Daily Quote

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Have you heard of art therapy?  According to Art Therapy Blog, art therapy is “a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.”

People normally think of drawing, painting, sculpture as the “art” portion of the therapy. But I don’t see why it can’t apply to the writing process. Writing is a creative process after all.  So why wouldn’t it provide the same type of benefits as other art forms?

Does writing leave you feeling restored?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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Going out for dinner on Friday night is a pleasure.  I look forward to the ritual of meeting friends, having a wonderful meal and catching up on the week’s happenings. We laugh, have fun and celebrate the highs and lows life throws at us.

But I don’t consider it a sacrifice to write on Friday night. There is something decadent about ordering in, kicking back, and writing.

Do you write on Friday night?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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For those who don’t know, Deming was an engineer, professor, statistician, author, lecturer, and management consultant. He is credited with leading the Japanese in their post-war recovery with his management principles. The adoption of Deming’s work in the 1950s and ’60s propelled Japan to the second largest economy of the time.

His principles strive to increase quality while simultaneously reducing costs and increasing customer loyalty. In the 1980s Motorola expanded on the Japanese Kaizen method. Further development lead to what we today know as Lean Six Sigma. Lean principles focus on the elimination of eight types of waste. Six Sigma pertains to variation reduction. Combined we talk about continuous improvement.

I am a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and I am versed in Lean tools and the application of Lean principals. Yes, I am a geek. But I am also interested in productivity studies and how I can apply Lean Six Sigma principles to my writing. Enter the Rule of 52 and 17. You can read more about it here. Basically, the Rules states that the top 10% of productive workers use a 52-minute work sprint, followed by a 17-minute break.

The key concept is that during the 52-minute work sprint you are 100% dedicated to the task. While during the 17-minute break, you do anything except the task you are trying to complete. So, I have been trying to adopt the Rule of 52 and 17 into my writing sessions. It takes planning, I must know what I am writing, and I need a notification to remind me it is break time. I am seeing positive results.

How long do you write before taking a break?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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I started my writing journey to tell the stories that were cluttering my head. Stories float and flit through my mind as numerous as fireflies on a summer’s night. But I shared Tony’s concern. Would there come a time when I ran short of ideas? Where would I get new ideas? How could I continue writing if the well ran dry?

Despite my fear, I write stories, flash fiction stories, short stories, and novels. I started with ideas for two novels and now have ideas in various stages of development for four novels. Writing stories is like cutting the head off a Hydra. Each story I write creates more story ideas, and my idea list grows exponentially longer.

Does your writing inspire more stories?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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I enjoy writing flash fiction and short stories. Attempting to write a story with a beginning a middle and an end in 100 words, is a real challenge. Every word must pull its weight, helping to develop the setting, mood, plot, character arc and everything else that makes a story successful. Concise, compact writing is the order of the day.

Like William, I use my daily flash fiction to try new things, explore the art of storytelling, test genres and have fun. I take the germ of the idea, write freely, then edit, edit, edit. I spend more time editing than I do writing the piece. Once my warm-up flash fiction is complete, I can start the days writing goals.

How do you structure your writing day?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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I have learned I am not a morning person.  Early morning quiet, the new day’s stirrings, the first bird calls, the gradual coloration of the night’s black sky is my favorite time of day. I don’t attempt to string conscience thoughts into meaningful prose. It is too tortuous. Ideally, those early hours are better left to strong coffee and morning chores. It is also time for my morning characters meetings which is often a melee of conversational snippets, random impressions, and implausible situations.

With morning chores done, I have a primed pump, and I can spend several hours writing, transcribing the morning’s words and ideas. I take a break, waiting for my second wind, sometime around 9 or 10 pm., and I work until midnight.

When is your best writing time?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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Leave it to the chattering voices droning in my head. They destroyed a wonderful plan, a plan filled with rest, relaxation and fun. No writing, no lists, no alarm clocks, no worries. Morning coffee, a deep breath, the voices saw an opening and jumped.

“Hello?” they said. “You’ve had your coffee?  Awake? Feeling rested?  You’re always saying you’re busy, you don’t have time. We see you’re not busy right now. Is it a good time? Nothing major. A few words perhaps?”

Can you say “Guilt” with a capital “G”? Well played voices. How can I say no? Yeah, okay, a few words. They are a sneaky bunch, you must watch them, anticipate their subterfuge. A few words, then a few words more, became filled pages. Devious, they are. They artfully derailed my plans, advanced their agendas, and made sure I had a fun day.

Do your voices interrupt your plans?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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Lately, life has been a flurry of activity, appointments, deadlines, and demands. I rush from task to task, hurrying to complete each item by its appointed deadline. I pivot, twist, change directions and comply with new requests, additional information, and tactical adjustments.  Even my writing time has become one item to cross from my list, morphing and threatening to become more work than fun.

This is not acceptable. Time for a reset. Today I will take a break, breathe, and clear my schedule. No writing, no lists, no alarm clocks, no worries. A morning coffee, open space, a change of venue, and an opportunity to let my mind run wild. Today, it is dedicated to fun.

How do you remember why you started writing?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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No matter how you plot, plan, block writing time and commit to keeping the time scared, life happens. The dog needs a walk, a friend needs a shoulder, or you fall asleep at the keyboard. If I waited for celestial alignment and ideal circumstances, I fear I would never write.

Luckily writers are creative, muse-driven, inspirational lightning rods and we must write when the ideas strike. While I am not sure my motion sickness would allow me to write in the back seat of a taxi, hotels, airports, and airplanes would work. I am enamored with writing in a Walden Pond environment. Maybe I should start a bucket list of writing spots.

Where is your oddest or favorite writing spot?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

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The origins of Valentine’s Day go back to Lupercalia, an ancient Roman fertility festival honoring a long-forgotten deity who protected herds from wolves. Then in the third century, Emperor Claudius II Gothicus martyred two Roman priests. They were both named Valentine. Legend says one Valentine sent a letter to his jailer’s daughter and signed the letter “from your Valentine”.   Or perhaps Valentine performed weddings for soldiers, who were forbidden to marry. And this Valentine handed out paper hearts.

In medieval times, Chaucer helped popularize courtly love and the writing of love poems and songs. Later, even Shakespeare got into the act when Ophelia called herself “Hamlet’s Valentine”. February 14th became a great excuse to write verses filled with love and send them to your beloved.

Will you pen a poem to your Valentine today?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer