I have a great deal of admiration Gary Masskin, coming on as today’s Tuesday 12 x 12 author wiling to admit that he’s behind in the challenge (so am I!). I’m hoping that we can help jumpstart his writing and blogging with our support! We’ve all needed help at one time or another, getting from the low road to the high road. Welcome Gary!

My fellow 12x12ers,

I write to you from the low road, where my Draft Mobile has been well and truly bogged since March.  I had started along the high road with the best of intentions, having finished my January, February and March drafts early in the month, with enough time to spare for multiple revisions.  Unfortunately, that’s when I lost a bit of focus.  Took my eyes off the road, if you like.

A series of events, otherwise known as ‘life’, conspired against me. Okay, okay. If I’m completely honest with myself, I may have taken just a teensy peek over the edge and allowed these events to conspire against me. I accidentally veered off the high road and found myself rolling downhill towards the low road.  Gathering speed, as one does on a steep downhill trajectory, I ended up plummeting so fast that I narrowly avoided an undesirable rendezvous with a rather large tree, only just managing to steer towards an invitingly soft-looking bog.

So this is where I find myself… hitching my Draft Mobile up to this most reliable of rescue trucks provided by Julie’s Towing Services
[please pardon the analogy, Julie].  And once I’m winched out of the bog [thanks Julie], I’ll be free to continue along the low road and
will hopefully pick up enough speed to climb back uphill to the high road by the end of the year.

Yours in writing,
Gary Masskin

PS. A certain blog was last seen coming unhitched from the roof rack of my Draft Mobile.  I’m hoping it has managed to survive the fall
sufficiently for me to backtrack a little, scrape it up off the pavement and get it to the nearest shop for some much needed repairs.
Wish me luck.

Categories: 12 x 12 in 2012, Authors, Goals, Guest Blogging, Picture Books, Works in Progress, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , ,



  1. Revisions??? This is where you went off track. First draft. Boom. Done. On to the next idea. That’s the secret.

  2. Gary, that wasn’t a tree you almost hit — that was me, taking up space on the low road at least a month before you crashed in! Don’t worry, you are not alone. I knew early on that I’d be lucky if my 12×12 ended up as a 3×12, and that’s pretty much where I’m at. The trick is to be okay with that, because I did other things, like start a blog and build wonderful relationships with other writers and poets. Just let it take the time it takes — and remember to check in with the 12×12 crowd whenever you need the jumper cables!

  3. I have a quote from author Matt Myklusch taped by my writing space. It says “You only fail if you quit.” (Quote was from Guide to Literary Agents blog back in 2010) So, keep the faith and keep going, we’re all just trying to do the best we can!

  4. Do your first drafts. Revisions can come much later. Now if you have loads and loads of time, revise those little suckers in that same month. Sure. But just get those words in. Shhh. I hear the tow truck coming down the hill. It’s got your number. The number that says you’re going to write some drafts this month and get caught up. You ready?? Trust me. Life got in my way (you don’t want me to go there), but the things I’m sticking to are my monthly drafts. I bet you have some mighty bodacious ideas stored in the file in your head. Gotta pen?

    Good luck, Gary. *waves*

    • Thanks for the encouragement Robyn (and for stopping by my blog). There’s no shortage of ideas thanks to PiBoIdMo 2011 plus a whole bunch more that just keep on coming (and getting noted down). I think the avalanche of ideas might actually be part of my problem in hindsight… perhaps I’ve been procrastinating out of worrying that I’ll never get to all of them.

  5. It’s getting crowded here on the low road….

    • Sorry to hear that Sue, but if you’re keen, there’s plenty of room in the Draft Mobile and I’ve just started a #FirstDraftFriday check-in on Twitter for you, me and any of our fellow 12×12 laggards looking to get back on track.

  6. Good luck on your ascent to higher ground. But don’t worry too much about 12 drafts. You’ll write what you need to write for now. And those revisions count for something! Carry on. 🙂

    • Thanks for the encouragement and vote of confidence. Unfortunately, there has been little output over the last few months in terms of first drafts nor revisions to celebrate. Fortunately, I made a commitment to myself as a writer at the start of the year and I rarely fail to meet my commitments. I’m feeling motivated now and *will* be making the time to sit down and write. Will have to take a leaf out of Nike’s brainwashing and just do it.

  7. Thanks for the laugh. I think having a sense of humour in the writing business is a must! I completely understand what’s it like to veer off. Carry on and try not to let the lack of drafts hold you back.

  8. Gary, a draft is a draft is a draft…
    That’s what I know, but have yet to learn.
    I’ve managed to stay behind only one or two drafts, but if you saw me scrambling (swerving) at the last minute along my writing road, it’s because I was wanting to get an idea perfected before I even begin to get it down that it forces me to rush. I must tell myself “it’s a draft, it’s a draft!”
    Genevieve above was right on. First draft, done, boom. Four wise words.
    Good luck, hope you get on the road again (background music fades in, Willie Nelson appears…).

  9. Whatever you have achieved to this point and by the end of the year is worthy of celebration. And I’m with the “first draft, boom, done” crowd. My first drafts need work, some of them have gone on to receive it, some of them are still waiting their turn, but they all went through the “first draft, boom, done” stage. Rough drafts.

    And writing this blog post has to count for something, surely. Maybe with a little tweaking it could be a first draft about a tow truck…

  10. Good luck, Gary! You can do it!!! Meanwhile, I think you’ve got an idea for a story right here in this post!

  11. Great post, Gary! I loved the whole “veering off track” theme. It’s so easy to get bogged down! Love your honesty & hope Julie’s Towing Service gets you up & going.

  12. Finally managed to wash off the last speck of mud today and give the Draft Mobile a good polish. Thanks for all the kind words of encouragement. For any 12×12 laggards like myself, feel free to jump aboard the Draft Mobile which will now be checking into Twitter every Friday for the newly created #FirstDraftFriday

  13. There’s time to get back on! You can do it! 🙂

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