Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Writing Has Given My Brain Such A Pinch That...

This week's installment of Writing Wednesday will be more of an exploration of this particular writer's state of mind than anything else.

I really didn't want to admit that I had a problem, because admitting that I had a problem meant that somehow I didn't want to do it anymore, that it became too hard, too tough and too aggravating to do. The "it" that I'm referring to is my writing, while the "problem" is my lack of motivation. Not just the creative aspect of it, in which a story slowly comes to life on paper, but the business part of it as well.

I mean, for the past week and the for the past couple of weekends, I plan out what I want to do for writing:

1} Continue working on my short story trilogy.
2} Searching for publishers (mostly) for my book.

Simple, yes?

Execution has been seriously and unequivocally flawed.

Try as might, I can't quite seem to wrap myself around the short story trilogy I'm writing. I mean, I've gotten better in hammering out the details to whatever plot I happen to apply to a given story, and the main one that I threw in (a contract on the M.C.) is very doable. Shoot, this trilogy is starting to percolate into something a little bit longer, because I even though I threw in a small swerve, that swerve will serve as a fantastic starting point for a possible novella-to-novel length book.

"That's great news!", you're probably saying to yourself.

Well, it would be great news if I was churning out a ton o' words for it. I mean, it's bubbling beneath the surface so bad that it's threatening to become my next great writing obsession (Line 21 was my first). Problem is that I'm slowly finding myself unable to pull the trigger. I mean, I pick up the story, do even more editing, then spend a minimum thirty-five minutes staring at a blank piece of paper in a ultimately futile attempt at writing.

I know it ain't writer's block or burnout that's preventing me from writing. I believe its something much worse. What that is I haven't been quite able to put my finger on, but whatever it is, its pretty much stopping me dead in my tracks for normal writing.

Now on the other side of the equation, whatever it is that's preventing me from writing is slowly preventing me from submitting as well. I've been able to narrow down one of the symptoms, which was submitting to a publisher this summer that requires an exclusive window for consideration. This is all fine and good, because every publisher has its own policy. However, I think that for the most part, the average publisher doesn't mind simultaneous submissions.

In hindsight, it probably would've been better had I submitted to this particular publisher later in the year, like in the fall when I'm job hunting, so that I don't mind having something on the back burner while I'm busy concentrating on something else.

Because of the policy of exclusiveness, I haven't really bothered trying to tighten my query letter nor synopsis for most of the summer. However, for the past week, I've been forcing myself to do just exactly that, because even though I'm getting better at playing this waiting game, I'm afraid that if I don't start submitting again, then there is a good likelihood that I'll just put this on the back burner and write this up as a learning experience.

And because I really don't want to do that, I'm making a conscious effort to move on. I'm figuring at this point, almost two months later, I've garnered another rejection of my novel. So I'm making the attempt at re-writing my query letter to suit the next few publisher's needs, tightening up my synopsis, and making a concrete decision on a pen name.

I should mention that this current writing snafu is also making itself known in my blogging, because for the life of me, I can't find a proper ending for this post. So because I can't find a proper verbal ending for this post, I'll leave you with this pictorial ending:

Just inside the zoo, located in Columbus, Ohio


  1. don't we all go through phases when there are some pending write-ups, plots, ideas which either get lost somewhere or pile up :)

    i am sure things will be sorted soon...

    i for instance wanted to relax today but then something happened, someone wrote a blog post about an indian community and all the socially active bloggers are frying the whole thing, i did too and well!! the day almost got ruined :(

  2. So...the problem without a name? Brownie points if you get that reference.

  3. G, I SO know what you mean.

    Our writing motivation ebbs and flows. Just be easy on yourself. Plan a writing session and write a bit, and if it does not turn out as you are hoping, give it a little break. Then go back when you're in the mood. It'll happen! You ARE a writer.

    Thanks for that pictorial ending! Perfect.


  4. Chintan: We definitely go through all kinds of peaks and valleys, and some of my more blatant examples have been on this blog in the past few years.

    Writing is a different animal for me. I'm what they call an old-time ADD sufferer, so it's been a constant battle for me to stay focused on a creative project. Blogging for 3 1/2 years and writing for 5 has been the longest time I've continually spent on any kind of project and its something that I want to keep doing no matter what.

    R: Hmmm...gonna have to think about that one. There are so many issues that you and I have discussed privately over the past two years that it will be tough to narrow it down.

    But if I was to narrow it down, it probably has to do with what you and I have touched upon in the past couple of weeks, and what I touched upon on this blog as well.

    Jannie: I try to be easy on myself, but as you well know, I am mine own worse enemy.

    Lately, the only writing I've been able to do with any degree of consistancy is to create posts for the blog.

    And you're more than welcome for the pic.

    It was taken on the last real vacation I took back in 2008.

  5. Should have someone post with the froggie next time.

  6. Bearman: Froggy's been around on this blog for awhile. Used him for a short period as my avatar.

    Froggy might be ahead on the intelligence curve from time to time. Might not be so bad at that.

  7. I've been having some difficulty with blogging lately myself, but part of that is a writing project that is coming to fruition finally.

    Got the book, "Betrayed" by the way. Looks good. Thanks for the kind words in your inscription. I hope you got the money as well.

  8. It will come and then again maybe it won't. Maybe you need a new project?
    I have a number of UFOs that have sat unworked and unloved for almost a year. I got some out the other day, decided that I didn't like the idea, didn't like the medium, didn't want to finish it and cut up one, gessoed over another and decided to scrap the poetry that was not me.
    I like Froggy BTW. :)Bea

  9. Hmm, I can relate. Could it be the time of the year? Seasonal changes?

    I'm lacking in energy to do anything at the moment.

  10. Charles: Blogging has been for the most part, pretty good. When I get a solid topic to write about, the words come out.

    Glad you got the book and like the inscription. Let me know what you think of both items, and yes indeed I got the money. Many thanks for your patronage. :D

    Bea: Long time no hear! Hope you're doing well these days.

    Yeah, I got a few unfinished projects, or UFP's, as well. I'm getting better at completing them though. Only issue is that it's taking me longer to actually make any kind of progress with them.

    Joe: I don't think it's seasonal per say, because I pretty much go through these peaks and valleys throughout the year. I think it's more of personal fallacy than anything else. I have a tendency to be overly harsh/critical on myself and it's taken me an extra long time to accept the fact that I can't be perfect 100% of the time. 30-50% is more than doable.


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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