A Curious Case of Writer’s Block

by Jan Geronimo on June 6, 2009

Dylan is my Twitter Ghost Writer
Image by imjustcreative via Flickr

Hit  a wall today.  Can’t write.  Took me a very long time wrestling with this simple post.   Darn writer’s block.

My blogging buddy Roy who has his own bouts with writer’s block, advised me to just write anything down. I always listen to Roy or to anybody with 13 blogs under his belt.  It’s a nice rule to have.

Plus he makes perfect sense. But this post is not about how to beat this problem.  It’s about what triggered my writer’s block.

Why exactly do I feel I’m in the dumps and unable to write?

Here’s the story.  Yesterday everything  started particularly well.  I was working and still had time to goof off in Twitter. Nice combo huh?  Plus George who’s a master at inspiring writers every day had okayed  my request for him to loan me “Ka-pow!” for another day or two in my tweets.

You see, I’m not cool with “cool” anymore.  So I went scrounging for nice current expressions.  You can’t go wrong if you check out George’s blog or Twitter time line. You will always feel a smart man reading his treasure trove of useful writing tips,  nice turn of phrases, expressions and buzz words.  Any of those can make me feel uber.  But “ka-pow!” appeals to the action star in me.

In a more suitable time, I’d upgrade my plan for world domination by following George’s supermodel savvy.  Maybe when I can pull off wearing a kilt with aplomb as well as George does.  Maybe then. But for now ka-pow! will do.

Superb at the starting blocks

I was at my chirpiest best yesterday.  Goofing off in Twitter.  Teasing my blogging buddies.  Tweeting the funniest, quaintest bio profile in the Twitter time line. You know, stuff like: “I’m formerly known as fungus.” A profile like that never fails to tickle me every time.

But something else caught my eye.  There was a new feed from BloggerDad deliciously titled “Farewell to the F Word.”

Guess what.  I was there in a heartbeat.  Gobbled the post whole, licked my furry paws off and left a comment.  Oh boy, was I super or what.  I was even the first commenter. Yipeee!

Went back to Twitter to have fun.   But something was wrong.  Can’t quite place it though.   And so I went back to David’s funny post at  BloggerDad.


And there was the foulest sin you can ever commit against another blog author:  calling him by another name. I had just rechristened David as Sean.  On top of that, in a failed try to cozy up to David,  I had attributed to him a superb post about the proper use of exclamation point written by Sean Platt/WriterDad.

Three strikes in one day.  All major veins leading to my brain constricted in horror, but I somehow managed to  apologize to David.  Of course, I went back to Twitter and issued a rare marching order to my followers to check out David’s fantastic humor piece.  If you’ve read my tweet, and got puzzled by its imperial tone, this is the story behind it.  It’s just me misusing the power of the Dark Force for my own end.  Don’t complain -  the Dark Force is there to be misused anyway.

Writer’s block or writer’s black mark?

So that’s my little story yesterday that made me sad and grumpy.  Can’t think straight.  Can’t write straight.  Writer’s block.

Let me leave you then with @seddah’s bio profile. Says he -

I am a procrastinator. I will now proceed to do nothing.”

Or maybe the other Twitter bio profile is more apt if I just tweak it to read -

“I’m still known as fungus.”

Well, that’s me all right.

So what was your day like the past 24 hours?  Does this post remind you of your own battle with writer’s block?   Or this calls to mind your own comedy of errors?   Please share.

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  • >:D Come to the Dark Side... *evil grin*

    <abbr>Lucrecio Emerito’s last blog post..A Walk In The Dark—A Poem</abbr>
  • Oh, I was the first commenter! But yeah, I followed your marching order yesterday. Didn't regret it though. That kid was cool 8-)

    Writer's block? That I have everyday. :D

    <abbr>Lucrecio Emerito’s last blog post..A Walk In The Dark—A Poem</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Oo nga, pati si Yatot na-intrigued. Saw his comment in David's post. Hmmp, lesson to learn. Eh ano ba, weeks from now limot na iyon. Unless of course David has a long memory. :)

    Anyway, does my new post show up in your feed now?
  • Did not. I stayed here. And hit refresh. Again and again. Did I sound tired? :p Seriously, Jan, I did not get your feed. It must be on my end though since others don't have a problem at all with your feed.

    <abbr>Lucrecio Emerito’s last blog post..A Walk In The Dark—A Poem</abbr>
  • Hey Fred- er, Jan, ummm, Robert

    That - without a doubt - is one of the most entertaining posts I've read in a long time. You pulled a "Seinfeld", buddy - a post about nothing! Writing about not being able to write, perfect.

    Thanks for the kind words, by the way. Also, I think we must be connecting on some deeper level. Many, many years ago I used to hang out on the CB radio. Care to guess my "handle"?


    How's that treat you, my friend?

    You have made my day, and it just started!


    <abbr>Tumblemoose’s last blog post..7 Things Editors at Children’s Book Publishers Wish Writers Knew</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Thanks, George. It surprised me that a post largely about nothing had somehow passed muster... You were fungus in those CB days? That's funny. You being fungus, me being silly boy. Hey, I have lived up to your moniker, don't I. :)
  • Roy
    talk about bloopers, hehe...

    I don't think it's not writer's block, but your desire to come clean - in a clever way

    cases like that makes perfect sense for the terms buddy, bro, mate, 'tol, 'pre and the like ;)

    in the past 24 hours, aside from a headache is my battle with that evil writer's block. whenever I have that, I write about it to make it go away.

    you know, it's like when you have something in your throat, you have to cough it out. usually it works, although sometimes it don't.

    if nothing else work, I look at the scheduled amortization of my loan and how much more I still need to raise for the next installment. usually, it does the trick :)

    <abbr>Roy’s last blog post..Superman</abbr>
  • Roy
    by the way, thanks for the link!

    and since you said you're listening to me... we're still waiting for your story ;)

    <abbr>Roy’s last blog post..Superman</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Now, there's a real case of writer's block. I get chills from stage fright. Working on it. :(
  • Jan Geronimo
    Uh - oh. Roy, you are wicked. You know me so well. Now, I feel I don't have secrets anymore with you sizing me up from the sidelines... I love the reference to scheduled amortization though. That's one unbeatable formula right there.
  • zorlone
    You know what? You can always write poems. (eviler grin) he he he! Of course, this might not be an appropriate way for you to post in your very cool thesis theme in WP. But, you can always start with a paragraph or two why you are not yourself and decided to write a poem instead.

    After all, I am trying to influence you... you are under my spell... if not, well, I'll keep trying. Toink! It mus be the residual "Matador" in me, that keeps pestering you about my niche. Dude, I know you write beautiful poetry. I can feel it in my bones. I'd ask Roy to second the motion but, right now he must be in a trance and is currently writing a masterpiece.

    So, give it a try. write a poem. You'll love it. Never mind the writer's block. An alternative post will work too.


    <abbr>Zorlone’s last blog post..Sleep</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Poems will look good on this page. I'm just waiting for the right poem to come along... You're a good influence, Doc Z. But there's only a certain amount of influence you can exert on me. I'm hopeless. I'm already blogging under the influence.

    Try spells. Or witchcraft.
  • zorlone
    Ah... let's see. For your blog (which I am not an expert of) poetry may not fit very well, as well as story telling perhaps? Yours is like a handbook. Some newbie blogger would keep with him to survive blogging.

    Maybe the poetry and other creative writing can be included in the back of the handbook.

    You know, we know, cause Luc knows and I know that you write poetry. As melancholy and as exuberant or as magical and as matter-of-fact as they can be, Jan Geronimo can write it.

    Remember Archimedes? "Give me a place to stand and I shall move the earth!"

    Jan's version, "Give me a place to write and I shall make a blogger out of you."


    <abbr>Zorlone’s last blog post..Goodbye</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Nice. Thanks for bringing in the big guns. Now I feel properly ancient, gnarled and bewhiskered already. Of course, I know where you're coming from, Doc Z. Thanks. And for your information? If ever I publish a story or a poem it will not be placed at the back cover, or some dark, musty room in this blog. It will be on the front page.
  • zorlone
    Aha! So, what are you waiting for? Post one already... You said it yourself, it will be seen in the front page. hehehe. Give it a try.

    (This kinda sounds like a trap, doesn't it? Of course if it doesn't work, well, I'll just keep trying 'til it does. )


    <abbr>Zorlone’s last blog post..Creature of the night</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    My poetic voice is still unsteady and unsure, but for starters I'd like to write the most erotic poetry hereabouts. Something that will make you blush, Doc Z, were it possible. Something as erotic as the Songs of Solomon. Okay, that's too much. A shade less erotic than that then. Ahahaha. I will be the resident poet of Victoria Court! :)
  • Hi Jan,

    This does not happen to me, thank God. It's the opposite, I have so many ideas swarming in my mind; I don't know where to start. he he he..mayabang ano, ganun din pala ang ibig niyang sabihin...

    But it's true, I have so many things I would like to write about like:
    Take for example the "what happens.." series:
    1. What happens after people die?
    2. What happens when I take a nap?
    3. What happens when I don't drink water?
    4. What happens inside a psycopath's mind?
    5. What happens when people are insensitive?
    6. What happens when I don't comment on your post?

    etc,.....I know you got the drift, or let me shift to the "Top..." series:

    1. Top 10 songs I love to listen to (My Ten Top Songs)
    2. Top 7 ways to spruce up your blog
    3. Top 3 killer diseases in the country
    4. Top 10 pet peeves of bloggers
    5. Top 5 undesirable traits in a man
    6. Jan's top commenters ( you've already written a post about this)

    etc....or we can go to the "how to" series:

    1. How to lie with aplomb
    2. How to skin a potato
    3. How to deal with ungrateful people
    4. How to put up a theses theme
    5. How to twit effectively
    6. How to comment at Jan's blog (on Jan's post?)

    I know, I know... I'm just trying to play along with your "ka-pow" message.

    These are still many "series" I would like to write about - the "I dislike it when" ...series , "I love it when ..." series , etc.

    You don't have to begin with these simple sentences. I know your highly progressive mind could devise more catchy titles.

    These examples are just an explanation as to why I don't run out of ideas.

    Difficulty in constructing the first sentence usually stymies my first attempt. But once I hurdle that challenge, then it would be smooth sailing, all the way down stream.

    It may not work for you, but it works for me - like a breeze!

    <abbr>Jena Isle’s last blog post..Poets and Poems</abbr>
  • Awesome! Do I need this list! I'm not the mayor in this town but while he's not in yet, I got to reply because I really think it's cool. Thanks, Jen. Now when will I be having my next post...

    <abbr>Lucrecio Emerito’s last blog post..A Walk In The Dark—A Poem</abbr>
  • Yes Luke, I visit your blog twice a day to check. We're eagerly waiting.

    <abbr>Jena Isle’s last blog post.."The Curse of the Winter Mist" - 20th Story for the Inspirational Book</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Take anything you need for your blog, Luke. These are nice series of posts. We don't have an excuse now, do we?

    We can, for example, take a topic from the list and write about it. And provide backlinks to each other. And we will go to your blog and say, "You rock, Luke!" And Doc Z will declare you a genius and recite a poem in your honor - extemporaneously. And Roy being the gentleman poet himself will astound us with his wonderful punchlines!

    And, of course, I'd be there red in the face, outraged at this commotion at ungodly hour. I'd take off my glasses to have a better look at what you've written. And I will say: "Poppycock! What a waste of time! This blog post sucks!" And leave before anybody manhandles me. Ahahaha.

    That is exciting, huh?
  • :D Take it easy, Master Yoda. Yeah, both Roy and Z can make extemporaneous poems. Great poets, they are. But like what Z said, I think you'll also do well in poetry.

    <abbr>Lucrecio Emerito’s last blog post..The Seven Ancient Sciences</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    These are glorious writing prompts, Jena. Superb. I'm very grateful you've invested time and thought into this.

    If it's okay with you, I can post it as "Why I Never Run Out of Ideas" It just needs an introduction, an elaboration of your method, then the list as written in your comment. Of course, you can delete the reference to my name and replace it with something else.
  • It's your blog Jan, do as you please. I apologize for the lengthy comment. I got carried away with your post, and I remembered your pointers on leaving long comments, so it was a product of both.

    I have no objections with your suggestion, go ahead. God bless.

    <abbr>Jena Isle’s last blog post.."The Curse of the Winter Mist" - 20th Story for the Inspirational Book</abbr>
  • I mean objections TO your suggestions.

    <abbr>Jena Isle’s last blog post.."The Curse of the Winter Mist" - 20th Story for the Inspirational Book</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    This is so after the fact, but I promote your comment into a post. :)
  • I think I need to bookmark Jena Isle's comment for the next time I'm stuck for something to write. But now, I'd better kick it into high gear and get to work! Eeek!
  • Don't sweat it, Jan, people confuse Sean and I all the time. It's the name thing - Writer Dad and Blogger Dad. I'm hoping to correct the issue by surgically fusing our two bodies together to become one super/dad/blogger/writer/artist/talk show host.

    Thank you for coming back to correct it and for the tweet.
  • Jan Geronimo
    Thank you, David. :)
  • You just have to realize that creativity is not a button that works when push ON ,and turn it OFF, and then ON again whenever you want to. But I managed to defeat the writer's block syndrome. Always carry a little notebook wherever you go, jot down your ideas , and even paragraphs. I read about a blogger who even records his ideas on tape while driving. So when you're at the dreaded halt sign , you can turn back to your reliable notebook, and can pass through the block. That's what I always do. I remember somebody asking me if I ran out of ideas ; I said "No," confidently. The only thing I haven't controlled yet is my "laziness"---I write down my posts, and then stop in the middle, then come back again after another day, then stop in the middle again, then forget about it. I have about more than 20 unfinished posts in my Control Panel. I get distracted easily , like I' d say, "I'm getting sleepy now, let me take a nap." When I wake up, I forget it about a day or two or more....Hehehe!
    So if you're not lazy like me, my tip does really work.

    <abbr>bingkee’s last blog post..PRETTY PREGGIES WEAR PRETTY CLOTHES</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Oh yes, notebooks. I have them. I have index cards, too. Index cards are great in that you can shuffle them like cards - great for organizing your ideas... And speaking of notebooks - oh boy, I think I can really become an uber writer with a moleskin notebook. Don't you agree? :) But not, I'm afraid, if I write a post or two and then completely forget about them afterward. That's funny, Bingkee. Can only imagine if draft posts can talk - what will they say to you: "You've brought us into this world and you left us to fend us for ourselves!" :)
  • I'm glad I don't experience this right now all because I really don't think too much about what to post and what not to post. I'm not so picky and I'm glad I have a chopseuy blog that anything goes I don't have to drain my brain to stick to my niche.

    Oh btw, re your questions about my contest, it's 50/50 personal choice/strength of nominations. Sali ka ha!

    <abbr>earthlingorgeous’s last blog post..Do You Think Your Blog Is Influential?</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Chopseuy blog? Now, why didn't I notice that at all... Sure, I'd write an entry so I can join your contest. I'm just thinking of an angle so I can work it in my blog.
  • When I started my formal blog, the project name I had for it was Project 101. 101 posts that will tackle the basics of social media and prepared a list of 101 titles. I started writing 2-3 articles per day. The reason why I did it this way was because I know that there will be days where I will not be in the mood to think. My brain sometimes hit the timeout limit.

    One thing I learned about writing and maintaining consistency is to have a long-term plan. Maybe it will help.

    <abbr>Rob Angeles’s last blog post..Looking Into The Untold Boundaries Of Social Media</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Finding out the day when you're at your most productive - that's a great idea, Rob. And writing in bunches. Tama ka. Taking advantage of that feeling of being in a zone. That's a very useful idea. I love it!
  • Dee
    I get writer's block all that time (naku, baka wala lang talagang laman ang ulo ko, haha), and it's difficult. What I do is to read books for a while and then, sometimes, after a while, inspiration strikes and I get to write a word or two. Not much, but it's a start. And I notice too that If I had a good rest, like 8 hours of sleep, I can write better. Words and ideas are more easy to grasp.

    What I can't imagine, though, is you having a writer's block. You're so good at writing that it's hard to imagine you're having difficulty at it at all.

    The comedy of error, on one hand, I have those sometimes. I'd say to just take it easy. We all do that sometimes. I've learned to laugh at myself. Well, after I finished berating myself, actually. Haha.

    I like seddah's bio profile. I so like to procrastinate! I'll get down to it one of these days! I promise myself that, haha. It's just so nice to do nothing at times. Not to be burdened by any care. Just sit and do nothing. I'd like that... :)

    <abbr>Dee’s last blog post..Why You Need A Reliable Vehicle Air Conditioning</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Sleep is a luxury I can't afford, Dee. Just like Kindle2 is a luxury. And laptop. Even Thesis and WordPress blog are luxuries - but I was lucky. Rocky and his four friends like me. Ahahaha.

    Why do I have writer's block? Just between you and me, promise me that. Okay, never write a post about how to tell your blog buddies that their posts suck! Now, I have stage fright.

