Thursday, June 11, 2009

What's Wrong With Me?

I haven't done much in the way of writing for the past week. Ever since my computer died and I had to take it to PC Farms to get it fixed, not one word has made it to the various floppies I store my writings on. I have about two hundred words or so written out for piece of flash, added another two or three hundred to a new chapbook, even came up with two more titles for other flash, but other than that, nada.

It's strange, but I don't feel comfortable using the household computer to write my stories on. Whereas I don't mind using it to keep up to date with the blogs and maintain my blogs, I screech to a halt when it comes to working on my stories.

There are a myriad of reasons/explanations I can come up with as to why:

1) Most of my flash is stored on a different software program that the household computer doesn't run on, so I'm severely stressing out over not being able to access it.

2) What I'm currently writing now, I feel more comfortable writing privately, instead of writing it with a lot of people around (i.e. my children).

3) One of the stories I'm working on (a re-write) is easier to do when I'm sitting in front of my computer and studying what I currently wrote and what I previously wrote, so as to get a better idea on where I need to go with the story (dual plotted). Trying to do the same thing on the household computer, with a lot of people milling around and other interruptions, is an exercise in futility.

So let me ask everyone this question: Can you write anywhere at anytime, or do you have such a set routine for your writing that any deviation from it, no matter how small or (in this case) necessary, throws you for a major loop?
Update on 'puter (6/12): Well gang, I found out today that the computer store has shipped my notebook to the manufacturer, Asus, to see if they can figure out what's wrong with it. This is so not a good sign. I can fake out my quarterly taxes next month by overpaying, but I only got enough short stories printed out until the first week of July. No 'puter, no story blog.


  1. I can pretty much write anywhere at anytime, but I am not writing fiction either.

    When I was a returning student at Georgia State University a few years ago, I found myself writing papers and such in computer labs in the middle of a sea of other students. Lots of conversation buzzing, etc. So I got acclimated to doing that then.

    But trying to write fiction with family all around you would be tough - so it is understandable that you wouldn't want to do that.

  2. I can write just about anywhere, but the one thing that DOES throw me for a loop is knowing that someone is reading over my shoulder (or knowing that someone MIGHT be reading over my shoulder). I HATE it when people read something before I've finished writing it. So if my computer was in an area with a lot of people nearby, I could see having a problem with it.

    But other than that, I seem to have inherited my dad's ability to tune out distractions and immerse myself in whatever I'm doing. Which is usually a good thing -- except for those times when someone is trying to get my attention and I don't even notice... :)

  3. Here's the problem: Sounds like you have a PC and not a Mac. Mac's solve everything!

    hee hee

  4. I tend to write best these days on a computer. I don't do much handwritten work, unless I'm trapped in a meeting, but I'm able to work on any of the three primary computers I use, my office one, my home office one, and my/Lana's laptop, which I sometimes take out on the deck. Place doesn't matter much to me.

  5. I generally need quiet to write. Commotion, noise, are all a distraction, so I wouldn't be able to write much in a central room in the house. My routine can vary, but the quiet can't.

  6. We become such creatures of routine that when the routine is disturbed the whole creative process gets knocked off centre.

    There have been times when I've scribbled on the back of an envelope or a scrap of paper when the idea has to be recorded before it's sucked into the oblivion of my brain. Sometimes the urge is to great to ignore - even in line in the grocery store - lol!

    I like to write on my laptop. I use the PC sporadically. However, my laptop is about to replaced and I'm thinking it will be a while before a new one feels like an extension of me. I used to write longhand a lot and enjoyed it, but nerve damage prevents me from doing any extensive handwriting now.

  7. G, I've started carrying a Mini-Dell with me and have learned to block people out when I'm writing. It comes in handy when you're waiting for the wife or a doctor's appointment.

  8. Hoo boy, this is gonna be a long response folks, so please bear with me. I want to give each commenter my full attention.

    Lynn: When I was working on my first novel, I was attuned to what I was doing that I was able write pretty much anywhere, no matter what the distraction.

    Three years later, I have such major problems tuning out those kinds of distractions that I frequently have to wait until I'm home alone on the weekends or write late at night in the bedrooms while the rest of the family is watching televsion.

    Odd thing though, I found I can write blog posts in crowded places where I'm surrounded by strangers.

    Lisa: I'm so paranoid about people reading what I write before it's done, that if I see/hear someone come into a room where I'm at, I immediately shut the cover until they leave.

    In addition to not feeling comfortable using the household computer (which is located in the basement), I wasn't comfortable either when I brought my 'puter down from the bedroom and used it either in the dining room or the kitchen. Too much traffic and it made it hard to concentrate and I disliked answering questions on what I was writing (still do, but now I basically answer in general terms).

    That one girl: Mac? :-]

    Charles: I do a lot of handwritten stuff because one, its a welcome break from the 'puter, and two, if I want to go somewhere, I just grab my notebook and go. I have a few choice places I like to go to when I write: the mountain, the school playground and the park in the center of town.

    I used to do a lot at work (the first six or seven shorts you saw on my other blog were basically written at work), but when I started moving my writing in a more adult direction, I felt that writing it at work could present a few minor headaches that I simply don't have the time to deal with.

    Joanne: Same here. If I can find quiet, even it's only ten feet from the house, I'm pretty much set.

    I have a swinging bench in the front yard near the porch and a couch on the back deck, which are perfect for me to use for writing. They're quiet, relaxing and the only noise I get is from my neighbors doing whatever in the neighborhood.

    Talon: I'm a bit similar to you in regards to hand problems. I don't have nerve damage, but I do have a form of MD that has created a bit of havoc in my life as it decided to settle in my hands. Thus, it is necessary for me to take frequent breaks from the computer (and vice versa) to cure the hand fatigue.

    I do think about whatever it is I'm writing at the given moment, so when the time comes, I can approach it better from a different angle.

    David: That sounds like a good idea, but since I'm usually on a different wavelength than the rest of the world, I don't think it would work for me very well. I still do a lot of walking, and I found that I can get a lot more done with a notebook.

    But one never says never when it comes to new things.
    I did succeede in getting a little writing done. Because I was so ticked with myself for not writing my shorts in Word (and I got some good stuff that I think would really hit home) and with work related stupidity being inflicted on me, I decided to take an extra long lunch (used some personal leave time) and was to crank out about one handwritten page to a short story.

    First time in a week that I was able to write something new.

    You might like this one. Inspiration is from the song "Bullet for Butterflies" by the Smashing Pumpkins, and it features vampires and people as food.


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

The Legal Disclaimer

All the content that you see here, except for the posting of links that refer to other off-blog stories, is (c) 2008-17 by G.B. Miller. Nothing in whole or in part may be used without the express written permission of myself. If you wish to use any part of what you see here, please contact me at