At the beginning of every month, as part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, I take a look at my successes (not just in writing), share the ways I hope to improve in the next month, answer the IWSG question of the month, and provide inspiration (if I have any).

September Goals –
– Plan travel for October, November, and December.

✗ Talk to dent guy about getting my car fixed.
– Get back into blogging.
✓ Contact Chase about a double charge.

Additional Successes –
Facebook follower count went up!

✓ Made appointment to get a safety recall on my car fixed.

✓ Adjusted plans last minute due to Hurricane Irma.
✓ Did not lose any food during the 24 hours we were without power!! (Thanks to quick thinking on my husband's part!)
✓ Worked extra hours and, thus, made more money when I really wanted to stay at home and sleep.
✓ Planned our trip around the panhandle as we were driving it…
✓ Contacted Schwab about a fee.
✓ Car maintenance: Oil changed, car waxed, car cleaned, leather conditioned.
✓ Found cheaper prices for car rentals coming up in October!

October Goals –
• Finish planning for Boston road trip (October)
• Work on travel plans for NYC in November
• Plan for New Orleans road trip
• Decide and work on travel plans for Christmas trip (London?)
• Talk to dent guy about getting my car fixed
• Get safety recall problem fixed.
• Apply for Hilton credit card.

IWSG Question: Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

This question doesn't really apply to me since I don't write fiction. In elementary school, I definitely did. How else do you write except from personal experience? I mean, even if you are writing fiction and the character is completely different from you, you still need some background knowledge about what they like to do, how people will respond to them, what their job is, etc… I really don't see how you can write without using personal information and experience?

The biggest problem I have is writing in a way that others can relate to. I tend to incorporate too much personal experience or information into my writing. I believe you definitely have to keep a balance between using too much personal information and too little.

Your Turn

What is your opinion on incorporating personal information into writing (whether we are talking about an email to your boss, an article for a newspaper or blog, or a novel meant to be published)? Do you think it's possible to write without including a bit of yourself into a piece? And if it is possible, do you think doing that is wise? I'd love to hear others' opinions on this!

I'd also love any suggestions you all can give me for New Orleans, NYC, and London travel. Any must-dos you can think of? I've been to NYC many, many times by now, but I never run out of things to do there. As for New Orleans and London, I've never been, so any suggestions you can share are helpful! … Do you have any travel plans coming up before the end of the year?

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