Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Want To Have To

Four singular words: a verb, a preposition, another verb, another preposition.

Which can be turned into two distinct phrases.

But do these phrases mean the same thing? What if we put a pronoun, a verb, a demonstrative pronoun and a noun into the mix? Does it still mean the same thing?

 I want to write this story.

From about January 2009 thru April 2010, that particular phrase was the one driving force of my writing. In that fifteen month span, I churned out over 45 short-to-medium length stories (some good, some bad and some in between), a novella and one novel, and I might add, I enjoyed writing each one.

Each and every day I looked forward to turning on my computer (or taking out a blank piece of paper) and letting my overflowing imagination take me to whatever road it decided to travel on for that day. I wanted to write because it seemed like the easiest thing to do with the ideas that were rambling around in my head.

I had gotten into such a nasty groove with my writing that I was able to come back to a serial that I had put aside for about five months and write the final section for it. I was also able to take the remnants of five unfinished short stories and interweave a long story about a day in the life of a writer.

Lastly, that nasty groove allowed me to take one short story that posted on my blog and complete re-write it in the span of about week so as to make it presentable for submission.

Yes, during those fifteen months, I was anything but fallow with my writing.

But by the beginning of the summer of 2010, my desire to write did a subtle about face.

I have to write this story

Even though I decided to start on another story while I was going through the laborious process of editing my recently completed book, I never really got into that nasty groove that helped me write those aforementioned stories. Instead, what took hold was an insidious desire to do anything but write original material.

I worked on editing my book. I even worked on editing a recently completed longer short story that a writer friend critiqued for me. But as for writing original material, there was the problem.

Oh sure, I started off with both barrels a-blazin' and wrote like a madman for this story (which was based on a previous short story that I posted in early 2010). But about three weeks later, I started having problems with writing it. It seemed like the deeper I got into the story, the more of a hassle it became to write it, until finally got to the point where I really had to force myself to work on the story.

When I hit that proverbial breaking point, I found a suitable place to stop work on the story, and then did. I put the thing to the side and for the next couple of months, I concentrated on doing the one thing that I simply loathe in doing: writing a synopsis. So again, the working phrase became, "I have to write this story".

Now honestly, I don't know how long this latest phase will last, but I'm hoping it won't last as long as previous time it hit me. The last time it hit, with the exception of that one short story of mine that was published in 2009, it stretched from the spring of 2007 right through January 2009. During that time frame, I started about four medium-to-long short stories, two novellas and two novels. All of which have been gathering dust as I tried to find a good reason to open those files back up and work on them.

Let me give you a few examples on what I got sitting in my computerized slush pile folder that dates back to that time frame. So if you follow me over to Partially Yours.....

Pretty sad isn't it?

However, there is one example that I would like to share with everyone here on this blog's portion of this post. Why? Well, this particular example is the singular reason as to why you're reading Cedar's Mountain to begin with, or even why there is a Cedar's Mountain at all.

It's Just Business. This story was the trigger that started my two year journey through the desert of non-writing, which was followed by the desert of the chat rooms, which was followed by the bountiful valley of blogging. I know, it's hard to imagine that a story could wield so much power and influence in a person's chosen field of endeavor, but it did.

I started writing this story, originally titled "Cedar Mountain Ecstasy", then "Ecstasy", then "E", before settling on the current title, in the winter of 2006. I came to screeching halt in the spring of 2007, because quite frankly, I wrote myself into a corner with no way out. Because I was drawing and shooting blanks, I decided to take a break and surf the world wide web. I went to my local papers website and went to comment on a story. The end result of that one comment was an introduction to the chat rooms, of which I spent 3 1/4 solid years participating in. I met some great people and some not-so-great people. One of those great people like my writings so much that he suggested I move to the blog world, which I did in May 2008, and I haven't looked back since.

Anyways, that story was my second attempt at writing two separate plots that met up at the end (the first was the original version of Betrayed!). The main plot involved a low level drug dealer who got caught up in the depraved lifestyle of his boss's supremely flaky girlfriend. Other plot elements involved not only the his boss, but another high-level drug dealer who was looking for monies owed to him by the flaky girlfriend. The secondary plot featured the drug dealer's boss making an appearance at a funeral. I have been working on this story on and off since 2007 and it still isn't completely finished yet. I still have to flesh out one key component and then it will be done, I hope. Overall, this story has a great balance of sex, violence, and a great chase scene as a climax.

There really isn't any question to be had with this post, only a very long answer, or rather, simply thinking out loud, in that I'm trying to come up with a rational explanation to myself and to everyone else as to why my writing has a tendency to be cyclical.

For those of you who aren't writers, I apologize for the length of the post and for the fact that it takes up about five pages spread out over two blogs, but it really was something I wanted to talk about and get off my chest. For those of you who are writers, I'm sure you experienced something like this at one time or another in your careers, so you can probably related to the aggravation/stress I'm going through with my writing right now.

I would like to close out this post with a quote that a former supervisor of mine used to say whenever her frustration with dealing with the state would boil over.

"It's never simple!"


  1. You are keeping quite a track record of your writing history which is something I do as well. How do you know where you're going if you don't know where you've been.

  2. David: So very true.

    Whenever I take a look at what I wrote back then and compare it to what I got written now, it's very surprising to see just how far all the aspects of my writing have come.

    I still got a lot of work ahead of me, but I suppose its the pleasure of the journey that will still keep me going, in spite of the potholes that I seem to throw in my way from time to time.

  3. interesting.

    i blog cuz i love to write. and write cuz i love to blog...I know that sounds odd, but both have a place in my writing now...

    i look forward to seein more of what you write about...

    bruce johnson jadip
    stupid stuff i see and hear
    Bruce’s guy book
    the guy book
    Dreamodel Guy

  4. Bruce: I originally started blogging because I needed a place where I could bloviate in peace and not worry about being censored like I was in the chat rooms. Within a year it became a place to not only bloviate about things but to practice my writing skills as well.

  5. I think it is good for you to write out how you feel about your writings and I'm glad your blog is a good outlet for that. It is never simple - true. Hardly anything. :)

  6. The amount of work that you've done and have going is amazing to me.

  7. Lynn: Thanks.

    I do a little soul searching from time to time whenever I hit one of those annoying dry spots with my writing, and often it takes me quite a while before I can get it out of my system.

    Sometimes the only way I can get out of my system is to think out loud on my blog.

    Mama Z: Thanks.

    I sometimes amaze myself with the amount of projects I got going. Sometimes though, having that many projects going all at once creates writing by paralysis.

  8. Yep, totally we've discussed before. But you'll go back to it and get it done.

  9. Hey- is that you trying to unbury yourself from that humoungus snowdrift?

    I'm like that with some projects too- When they're new it's fun to run away with them for days. But then they turn into the have to- n the fun is gone- stifling the motovation- more work than fun. I do this with art projects too- like oil paintings done in stages where it needs to dry to continue.

    Mostly profs asked me why I like making everything so complicated! The more angles to think about- the more interesting!

  10. R: Eventually.

    At the very least, I do have a lot of potential to turn these into a lot of erotic type stories.

    Snaggle: I just barely unburied myself from that humongous snowdrift.

    Sometimes you can so over-analyze something to the point where you can get mentally sick if you even look at it for longer than 10 seconds.

    Which is where I am with a lot of my slush pile.

  11. I'm glad you enjoyed writing every piece. And an overflowing imagination is a wonderful thing. I bet you've always had it!

    Hope all is well with you today.

    Happy writing, and hope if will all be "Want To" writing.


  12. There has to be those natural breaks or I think we'd dry up as writers...and I've always had super busy writing years followed by quiet ones. And when I review all the files of story ideas that didn't pan out, I smile. It's like planting a garden - not every seed is gonna take.

    (Plus, writing a synopsis can suck the creativity out of anyone - lol)

  13. I went through a long chat period hiatus too. Or rather, I wrote a lot but it was all for the chat and much of it never got saved to my computer. I did sell some poems from that period though.

  14. Jannie: Yeah, I've always had that overflowing imagination, ever since I was my daughter's age. It just took me until I hit my 40's do anything concrete with it.

    I'm slowly starting to move over to the "want to" side, but it's gonna be a long painful journey.

    Talon: There are natural breaks and there are unnatural breaks. I consider a year plus to be an unatural break.

    But I do agree with the premise that breaks are needed from time to time to replenish the well, so to speak.

    And yes, writing a synopsis sucks the creativity out like squeezing a rock until it screams.

    Charles: The one positive I did get from the chat rooms was that it forced me to make my point in under 4,000 characters, so for the longest time, I was able to make my point in as few words as possible.

    Not too much of my chat room creations were saved. As a matter of fact, only one of them made it to the blog, and that was during the first year and late last year.


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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