    Kidding aside, it's just a phase. I'd be alarmed if this happens more often... Oh, procrastinating is great. I have raised it to an art form, I think. Sunday is great for procrastination. Sunday is sacred. Nobody but nobody encroaches on it. It's my day to vegetate. :)
  • LOL, even I confuse us sometimes buddy. Worry not at all! (exclamation point intentional) : > )

    <abbr>Writer Dad’s last blog post..When the Petals Drop</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    I'm so lucky you and David are friends...Thanks, Sean. Oh, the Thesis theme. It started just recently - May 28 to be exact. That date was you could say my Independence Day, too - no offense to Blogger. lols
  • I lasted on Blogger for less than a month. Thesis was my independence day too. I believe July 17th of 2008, though I'm not positive. WP is yummy.

    <abbr>Writer Dad’s last blog post..Children Write the Future Writing Contest</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    It's so yummy I'm having indigestion at the moment. lols. Thanks, Sean. Now, I have no more excuses. Got my independence from Blogger. Got the fabulous Thesis theme. Got to deliver now so help me God. :)
  • P.S. How long have you been running Thesis? Am I just noticing?

    <abbr>Writer Dad’s last blog post..When the Petals Drop</abbr>
  • Dee
    Oh, I beg to disagree, Jan. I believe sleep is not a luxury; it is a necessity. Proper amount of sleep is indispensable to good health and productivity, especially creativity. Maybe your lack of sleep could have contributed to your block... :)

    <abbr>Dee’s last blog post..Why You Need A Reliable Vehicle Air Conditioning</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Yes, mommy Dee. *sniffles*
  • Dee
    Oh, haha. :)

    <abbr>Dee’s last blog post..Why You Need A Reliable Vehicle Air Conditioning</abbr>
  • Hail to the Great Jan Geronimo!

    You know Jan I'm really one of your fan when it comes to writing. Every time I read your post I feel like shrinking bit by bit (nanliliit ba). I just can't imagine the way you presented this post considering you're under "Writer's block" (galing talaga) ^^.

    God Bless!

    <abbr>JeD Chan’s last blog post..The History Behind The Art Of Philippine Jeepneys And Francisco Motors Corporation</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Ahahaha. Come on, Jed. We're cool people. Let's lose the freaking titles. If you don't I will not hear the end of this with some readers. They're just waiting for the right ammunition to make me grimace.... Thank you though for your kind words. Appreciate it very much.
  • hahah! i am not wondering if you will go up the stage for the emerging influential blogger award and then chirp like a bird, eheh! you are now so much hooked on twitter eh? ehehe! just like my experience with fedhz, called her a bro, eheheh!

    anyways, roy is really a master, he is the master of the jedi knights, ehehhe! lots of wisdom from that man, good thing we have him here :D

    <abbr>elmot’s last blog post..Know the Origin of A(N1H1)</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Yeah, Roy is quite the Jedi master. His instincts uncanny and on-target. :)
  • then could he pass to be the master yoda of the jedi bloggers? ehehe
    [rq=1321,0,blog][/rq]Dont' Vote on May 2010!!! No To Con-A** Holes!
  • Can't believe that u actually having such problem. This is a damm good posting. Writer’s block? Maybe u shld have it more often. Ha ha.. :)
  • Jan Geronimo
    Thanks, Ismail. That's a perfect compliment. Well, I'm doing good now. :)
  • Hi Jan,

    George is a great one to emulate, isn't he? I love his spirit, as well as his writing.

    I know what you mean about getting confused with Blogger Dad and Writer Dad. I don't always remember who is Sean and who is Dave. Add to that another daddy blogger named Dave and you'll REALLY become confused. I follow them all and always have to double check whose blog I'm on.

    <abbr>Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Living Happily Now</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    I will never forget that fiasco I had in BloggerDad's blog. But I can smile now - doesn't sting anymore, remembering that story. :)

    Oh well, George is one of my idols in blogging. He has a great touch with his readers. Just like you are with your lively blog community. Thanks, Barbara. I appreciate this more than I let on - your visit and leaving a comment at the same time. Yesss! :)
  • I got curious with the pic in this post - it looks similar to our dog. I'll post a picture of our dog in my future post. :-o

    <abbr>Weblogger|CarloBlogg Online’s last blog post..Internet|Why you should be aware of Identity Theft.</abbr>
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