rejection. Then we take our precious babies and announce their existence to friends and family. If we are lucky, they respond with understanding and support, but often they attack our fledgling ideas with criticism, shooting them down before we can fully develop them.

Those helpful individuals are quick to point out all the reasons you can’t, they poke holes in your premise, deem your logic faulty, or claim your plan is ill-advised. No one will ever go for that, they say. Those energy vampires can get their fangs into our excitement and deflate our commitment. It’s not personal, they declare, but the criticism bites us to the core.

This is the season when we contemplate goals, and set resolutions for next year.  It’s tempting to let the naysayers impose limitations on our fondest wishes. Great inner strength is required to push forward, challenge the status quo, and attempt to achieve the unknown. It’s easy to listen to the cants, and buy into the torment they spread. Yet, how rewarding would it be to prove the canters wrong?

Do you dare to share your dreams?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The Advantages of Talking to Yourself – Daily Quote

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I have a secret. It’s embarrassing when I am caught, and I discover someone is listening. Talking to myself, in my head and aloud is a normal occurrence. I assure you, my conversations are rather mundane. Where is my phone? Did I pay the bill? Should I buy lemons at the grocery store? Who is knocking on my front door? Why did I come into this room? Those are typical topics I explore almost daily.

Late at night when the house is finally silent, questions fade and grow quiet. The voice changes and my evening adventure begins. I have heard it since I was a child. It has told me bedtime stories, created imaginary characters, and fantastic worlds. It is my trusted companion. Together we work through complex issues, solving the day’s problems. I write the tales I tell myself and share them with my friends.

What stories will you tell yourself today?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

An Inevitable Holiday Tradition – Daily Quote

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It never fails. I expect it at this time of year. The scratchy throat, watery, itchy eyes, and the achy feeling in my head that makes me wish someone would hit me with a baseball bat because it would hurt less. The timing is impeccable, coinciding with the busiest days before the holidays. You know the pivotal juncture where your plans hinge on expert execution of key details. The week which ensures every beloved family member and each cherished pet will experience a holiday to surpass every other.

The common cold threatens to derail your carefully constructed strategy. Despite astounding medical advances, miraculous modern inventions, they haven’t discovered a cure for this ailment. Doctors say to stay hydrated, get plenty of rest (yeah, right), and drink warm liquids. Homemade chicken soup and brewed tea top the list. My calendar is overflowing, my agenda runs longer than I can manage, and I am clueless how to squeeze in these extra requirements.

The best recommendations say the cold runs its course in one to two weeks. That means I will recover just in time to collapse from exhaustion on Christmas Eve and sleep through until New Year’s Day. Another fabulous holiday preserved forever with photos and my foggy memories.

How do you combat holiday colds?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

My Changing Definition of Reading – Daily Quote

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December is the month I reserve for reviewing my current year’s progress. I work on big dreams, setting audacious goals, and plotting a strategy to move toward my desired destination. One area I have been analyzing is the number of books I read. This year’s total was abysmal, by my standards. Then, I started thinking about my online reading. I access blogs, emails, newsletters, essays, reviews, and how-to instructions on my laptop or phone, but I don’t include those documents in my goal count. It’s ridiculous.

In the past, I carried physical novels for my downtime, but books are heavy. My cell, tucked in my pocket, is ready to provide me with educational material or a blank screen for my writing. While I enjoy a real book, with my busy life, having one handy is not practical. Dedicating large chunks of time to curl up with a favorite read to meet my goals is a luxury I can ill afford.

The struggle happens when I want to reference a web article, pass the information to a friend or track my reading. So, I am in search of a tracking method. Bookmarks are cumbersome, and syncing across devices is difficult. There are apps like Evernote that can help, but they don’t guard against the dreaded 404 error. I haven’t decided on an approach that works for me. I am adding another task I need to complete.

Do you keep track of your online reading?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Enjoying Precious Morning Rituals – Daily Quote

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Waking each morning represents my day’s primary challenge. But hitting the snooze button, and snuggling in my warm cocoon longer than I should, exacerbates my problems, and creates additional challenges. I hate when mornings become afternoons, and I have accomplished nothing on my list. I have fallen into bad habits, going to bed later, and using that to rationalize my late rising. This scenario is coloring my entire day, putting me in a foul mood, and hindering my progress on my goals.

Experience has revealed my prime productivity period is between 9 A.M. and 2 P.M. I’m fresher, more creative, and more likely to pursue my personal-passion projects during my sweet spot. It presumes I am awake, alert, and ready to work. A morning routine required to get me to that stage takes two or three hours. I need a change.

I am planning on adopting the schedule of extreme early risers, with a targeted wake-up time of 4 A.M. I intend to address the things I have been neglecting, reviewing my scheduled daily tasks, and enjoying my yoga workout before it gets bumped for more urgent responsibilities. But first, I need my coffee.

Do you have a set wake-up time?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

An Introverts Guide to Surviving Holiday Parties – Daily Quote

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Required holiday celebrations begin this weekend. My introverted nerves jangle as I brace myself for the marathon that ends New Year’s Day. Crowds make me uncomfortable. I prefer staying home in my comfy PJs, bunny slippers, and snuggling under a blanket with a book. Large parties suck the life from me, blending with normal people is a challenge, and small talk is an awkward ping pong match. Socializing and connecting with others good for me, but I struggle to balance interactions and fake smiles with the individuals I want to see.

Behind each event, is a frantic host who has spent countless hours and superhuman effort to ensure perfection. Honoring their work and surviving, means setting rules before I enter the venue. Pre-party, I arm myself with non-controversial, conversation-starting topics I can use when discussions lag. I move between groups before I run low on questions. I am not shy about using the bathroom or an outdoor terrace as my self-imposed time out zone. These quiet alcoves are excellent for a mini recharge. The added benefit is I discover other introverts lurking there. If I am lucky, we commiserate and share a laugh that makes the extroverts, who can’t stand to miss anything, approach us.

The keys to navigating sizable groups are to keep moving and having a “time to go” signal. It’s never acceptable to leave too early, but there is an optimum moment. I grab my coat, thank my host, and make a graceful exit.

How do you survive holiday parties?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

How I Exercise to Quiet My Mind – Daily Quote

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As an introvert, I spend hours in my head, but I am rarely alone. Not by a long shot. Novel characters appear with fascinating stories to tell while my muse whispers charming prose, and inspirational music plays in the background. I write in self-defense. Composing fiction is my exercise, a method of quieting the voices, and as I surrender to the writing process, I lose myself. Time travel is real. The tales transport me to different eras, unique and interesting lives, and singular universes.

Once, I believed the act of transcribing the narratives I hear would silence them. It hasn’t worked that way. Instead, it has generated additional protagonists with greater adventures, bigger demands, and they possess an unrelenting urgency for me to retell their epic sagas.

Writing is a true privilege that lets me connect with others in ways I could never imagine. It provides me an avenue to explore what other people might feel or experience, and it opens doors to conversations. Through writing, we discover like-minded individuals and gain the knowledge that we humans have many things in common.

How has writing changed your life?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer