Daily Quote

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Deming was a professor of statistic at New Your University’s Graduate School of Business Administration from 1946 to 1993. He also consulted for private businesses. His seminal work was in Japan after World War II, where he worked with Japanese business leaders on “Statistical Product Quality Administration”. We often credit his principles with the Japanese post-war recovery and its rise to the second largest economy in the world.

I wonder what he would make of the disruptions we face today. His workers lived in a time before smartphones, text messages, laptops, emails, and tablets, before 24/7 access to shopping and dining options, and endless streaming content. What is the multiple we should apply to his fifty interruptions per day statistic? I can deflect, ignore or acknowledge fifty distractions in an hour. It impacts my productivity. I have felt ideas and trains of thought slip from my grasp at the chime of a bell.

Do bells and chirps, clicks and clacks, vibrations and knocks on your door impact your concentration?
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Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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Sometimes my schedule demands I write late at night. Exhausted, from twelve to eighteen hours of activity and ready for bed, creating a story can be challenging. I have adopted a new strategy to make even my midnight writing sessions productive. The trick is scheduling and planning and working while I slumber. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?  But the results are surprising. The last thing I do before I cuddle my pillow is to decide on the next piece. I may have an inkling, or I might be clueless. It doesn’t matter, I only need a general direction.

Tired, yawning and falling asleep, I assign the problem for my brain to solve. I tell it to conjure a story for the morning. Upon waking, I find a completely formed idea, with a beginning, middle and a satisfying end. I take notes if I feel compelled and hold it tight until my scheduled writing session. On other occasions, a seed has germinated in my sleep. Those ideas I nurture, forming more details throughout the day. Since I started my experiment my nocturnal puzzle solving sub-conscience has not disappointed me.

What writing tricks do you use?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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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 great plan lays in ruins. Thinking in black and white terms, in happiness or disappointment, can encourage you to forsake your dreams. Thankfully, colors have countless shades and success can be measured 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 key, you must 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

Daily Quote

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I planned a relaxing writing weekend. It didn’t go to plan. Rescheduling a contractor, friends stopping by unannounced and the conspiracy of the pleasant spring weather foiled my best intentions. Then there was the family. Their faces are pitiful, they wave cookies beneath my nose, and turn the music loud enough to shake the house.  They know how to mess with my concentration. They coax my inner child to rebel and break my resolve.

It is prudent to succumb, cave to their antics, let loose and have fun. The best part is if you play your cards correctly, they will collapse, exhausted from the activity and the effects of fresh air. Within a house echoing with the sounds of peaceful slumber, rejuvenated and awake, the writer can work into the wee hours of the night.

How do you balance weekend family time with your desire to write?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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It’s a nice idea, booking a hotel suite, intending to stay an entire weekend. Doing. Absolutely. Nothing. After a few minutes, it starts. Barely a whisper, it flits around my mind. I shoo it away. But it persists. It doesn’t listen, and the nagging begins. My fingers drum the table, I flip channels, surfing from show to a movie, to the inevitable reruns. I’m not interested. I walk to the window, surveying the grand view, watch the people rushing on the street below me. In this room and the walls constrict, triggering my claustrophobia.

I can’t do “nothing” for an extended period. I am impatient. I need activity, physical action, a project to occupy my mind and exercise for my fidgety fingers. There’s a saying which connects the devil with idle hands. Whatever the cause, I must do something. It is what relaxes me and keeps me sane.

How do you unwind?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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Complex subjects intrigue me. I dip my feet into math, science, statistics and their practical applications. I study history from ancient Greece to current events. Programs exploring the natural world and the vast array of animal species flicker across my tv screen. I read journals, question experts, and disappear into Google’s rabbit holes seeking a greater understanding of the day’s prevailing passion.

My desire drives my writing. Knowledge gives me the freedom to create even simple stories. Greek gods become characters, long-ago events provide dilemmas to solve, and oddities of nature inspire believable settings. The facts spark new ideas, incorporating obscure details, creates the challenge and I write, attempting to capture the tale’s evolution.

How will you grow today?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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People fail. I consider it a truism, and an activity we should aspire to challenge often. Tasks we practice and perfect, become rote. With memorized movements, the process is automatic, and our brain is no longer fully engaged. Our culture prizes efficiency and mastery of specific skill sets, which forces experts to learn minute facts in an ever-tightening circle. The culmination creates grand masters of hollow details we dissect into oblivion.  It leaves us with a deep void we can’t fill.

Risk taking is scary, and like a child learning to walk, it guarantees only the opportunity to stumble, fall, and struggle. The fact is, we only fail if we end the journey with the first difficulty. The trial of trying something new is also exciting and exhilarating. We experience the world from a different perspective. Our brain is engaged with a problem to solve. We choose whether our ineptitude is an embarrassment, or a grand adventure filled with wonderful discoveries. I opt to embrace failure and move forward to success.

What will you try today?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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They say the best stories reflect life. My experience says life is messy, difficult, filled with trials and tribulations. If the tales we write were all about rainbows and unicorns, they would feel unreal, unbelievable, and the reader would soon throw the book across the room. Or I would.

Writing fiction riddled with gloom, doom, and terror would be equally unsatisfactory. Mired in deep despair, when all is lost, I search, hunting for a glimmer, a flickering light beckoning at the tunnel’s end. I fervently hope the light is not a freight train barreling toward me. Lost causes, desperate situations hide miraculous resolutions. Wayward heroes discover novel ways to set things right. Despondent characters unearth, a reason to carry on. Novels which give me a reason to hope are the ones I cherish.

How do you balance light and dark in your stories?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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I don’t remember sending actual physical letters to my friends. The idea written words resonate with others across miles and time, intrigues me. We read Shakespeare’s words and we laugh, cry and fall in love, even though the words were writing almost 500 years ago. I often wonder if William contemplated the possibilities of future generations reading his work or if he considered his words would have a shelf life.

Sharing ideas, fears, hopes, and dreams are the basis for intimate human connections. Reading about characters in stories who face the same problems we face helps us realized we are not alone.

Why did you become a writer?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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I have experienced an uncanny phenomenon when I write, especially when I write somewhere other than my desk. As I write I often find myself searching for the right word or the correct direction for my story. As I search, grasping at straws, discarding overused words and lame ideas, serendipity conspires to hand me the solution to my dilemma.

A song lyric, a news soundbite, a conversation fragment, can ignite a spark providing all the right things at exactly the right time. The writing continues. The muse smiles.

Do random encounters fuel your writing?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer