Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Hi, All,


I hope you will have the opportunity to spend the day with close friends and family doing what we all like to do best .... is it writing? Not today.... IT'S PIGGING OUT!

Now, as you know I watch myself like a HAWK. But one could still enjoy all the festivities of a BBQ without piling on the weight. Stick to grilled meats, salads, and lots of fruits and veggies. If you can manage to stay away from high calorie drinks, chips, popcorn, pretzels, and all sorts of breads and buns, you should make it though fine.

As you know I have been in Florida for all of this year so far. I FINALLY finished the design project I have been working on and it is AMAZING. I will definitely share pics with you as soon as I get the before pics from my source. They are taking FOREVER. I am leaving for home (CHICAGO) on Thursday. Two days driving in above average temps WILL not be a good time, but thankfully my car has air and so do the hotels.

For today's post for Insecure Writer's Support Group, I would like to use my design job as an example. With our writing we tend to put a time frame on it. "Oh, I can write the first draft in 30 days!" So you diligently write for hundreds of hours, stressing yourself out trying to make this INSANE deadline, which, of course, is self inflicted .... WHY? Why do we do this to ourselves?

I did the same thing for my design project. AND it cost me BIG! I priced it wrong and it took TWICE as long for the project to be completed. Unexpected obstacles plagued me especially in the end. So you see, this can happen in writing too!

WE get caught up in the plot, there may be several holes, which of course need to be addressed. Our characters are flat and unappealing. Again, another pit fall. Our dialogue is less than desirable. Do you see where I am going with this?

We need to take a breath, step back, and focus. All this rushing about for NaNo this, and all the other INSANE events are sometimes just not right for an author. Yes, it is a great challenge and if you make it though BRAVO! But many don't and end up beating themselves up because of it. This is not healthy and will breed much anxiety and stress to the writer.

So for this month's advice I say, plan ahead, pace yourself wisely, and you will finish that first draft when it presents itself to you.

I wish all of you a very happy and safe fourth of July... Please say a prayer for our military men and woman, because they deserve to be remembered on Americas birthday.


  1. Thanks Michael for yet another encouraging IWSG post. I agree that pacing ourselves and a having a realistic attitude about writing is most important. At the moment I am experimenting with letting go of my tightly held beliefs as a writer. Hopefully something good will present itself. Happy 4th of July. Cheers!

  2. A very thoughtful, encouraging post. Yes, I know what you mean about the NaNos, but I find November very helpful getting a story written. It's better to plan first though.

    In case you missed it, I am in Fiji now, house sitting for Nas Dean while she's in the States. I've been writing up a storm here in paradise. 6 weeks of it! Man! If this keeps up I should get at least one of my NaNo books finished editing.

    All the best Michael. I hope you arrive back in Chicago all fired up again. Any more design projects in the wings?


  3. Glad you're finally going home tomorrow!!
    I participated in BuNo and missed it by 5000 words - but I was all right with that. The purpose wasn't 50,000 words, it was to get moving on my next book. It worked and now I'm over halfway done.
    And in between I breathed by jamming on my guitar.

  4. Happy 4th, Michael.

    Setting a realistic deadline is hard. Setting deadlines helps me finish a manuscript, but it's taken a while to get it come up with a manageable system that didn't leave me feeling discouraged.

    I go by my average daily word count, divide by the length I want the novel to be, and give myself a 12,000 word cushion to shield from potential disasters. I also only count on weekdays. Weekends are for relaxing, not stressing about making up a word count.

  5. "Why do we do this to ourselves?" <-----Soooo true!

    But HUGE congrats on finishing your project... way to push yourself and get it done. :D

    And I'm one of those Gluten-free girls, so I testify to staying away from bread! LOL.

    And yes, lots of thoughts for our military men and women...

  6. As always, an inspirational, pertinent post. Yes, how long a novel takes is how long it takes to do it well.

    Striving to write something every day is sane. Striving to write WAR AND PEACE in a month is insanity!

    Your design job reflects planning and thought ... and writing a novel is much the same thing. You learned from this major design project as we all learn from our first novel.

    Have a happy, fun, and safe 4th and the same for your 2 day drive home! Roland

  7. So very true. Forcing it often leads to frustration and creative blocks. Great advice. I hope you had a wonderful 4th! Congrats on finishing your project. I can hardly wait to see the pictures.

  8. I've never understood the appeal of NaNoWriMo. Most people I know end up with a plot full of holes and thousands of words that will have to be deleted. I'm a tortoise who revises as I go. It took me 5 months to finish my last ms, it took me 5 months to revise, and I'm still looking at another 2 months to polish the ms, synopsis and query. I hope slow and steady wins the race! :-)

  9. Enjoyed your post--good advice. Glad you had a nice 4th. :)

    I've been busy rebuilding my blog. It was the only way to make the Follower gadget work again.

  10. I can't wait to see your masterful creation in Florida. Looking forward to pictures.

  11. Michael your description of all that tasty food is making me hungry. I hope you got some joy from doing the design job. I hear what you are saying. i find that if I set a target for a project it always, without fail turns out differently, if I pace myself and say I will see how i get on, I usually surpass myself. I have started taking my time with my writing and enjoying background reading/ research and I feel it is paying off.
    Oh and my 1st eBook to be launched on 1st Aug is about a military couple.Hope you had a great 4th July.

  12. You know Michael, I really wish I read this post earlier-LOL! I just took that step back :)

  13. I absolutely love Florida. Though it gets super humid in July!!

  14. I MISS YOU! I STILL OWE YOU CHEESE! SORRY I'M SHOUTING AT YOU! Okay, this is better. I'm calm. This is a great post! (That I'm seeing 20 days late...) Yay for your design project being done and for returning home, although I'm sure you'll miss FL! I signed up after you on the Write Club idea what that is, but I'm excited to find out! Have you been doing any writing or have you been working out and designing like mad? Let's catch up! Christy