Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Write or Write?

Writing is the art of sitting on your ass and waiting for something to jiggle that gray mush inside your head.

Writing is the art of sitting on your ass and waiting for something to jiggle that gray mush inside your head.

Writing is the art of sitting on your ass and waiting for something to jiggle that gray mush inside your head.

Sounds redundant don't it?

In my case, writing is sitting on my ass and trying to come up with four coherent continuations of four distinct plot lines for four distinct stories.

To whit:

Story #1: I decided to write a story for a friend as a birthday present, much like I wrote one for another friend back in late May, called 1964. So I did the basic grunt work for it a couple of weeks ago, got the 411 and sat down the other day to write it. The problem I'm having right now is that I'm trying to make it clean as possible, but with the locale I'm using (the beach), is making it a little difficult to do. So far, I have two seabirds involved in the story and I just introduced my friend into the story. Just trashed all three pages written, so I'm back to square one on this. Update (7/7), I just finished this story over the holiday weekend. Once I get approval from my friend, I'll be posting it in four days for public consumption.

Story #2: I was in one of my moods about a month ago and went off on a writing splurge by starting four different short stories. I managed to finish three of those, plus one that I started back in December '08. I'm now stuck on the last one. The basic premise is that the main character suffers a cerebral hemorrhage.

Story #3: This is the story that I'm working on called "A Lascivious Limbo". Right now, I managed to create 30 pages of new stuff so far, out of 9 pages. Still working with the basic plot of the lead character stuck in Limbo and retelling the last few days of her life. Update: have cranked out another seven pages over the holiday weekend.

Story #4: This is a new one that I started handwriting also about a month ago. The working title is "Blackness in the White Sand". Basic plot is that the lead character was changed into a vampire and has 72 hours in which to find the person that did it and reverse the effects. Update, hand wrote another page and transcribed the previous 12 to the computer, which converted down to six pages. Pretty bad ratio of 2:1 (2 handwritten equals one page computer).

Also sprinkled in between these four sensible projects, are a few story ideas that have been percolating for the better part of two weeks, which were inspired by the following: tiger lilies, the song "Los Angelinos", and a shirt with a picture of a man BBQing that says "World's Greatest Dad" *(much needed shorts for the other blog. fortunately, what I got in the wings should last me until December). Please, use your imagination on where you think I might go with these. And yes, I am partially inspired by some of the readers of this here blog, on what direction I might go in. * Wrote three paragraphs so far.

Can't forget the trials and tribulations of the new book that's coming out in the fall as well.

And....can't forget the content that I create for this here blog. So boys and girls, simply put, I have both hands firmly implanted into one big fat, juicy apple pie (much like what's his name in American Pie who beats his....umm...thing with a fresh pie from the oven), which of course is a never ending source of amusement for myself and the people around me.

The purpose of this post, in spite of the tag that says Personal Opinion, is to simply give my friends here a basic update on where I am with my writing.

For as you know, the easiest way to blow a writer's mind is to ask him/her one simple question:

Write, or write?
One more question (to quote Columbo): Do you find it harder to write something original for yourself, for future public consumption? Or, do you find it harder to write something specifically for somebody?


  1. Interesting question but I have never written anything specifically for one person in particular.

  2. Good luck with all that, G! Lots of writing ahead.

    I may not be interpreting this correctly, but I find it much more difficult to write something for someone else, ie. school papers, newsletter articles. I also do well with them, but they do not flow. (If you mean the scenario such as yourself writing a birthday story - I would not have thought of doing that!)

    Yesterday my boss and I had a discussion about my dislike of billing - I told her my head just never really wants to go there, but that I could write a little story about it easily. :)

  3. I feel like having a breakdown just from reading your post. I tend to be pretty ruthless with my ideas. I might jot them down for later use, although that almost never happens, but I tend to kick everything out of my mind except the one manuscript I'm working on at the moment. I wish I could juggle multiple stories.

  4. Definitely easier to write for others. I need to feel the love for my readers, and go from there. I'm not good at doing things for myself, LOL.

  5. David: Thanks for the comment. I normally don't write things specifically for people (I think I would make a terrible freelance writer), but I wanted to do something special for a friend.

    Lynn: No, no misinterpretation. Whichever scenario works for you in answering is fine.

    Charles: I'm a bit weird as you probably figured out over the past several months. I really need to be kept occupied/busy, no matter what it is I happen to be doing, with multiple projects.

    For me, it's been pretty easy to switch back and forth between stories. Usually, I give myself about ten to fifteen minutes to refamilarize myself with whatever story I happen to be writing, before settling down to add something to it.

    Natasha: Good to see you back amongst everyone in the blog world. I think in a way, we all can write for others (like blogging). My main problem would be writing something on demand for someone, like a freelancer.

  6. I write for myself. I think I'm afraid of trying to write for a defined audience as I begin this writing journey. I'm glad that your wheels are turning and that ideas are brewing. I hate when I go seriously blank as I stare at the blank page in front of me. As long as there are ideas, you know that you'll get something down on the page. Then tweak, tweak away...

  7. It takes a while to get used to writing for defined audience. Doing this blog was a perfect way to get my feet wet without getting frustrated.

    As for the ideas, I've seemed to hit a rather long fertile stretch of creativity right now, so I'm gonna ride for as long as I can.

  8. You've got a lot of writing going on here. It's a good place to be, but for myself, I can generally focus on one project at a time. I'll keep lots of notes or journals going with other ideas, but for actual writing, I need the focus. And definitely find it easier to write something original for myself, with my own intentions and expectations the ones to meet.

  9. Makes sense. Everyone is different in how they pursue their writing projects.

    I agree with it being easier to write material for yourself. The harshest critic is always yourself. I've learned to be hard on myself when it comes to writing now. If it can pass muster with me, then I feel comfortable enough to share it with everyone else.

  10. I can only pull off writing something specifically for someone occasionally. Not sure why.

  11. I think the truest mettle of a writer is if you can pull off writing something for someone else (i.e. magazine, e-zine).

    This upcoming story is actually the second time I've wrote one specifically for someone.

    Great way to induce stress in one's self.

  12. Writing what is festering in my mind is always fun. Writing something because it has to be done is fun, too, but in a more challenging way.

    It's great to have a few projects on the go, but when I get too many balls up in the air at one time, I fear I might lose one. I've gotten good about writing ideas down (solidly enough that I can revisit them and remember what the prompt is) and focusing on no more than 2 projects at a time. Of course, poetry will pop in from time to time and will not be ignored - lol!

    I love how varied and unique and personal each person's creative journey is.

  13. Interesting take.

    I look at this way, so long as I got something perculating in the background, no matter how strange of a topic it may be, I'm a happy camper.

    As strange as it may sound, even though I have a bunch of things floating around in my head, I still have them set in chronological order on what one to work on first.

  14. I like writing for myself and for others. When I started writing it was for myself (and principally it still is) but now that I write for others too it gives me a good deal of satisfaction especially if I've done it well and it is appreciated. As I have learnt more about my blogging friends occasionally I write posts with them specifically in mind which is great fun. I just like being able to create something, (especially when it doesn't require cooking.)

  15. I can understand that.

    There has been a few times where I wrote a customized post for a blogger friend, in response to something that happened to them on their blog, through no fault of their own.

    It was really tough writing that story for my friend, simply because I had to change my writing style to fit the personal ethics of my friends. Not sure if I would do it again, but one never says never.


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

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