Transforming Thoughts into Tangible Results – Daily Quote

words-are-but-pictures-of-our-thoughts.-john-dryden

Random objects, unplanned situations, snippets of conversations, and fragmented thoughts stir my imagination. Empty picture frames always get my wheels turning. I assume they once held a special image. Did the pink one surround a photo of a novice ballerina in her first tutu? Perhaps a soothing watercolor of an ancient cypress tree draped in a seductive veil of Spanish moss filled the interior of a matching green frame. And the ornate gilt square elevated the importance of small oil painting reflecting the tentative strokes of an artist’s self-portrait.

Pristine pages in a leather-bound journal, a sterile word document, and reams of boring snow-white copy paper elicit similar responses. Far from being daunting or creating fear, a blank page challenges my wildest fantasies and my amateurish abilities. Endless possibilities arise, each tale vies for my consideration, and I must decide.  I close my eyes and start typing. Once I begin, I am compelled, driven by a duty to create the best story I can produce, and a powerful desire to finish. I owe a debt to the novel ideas which I did not choose. They haunt me.

As they slink about in my brain, demanding my attention, they grow. Their themes, plots, and characters become more vivid. The settings coalesce, details are refined, and a unique world takes shape. The cardboard individuals inhabiting those scenes blossom into proper people with wants, needs, goals, and interesting points of view. They gang up on me, spur me forward, and demand I complete my current work so they may have their turn.

How do your stories develop?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – July 6

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 188 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday?  We get knocked down sometimes. Current events have done an excellent job of destroying normal. There is a silver lining. These times have granted us an opportunity to reexamine life, priorities, and what happiness really means.  I am determined, and I refuse to stay stuck in a mess. Today, I stand up, regroup, reset my intentions, and recommit to attaining my dreams.

An ongoing topic of exploration is Cal Newport’s concept of deep work, “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.” Newport advocates approaching and completing challenging tasks by eliminating distractions, committing to block scheduling, and adhering to your intentions.

What are your intentions? Unlike goals that concentrate on achievement, intentions emphasize awareness. They are essential elements necessary to effect lasting change and establishing meaningful habits. Acting intentionally probes the root of your “why.” Examples of an intention may include creating space for writing and creativity. Do you hope to bring light to others, develop your skills, or gain strength? Perhaps your aim is to commit yourself to hard work and following through, regardless of the outcome. Does your purpose require you to face your fear and resolve to move forward, anyway?

Will identifying your intentions and reviewing them daily help you find your voice? Does it compel you to open your laptop or a notebook, grab a pen, and record the words and stories that are begging to be told?

Try it and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Falling into A Peaceful Easy Slumber – Daily Quote

i-love-to-sleep-late-and-i-rarely-have-the-chance-to.-izabel-goulart

The greatest perk of holiday weekends is the chance to sleep late. I may have a delayed sleep phase disorder. It is a phenomenon where an individual ends up falling asleep after the normal bedtimes of most folks. For years, I believed I suffered from insomnia. Aren’t we all supposed to nod off at 10 pm and rise eight hours later? The problem is, I hit my second wind around nine and don’t become tired enough to relax and snooze until well after midnight. But having to conform to social norms requires me to set my alarm for 5 am.

Thanks to technology, I have monitored, logged, and tracked my sleep schedule. It turns out, when left to wake naturally, my regular cycle lasts six hours and twenty minutes. I routinely start projects after nine in the evening and can continue until one or two in the morning. Contrary, what most might think, staying up late does not mean I am wasting time watching tv or playing video games. Instead, these are great opportunities for grocery shopping, doing laundry, cleaning the house, and writing. If I am on a roll, I may opt to work past what I consider my normal bedtime and finish when others are waking. This leaves me with a tough decision — do I try to get some sleep or push to stay awake?

The beauty of a holiday is I can allow my natural circadian rhythms to dictate my schedule. The added benefit is, my endless list shrinks, I complete multiple items, my mood improves, and I don’t feel as exhausted. I appreciate my morning coffee more, and the world feels a little less annoying.

What do you enjoy about long weekends?

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – July 5

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 187 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday?  We get knocked down sometimes. Current events have done an excellent job of destroying normal. There is a silver lining. These times have granted us an opportunity to reexamine life, priorities, and what happiness really means.  I am determined, and I refuse to stay stuck in a mess. Today, I stand up, regroup, reset my intentions, and recommit to attaining my dreams.

An ongoing topic of exploration is Cal Newport’s concept of deep work, “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.” Newport advocates approaching and completing challenging tasks by eliminating distractions, committing to block scheduling, and adhering to your intentions.

What are your intentions? Unlike goals that concentrate on achievement, intentions emphasize awareness. They are essential elements necessary to effect lasting change and establishing meaningful habits. Acting intentionally probes the root of your “why.” Examples of an intention may include creating space for writing and creativity. Do you hope to bring light to others, develop your skills, or gain strength? Perhaps your aim is to commit yourself to hard work and following through, regardless of the outcome. Does your purpose require you to face your fear and resolve to move forward, anyway?

Will identifying your intentions and reviewing them daily help you find your voice? Does it compel you to open your laptop or a notebook, grab a pen, and record the words and stories that are begging to be told?

Try it and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – July 4

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 186 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday?  We get knocked down sometimes. Current events have done an excellent job of destroying normal. There is a silver lining. These times have granted us an opportunity to reexamine life, priorities, and what happiness really means.  I am determined, and I refuse to stay stuck in a mess. Today, I stand up, regroup, reset my intentions, and recommit to attaining my dreams.

An ongoing topic of exploration is Cal Newport’s concept of deep work, “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.” Newport advocates approaching and completing challenging tasks by eliminating distractions, committing to block scheduling, and adhering to your intentions.

