The 2021 Daily Writing Challenge – June 7

2021 Daily Writing Challenge Q2

June is off to a hot start. The weather gurus are forecasting near ninety-degree temperatures for the next ten days, and I am searching for activities that don’t make me sweat. The sun is shining, and my fingers ache to dance on the keyboard. I think I will let them loose and let them play, and maybe I will give them a challenge. So far this week, I have written just over 3,200 words. Not a bad total for the first five days, but I think we can do more.

For June, I am attempting to apply the demanding double-down trick on my standard word counts. Most months, I log around 12,000 words. This month I’m shooting for twice that amount or 24,000 words for the month for approximately 1,000 words per day. I do not know if I can accomplish this, but I’m game. Besides, they don’t call it a challenge without reason. Does anyone want to double-down with me? A little competition always makes things more exciting. On your mark. Get set. Go.

Did you write yesterday?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Stop Controlling the Details, Increase Your Speed, and Start Grinning with Pure Joy – Daily Quote

If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough. Mario Andretti

Have you ever tried to ride a bike r-e-a-l-l-y slowly? It requires both hands on the handlebars, lots of steering, over-steering, under-steering, concentration, control, and a conscious effort to not think about crashing. But when you increase your speed, release your need for controlling every minute detail, and trust the idea that your momentum will carry you forward, something incredible happens. The wind rushes at you. It is exhilarating, and you scream at the top of your lungs, “Look, Mom. No hands.” Then you wave with a ridiculous grin plastered across your face as you whoosh by.

It’s easy to fall into the alluring trap of wanting certainty and control in our lives. Exercising control over specific aspects of our lives is beneficial. With our basic needs met, staying healthy, ensuring financial security, and maintaining solid relationships with friends and family, we can learn to trust and appreciate unexpected events.

These same feelings came up in a few of my writing sessions this week as I fought to stay in control of the piece I was writing. I struggled to craft the perfect sentence with precise words that lead to a foregone conclusion. I plodded and toiled and time ticked past with little to show for my efforts. Firmly controlling every detail of my progress resulted in slow progress. I became angry and frustrated with the appalling lack of words on the page at the end of an hour.

So, I tried something different. I relaxed into the rhythm of my thoughts and trusted that the storyteller inside me would provide the phrases to keep my momentum alive. I stopped sweating the small stuff. My speed increased, and the blank page overflowed with an unbelievable torrent of paragraphs that spilled onto multiple pages. I started grinning like an enthusiastic child riding a bike with no hands.

Are you going fast enough?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2021 Daily Writing Challenge – June 6

2021 Daily Writing Challenge Q2

June is off to a hot start. The weather gurus are forecasting near ninety-degree temperatures for the next ten days, and I am searching for activities that don’t make me sweat. The sun is shining, and my fingers ache to dance on the keyboard. I think I will let them loose and let them play, and maybe I will give them a challenge. So far this week, I have written just over 3,200 words. Not a bad total for the first five days, but I think we can do more.

For June, I am attempting to apply the demanding double-down trick on my standard word counts. Most months, I log around 12,000 words. This month I’m shooting for twice that amount or 24,000 words for the month for approximately 1,000 words per day. I do not know if I can accomplish this, but I’m game. Besides, they don’t call it a challenge without reason. Does anyone want to double-down with me? A little competition always makes things more exciting. On your mark. Get set. Go.

Did you write yesterday?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2021 Daily Writing Challenge – June 5

2021 Daily Writing Challenge Q2

I am running as fast as I can, and yet I feel like I am standing still. One step forward, two steps backward, and a mad dash to hit my deadline has left me exhausted. Slowly, inch by inch, I am completing items on my impossible To-Do List. I don’t know how I got here, but this morning when I woke, my calendar said today is Saturday. How did I miss my usual Friday night celebration? This week’s efforts resulted in a handful of reasons to acknowledge my accomplishments too. Darn.

Besides somehow hitting my 9 to 5 deadline, I power washed the house and the fence, started a new class, moved six more tasks to the Ta-Done column, pushed forward on 30 “In Process” items, and wrote 2,700 words. The weekend is young, and I might yet add to my total. Here’s to moving onward and upward, my friends.

Did you write yesterday?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2021 Daily Writing Challenge – June 4

2021 Daily Writing Challenge Q2

What happened to Friday? I’m at a complete loss, baffled, confused, and otherwise clueless. Perhaps I have been the victim of a cruel time travel joke. Or maybe I misunderstood the directions Hermione explained to me when she lent me her Time-Turner. Ah, well, I distinctly remember writing in one of those timelines.

Did you write yesterday?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

When You Are Desperate, and Out of Options, Your Only Choice is Simple – Daily Quote 

whatever-you-do-make-sure-you-want-to-write-more-than-you-want-to-be-a-writer.-make-sure-you-want-to-act-more-than-you-want-to-be-an-actor.-that-is-what-will-sustain-you.-bradley-whitfo

“Pike’s Peak or Bust!” That was the slogan uttered by would-be miners who contracted gold fever after Green Russell and Sam Bates mined twenty troy ounces of gold near Little Dry Creek in current day Englewood, Colorado. The phrase embodies a “do or die” mentality, and the sense of desperation is palatable. There is no other option, no further recourse, no viable alternative, and no Plan B. The prospectors knew the odds and prepared for back-breaking work in search of precious golden flakes.

Today, we hear people tell us impressive achievement emanates from a big dream. Visualize your heart’s desire, and attraction brings it to you. Success requires more than good thoughts. You can imagine your six-pack abs, but they won’t materialize unless you commit to doing the reps. Completing a regular exercise regime guarantees results. Many individuals say they wish to become a writer. You must determine how desperately you crave the title of author. You must want to write.

The daily grind is arduous. No one is born a master of their field. Practice, patience, perseverance, and dogged determination are the qualities required to get through the learning curve. Mastery feels like a never-ending journey. Every day we decide whether we keep going or if we quit. For me, quitting is not an option.

How desperate are you?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2021 Daily Writing Challenge – June 3

2021 Daily Writing Challenge Q2

June? How is it June already? All I know is the onslaught hit me like a freight train. Maybe it was the holiday weekend, the scrambling to get five days of workload accomplished in 4, or the extra time I have spent outdoors. Whatever the cause, I am exhausted, brain-dead, fall-asleep-on-my-feet, tired. It doesn’t matter. I still carved out a little time for writing. Only 302 words, but it is good enough for now. Tomorrow is another day.

Did you write yesterday?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Reinstating Your Lost Daily Habits by Establishing New Routines – Daily Quote

There is no influence like the influence of habit. Gilbert Parker

A pandemic, lockdowns, social distancing, and general anxiety upended my established routines. Tied to my regular morning, afternoon, or evening schedules were many of my good habits. I didn’t think about them because they worked on autopilot. Everyday events created the desired activity—fix dinner, clean the kitchen, and pack the next day’s healthy lunch. At lunchtime, my brown bag reminded me to fill my water bottle and hydrate. The sudden switch to working from home broke my daily patterns, and chaos ensued. I needed to reinstate my lost habits.

Researchers tell us the simplest way to form new habits is to structure our environment to make the desired choice likely and the poor choice more difficult. I made it my mission to reorganize my life. It was not an easy project. There were false starts, missteps, blunders, and total failures to navigate before I found success.

I also stumbled onto a habit-tracker. It is a low-tech grid with the tasks on one axis and the days on the other. At first, I thought the idea of putting a star next to each completed job was rather childish, but I had nothing to lose. The habit tracker prompts my OCD impulse to want each box filled with colorful stickers. On another level, it forces me to be honest. We, humans, tend to believe we act better than we do. Of course, I took my medicine every day. Didn’t I? It’s hard to fudge the data when it is staring you in the face.

I track twelve chores. A few were habits that had gotten lost in the shuffle, while others were things I always wanted to do. The first month was rough, and there were lots of blank squares. I realized changes don’t happen overnight, and I kept plugging along. I’m still not perfect, but I see progress, and that is okay for today.

Have you used a habit tracker?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2021 Daily Writing Challenge – June 2

2021 Daily Writing Challenge Q2

The accounting firm of Bean, Tally, and Moore have May’s results. They counted all the words, checked and double-checked their spreadsheets, and pronounced that we did not meet our budget numbers. Those accountants have a way of making things sound bad, even when they are not.

The first two weeks of May, I got a rare chance to unplug, unwind, and decompress for two entire weeks. I didn’t write a single word during my vacation. I suffered no delusions and held out very little hope of hitting my 12,000-word monthly average. But I came close. During the last half of May, I logged 10,382 words. I’m not complaining. I might even hold a mini celebration. Woo-hoo!

Did you write yesterday?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2021 Daily Writing Challenge – June 1

2021 Daily Writing Challenge Q2

The first half of May delivered an astounding basketful of surprises, unexpected opportunities, and exciting developments. For the first sixteen days, my blank pages contain very few freshly minted words—translation—none, zip, zilch, nada. But when fortune’s favor smiled on me and offered a rare chance to unplug, unwind, and decompress for two entire weeks, I jumped. I don’t regret my decision. It’s a familiar tale. We don’t realize we need a break until we pack our bags and get the hell out of Dodge.

However, a vacation, sabbatical, leave of absence, or time off is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. Responsibilities do not disappear. Bills require payment, obligations hold their bond, and promises must be kept. Few commitments are more important than the ones we make with ourselves. The face in the mirror knows when we make excuses, attempt to rationalize our decisions or lie. The same image is also kind, caring, and recognizes the truth in our words. I try my hardest to ensure I don’t disappoint my biggest supporter.

Each month, I average about 12,000 written words, and I have a similar expectation for this month. Feeling rested, recharged, and full of ideas, I’m betting I can reach my goal by writing 800 words every day through the end of the month. I’m ready. Are you?

Did you write yesterday?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer