I used to write endlessly. Dozens of short stories and one finished novel manuscript. Had a few stories published, won an award for one of them, and have 2/3 of a thriller done. But it's been 2/3 done for 8 years now. I pulled it out recently and it holds up very well, but the damned corner I wrote myself into is very difficult to climb. That's why I NEED to have the ending in mind. The finished manuscript was actually written sort of backwards. I write the last chapter entirely and then worked up to it. That seems to be the only way I can get one done.
I tried that once. I wrote this rather decent and fairly riveting finale shootout then went back to the beginning to write the story. By the time i got to the finale, half the characters involved in the shoot out id already killed off!! Oops. Original finale went in the bin!
I started really getting into collecting soundtracks when I started writing--probably around 12 or 13. I was a big fan of Michael Crichton and Peter Benchley when I first started. I think I read the original JAWS in about 12 hours and JURASSIC PARK in about 14 hours. I have countless score playlists that I've compiled over the years for generating certain moods when I'm writing.
I also studied writing at University. I'm currently working on a Masters in Technical Writing but my passion is fiction. I have several novels and screenplays that need editing and revising but are basically done. I was really into short stories during my college years--had a couple published and was nominated to be entered in a Best of the Net Anthology but I didn't get in. I've since moved back to longer form as I feel more comfortable having space to stretch out my plot. I like the challenge and craft of shorts but I have to be really quick when I write them or they tend to just keep getting longer and longer.
I know a lot of writers who have managed to make a living by basically writing memoirs and then hosting writing "workshops" for wannabes who are just looking for a more artistic form of therapy. The few workshops I've been to inevitably feature that one cringe-inducing, thinly-veiled "cry for help" story that feels so on the nose that you're too embarrassed to offer any meaningful criticism about it. And don't get me started on the whole derivative "teen-genre-fiction" trend. Just give me a crazy, weird, and well written story! I don't need to know about your mom's heroin addiction or how being a vampire made you realize you're actually gay. /rant