What are your intentions? Unlike goals that concentrate on achievement, intentions emphasize awareness. They are essential elements necessary to effect lasting change and establishing meaningful habits. Acting intentionally probes the root of your “why.” Examples of an intention may include creating space for writing and creativity. Do you hope to bring light to others, develop your skills, or gain strength? Perhaps your aim is to commit yourself to hard work and following through, regardless of the outcome. Does your purpose require you to face your fear and resolve to move forward, anyway?

Will identifying your intentions and reviewing them daily help you find your voice? Does it compel you to open your laptop or a notebook, grab a pen, and record the words and stories that are begging to be told?

Try it and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Resuming My Reading Addiction – Daily Quote

why-buy-a-book-when-you-can-join-a-library.-ricky-gervais

Owning books is a joy. I appreciate seeing my dear friends staring at me from their homes on my bookshelves. I relish running my hand across their spines and visualizing the words, worlds, and adventures we experienced together. These are my loyal companions, and I am determined we will never part company. I enjoy reading eBooks and listening to audiobooks, but they can’t compete with the tactile aspects of a real, hardcover book.

I am lucky to have so many purchased volumes populating my bookshelves, but I also exercise my library membership. It is not unusual for me to have five, or six on loan at any point. It comforts me to know money is not a barrier, or an excuse, for not reading different genres. The library is a great resource for indulging without a huge financial commitment. In fact, I am more likely to purchase a book I have borrowed from the library so it can find a home on my shelves. My personal copies are the ones I recommend and lend to friends and family.

My biggest change for the lockdown was when they closed my library. Thankfully, I had just picked up six books, but in extending the due dates, they deleted the books I had placed on hold. Last week, they opened a new bin for returns, and next week, they plan to loan books again. I can’t wait to meet my new best friends.

Do you supplement your purchased books with library books?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – July 3

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 185 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday?  We get knocked down sometimes. Current events have done an excellent job of destroying normal. There is a silver lining. These times have granted us an opportunity to reexamine life, priorities, and what happiness really means.  I am determined, and I refuse to stay stuck in a mess. Today, I stand up, regroup, reset my intentions, and recommit to attaining my dreams.

An ongoing topic of exploration is Cal Newport’s concept of deep work, “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.” Newport advocates approaching and completing challenging tasks by eliminating distractions, committing to block scheduling, and adhering to your intentions.

What are your intentions? Unlike goals that concentrate on achievement, intentions emphasize awareness. They are essential elements necessary to effect lasting change and establishing meaningful habits. Acting intentionally probes the root of your “why.” Examples of an intention may include creating space for writing and creativity. Do you hope to bring light to others, develop your skills, or gain strength? Perhaps your aim is to commit yourself to hard work and following through, regardless of the outcome. Does your purpose require you to face your fear and resolve to move forward, anyway?

Will identifying your intentions and reviewing them daily help you find your voice? Does it compel you to open your laptop or a notebook, grab a pen, and record the words and stories that are begging to be told?

Try it and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Baby Kaizen Steps Move You Toward Your Goals – Daily Quote

life-is-a-series-of-baby-steps-along-the-way-and-if-you-add-up-these-tiny-little-steps-you-take-toward-your-goal-whatever-it-is-whether-its-giving-up-something-a-terrible-addiction-or-tr

In business, there is a proven technique for attaining long-term improvements. Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy that focuses on continual improvement. We can apply the method to every aspect of life. It relies on minor modifications that snowball and, over time, culminated in growth, advancement, and progress. There are six steps: Standardize, Measure, Compare, Innovate, Standardize, Repeat.

Standardize: What are you doing today? You have a process, even if you don’t realize it. Study what you are doing and commit it to paper.

Measure: Objective examination of your current workflow helps you determine where you are efficient or inefficient.

Compare: Inspect your results and plot them against your goals to see if your present operation is moving you in the direction you wish to go.

Innovate: Search for a better way to execute your plan. Your innovation may be big or small. Studies show that modest incremental changes get superior payback because they are easier for you to achieve and faster for your team to integrate.

Standardize: Implement your innovative ideas and make them part of your daily practice.

Repeat: Once your modernized workflow is a habit, you start the procedure again. Until your baby steps lead you to your target.

How are you progressing toward your goal?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The 2020 Daily Writing Challenge – July 2

2020 Daily Writing Challenge

Writing is like driving at night in the fog.
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
– E. L. Doctorow

Today is Day 184 of the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge.

Did you write yesterday?  We get knocked down sometimes. Current events have done an excellent job of destroying normal. There is a silver lining. These times have granted us an opportunity to reexamine life, priorities, and what happiness really means.  I am determined, and I refuse to stay stuck in a mess. Today, I stand up, regroup, reset my intentions, and recommit to attaining my dreams.

An ongoing topic of exploration is Cal Newport’s concept of deep work, “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.” Newport advocates approaching and completing challenging tasks by eliminating distractions, committing to block scheduling, and adhering to your intentions.

What are your intentions? Unlike goals that concentrate on achievement, intentions emphasize awareness. They are essential elements necessary to effect lasting change and establishing meaningful habits. Acting intentionally probes the root of your “why.” Examples of an intention may include creating space for writing and creativity. Do you hope to bring light to others, develop your skills, or gain strength? Perhaps your aim is to commit yourself to hard work and following through, regardless of the outcome. Does your purpose require you to face your fear and resolve to move forward, anyway?

Will identifying your intentions and reviewing them daily help you find your voice? Does it compel you to open your laptop or a notebook, grab a pen, and record the words and stories that are begging to be told?

Try it and let us know how you did in the comments below.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer