June 6, 2004 spout writing

MikeDub On Solving An Instance of Writer’s Block

It has been my pleasure to spend the last 2+ years writing with Mike Wienhardt. I remember fondly his first piece. When I give feedback, I work very hard to let the author know just exactly what I think so that they can bring their work to its highest possible potential. When Mike sent me his first draft, I was as careful as I could be to point out the parts that I liked to let him know that he had real potential, but basically, I ripped it apart. I have literally caused authors to tear up reading my feedback in the past, but I give Mike credit — he turned his piece around and came right back for more. We did this 5 or 6 times, but by the end, his first piece was better than most of the experienced authors filling magazines and web sites. It has been a real pleasure watching him grow into his writing talent and it made me very happy when he accepted the major writing duties on the 2nd edition of Windows Forms Programming in C# and when he took over my Wonders of Windows Forms column.

In his most recent blog post, it was very interesting to read about Mike working his way through the worst part of writing: writer’s block. Nearly all authors get this occasionally and it’s a real killer (and a pox on those authors that don’t suffer from it). It makes me proud to see him so concerned about his writing that he’s willing to share these kinds of experiences with the world. I wish more engineers took that kind of pride in their work. You’re setting an example for us all, Mike.