How Mike Got His Groove Back

I know you’re shocked – another blog post within only two weeks! But that’s because I seem to back in the groove with my writing. Right about the time of my last blog post, I was starting to slowly pull myself out of a writing funk. As any part-time writer will tell you (or at least this one), finding time to write when you have a full-time career and a family can be a challenge. My problem was I couldn’t bring myself to actually write when I did have time  and if I did, I barely squeezed out a few hundred words. Each word felt like a heavy rock added to the pile (All I can think of now is the line from The Crucible when they are punishing Giles Corey by stacking rocks on him and he keeps saying “More weight!”).

But things have changed and I’m on the upswing. In fact, according to the WordCounter app I bought for my Mac, I have written more in the last ten days than I had since the start of the year. I’m actually optimistic that I might finish the initial draft in the next few months. I have lots of activities coming up in the next few months so time to write on the weekends will be scarce. But I’m actually looking forward to the times where I can really get huge blocks of writing done.

Other than writing, I’ve been spending more time listening to a new (to me) podcast called Write Now with Sarah Werner | For Writers, On Writing. I’m a little late to the game because this podcast has been running for over two years now. Sarah’s podcast is about helping writers find a healthy work/life balance that will keep them writing. If you want to write and need a little push, I highly recommend it. I really enjoyed several of the more recent podcasts to which I’ve listened, particularly the one titled “Does Listening to Music Help Your Writing?” (btw, the answer for me is YES!!).

And one more thing I’d like to plug is the blog of my friend (and illustrator of my book’s cover) Emilee Smith called  The Perpetual Creator. Emilee is very much a perpetual creator;whether it be music, food, crafts, or art, she always seems to have some project in the works. For the five people who actually read this, I encourage you to stop over and check out her blog.

I hope to come back to the blog more frequently to update you on the progress. I’m excited again and that bodes well for the book.

Happy Journeys,


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Hi Diddly Dee, the Writer’s Life For Me…

“So I’ve decided, I’m going to become a world renowned writer.
I shall write great books and earn barrels of money and I will give you all
everything you’ve ever dreamed of!”
Jo – from the musical Little Women

I’ve been horribly remiss in posting here. I really have no excuse other than I’ve been struggling with writing. I haven’t had as much time as I had hoped to write and when I have, it’s been hard to get words onto the paper. I don’t know why – I’ve really wanted to write but when it was time, I seemed to be earning my title of “Reluctant Author”. The words that came out, came out slowly and haltingly.

I also just finished playing in the orchestra for a production of the musical Little Women. Every night, I heard Jo give the above line. And every night, I heard that line and couldn’t help but laugh. It also reminded me of the scene at the end of Down With Love where Renee Zellweger launches in to her monologue about how she would make Catcher Block fall in love with her by writing a New York Times best seller.

It just sounds so easy – “I’m going to write a best selling book!” And while I had no illusions that I would write a best seller, The Reluctant Captain came out of a single batch of condensed writing – about three months from start to completion of the initial draft. I think I had the beginner’s attitude that it looks easy and you just have to do it. I’ve experienced this in other areas of my life where I tried to do something new. I thought I knew what I was doing and I just did it. Later, I realized just how little I knew and when I tried to do it again, I found myself second guessing myself and somewhat paralyzed by knowing what I didn’t know.

Maybe that’s been my problem; maybe I don’t like where the story is going; or maybe I’m just being lazy. I think I’m working through my reluctance. In the new book, I have more work changing scenes and getting characters to and fro and I’m finding it taxing. I think I’m getting past this and that I’ll be able to drive to the end. Then of course, editing starts!

But despite how miserable it feels to stare at the screen and barely get a couple of hundred words out, I don’t think I’d change it. Pamela Slim, a respected business writer, once told me that writing a book is hard; having written a book is great (I hope I got that right Pam). I have to agree with her – the work can take you back to your high school or college days where you had a paper or essay due and all you had was an empty page and no idea where to begin. Some days it’s magical and the words can’t get on the page fast enough; other days feel like sheer drudgery. I shouldn’t complain because it’s not like I’m doing back breaking work, but it is tiring.

So here’s to powering through to the end and following Jo’s lead to become a world renowned author!

Happy Journeys!


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