How I Beat Writer’s Block

by Jan Geronimo on June 8, 2009

The writer, the written and the writing tool
Image by Ravages via Flickr

In this post, Ms. Jena Isle weighed in to rescue this blog writer who had a bad case of writer’s block.  She suggested a writing prompt series to get the writing juice flowing.

This originally appeared as Jena’s comment in the previous post A Curious Case of Writer’s Block. Since she is generous enough to share her tricks of the trade, I feel blog writers who may feel a little distressed about what to write can have a crack at Ms. Jena Isles’ useful writing prompts.

Let’s hear it from Jena:

Writer’s block does not happen to me, thank God. It’s the opposite:  I have so many ideas swarming in my mind thatI don’t know where to start. But it’s true, I have so many things I would like to write.

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 psychopath’s mind?
5. What happens when people are insensitive?
6. What happens when I don’t comment on Jan’s post?

And then there’s the Top of anything series:

1. Top 10 songs I love to listen to (My 10Top 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 sucky moments in blogging ( Jan’s contribution)

And 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 thesis theme
5. How to twit effectively
6. How to make your comment a stand out (modified by Jan)

Other writing prompts  to overcome writer’s block

I know, I know… I’m just trying to play along with Jan’s “ka-pow” message. There are still many “series” I would like to write about – the “I dislike it when” …series , “I love it when …” series. You don’t even have to begin with these simple sentences.

These examples are just an explanation as to why I don’t run out of ideas. Take these ideas for a spin.  You can even write more catchy titles.

Smooth sailing

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

It may not work for you, but this works for me in overcoming writer’s block  – like a breeze!

Do you have other tricks in beating writer’s block?  Feel free to share them in your comments.  You can also ask Ms. Jena Isle questions as regards writing prompts and her tricks of the trade.  Over to you now.

About the Author:  Ms. Jena Isle writes for GewGaw Writings, a creative writing blog which also showcases creative writers from around the world. She features known writers such as Ken Armstrong, Jim Murdoch, Tasha Bud, Angel Cuala, our very own blogging buddies Roy and Doc Z among other writing talents.  She presides over them with an even hand and fine sense of maternal instinct for nurturing young creative talents.  Ms. Jena’s profile says she’s believes “that the good will always triumph and that dreams are meant to come true.  Do!  There is no try!”

Indeed.  You can also check out  Ms. Jena  three other blogs:   Jena Isle’s Random Thoughts, Jena Isle’s Mixed Bag Freebies and Random Thoughts.  There’s also another blog in the works.

Useful Writing Resources:

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  • I also have a lot to tell but the moment I sit down and try to write it, puff&mdashthere it goes. toink. :D This is a great list. I will refer to this again and again.
    .-= Luke´s last blog ..The Seven Ancient Sciences =-.
  • i never considered myself as a writer but it's interesting that i often have this 'virus'. our high school paper's editor in chief fondly call it 'constipation' while ms. jena's case is 'diarrhea'.

    <abbr>Badong’s last blog post..Face-Off: Promil Vs Nido</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    That's funny, Badong. And in both cases they both involve pain and to a certain degree related to the excretory system. Well, writing can be painful and scary especially if one writes naked. Honesty can be a scary thing. But there's relief too - when these thoughts are properly digested by the system or they're expelled from us like so much toxins. Ahahaha. Thanks, Badongskie. :)
  • Interesting comment. Can't disagree with what she said.
    Nevertheless, I would like to add few more on this topic, if you don't mind. Here's are my 5 cents:
    I think one will suffer less problems if he/she chooses a wider scope instead of narrowing to certain niche for his/her blog. A blogger who only write about politics for example will more often comes unstuck than a blogger who choose to write almost everything from blogging to personal matter. Like Jena, I don't really have this problem since I don't limit myself to what I should write. However, it doesn't make my blog stand out like yours since people don't really know what my expertise are. It's too general and it doesn't caught attention of too many people or followers. But then again blogging is not about being popular. It’s About Being Yourself, And Putting What You Have Into It. Then again, I guess you already knew that. Happy Blogging my friend.

    <abbr>Ismail N’s last blog post..Man Utd Desktop Wallpaper</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    "But then again blogging is not about being popular. It’s About Being Yourself, And Putting What You Have Into It."

    And that my friend is what passionate blogging is all about. I'd bet my meager life savings on that one. :)

    That's a helpful tip you've got for us. Broadening the scope of the blog? Conventional wisdom has it we should not. We should have a laser focus in our niche. But there's merit as well to your suggestion. This blog for example has two other broad categories besides writing. Which reminds me - I haven't written about the social media for quite a while now. Darn! :)
  • zorlone
    Okay Jena, that reminds me.. I would look for more topics in poetry too. But there is one topic that I can't really quite find my way around. So, I'll just face it head on. It gets difficult to write, but there is a way.

    Anyway, now to the post. I am wowed! With all these topics, there is no excuse no to be able to make a post. Good thing my blog is about poetry and short stories, I have a trunk full of ideas for them. Actually, I sleep a lot, so I dream a lot, ergo, dreams = poetry and/or short stories. I am still a bit slow in writing short stories because I get tired of typing "__" here and there. LOL (mababaw ano?)

    I ahve several poems in line already. Just some tweaks here and there. I hope that there is no such thing as writer's/poet's block in my blog.

    Cheers to a wonderful guest post! Excellent work!


    <abbr>Zorlone’s last blog post..Goodbye</abbr>
  • what happens if.. we stop writing? like you sobrang dami din ng ideas ko na nag-uumapaw sa aking limited of a brain. at sa sobrang dami at sa sobrang limited ng mga microchips na naka embed sa aking cpu, nahihirapan i-process ng sabay sabay.

    tuloy minsan, i would start with an idea and start typing, magtutuloy tuloy sya sa ibang topic at ibang story ang lalabas. patawa. kaya yung initial idea, wala, naiwan na naman for next article.

    <abbr>BURAOT’s last blog post..The Fourteenth List</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Hi Buraot, that's funny - so many great ideas and limited microchips. Bring out the notebook then, or use the back of old calendars. :) Thank you for sharing. Read your contribution to Jena Isle's book. Lovely story - enjoyed it immensely.
  • tenks. i love reading your articles too.

    <abbr>BURAOT’s last blog post..Pip Honorable Mention</abbr>
  • I have guest-posted for a blogger-pal a month ago with this topic too;
    Check it out.

    <abbr>bingkee’s last blog post..I ALWAYS GET WHAT I PAID FOR AT ADGITIZE</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Well, I have checked it out and left a comment, Bingkee. :)
  • Roy
    great feature Jan! and a nice follow-up to your previous post!

    yup! when it comes to writing, Jena is your man! err... I mean woman :)

    I read yours and elmot's exchanges above... and yes, I too am reminded of your inspirational stories (actually, I didn't forget it)

    and to second Jena's words, the book won't be complete without you two, and I have a feeling that Jena might even hold publication of the book to give you guys ample time to write

    of course, you know how I handle writer's block, you know, the loan amortization sched ;)

    <abbr>Roy’s last blog post..She Didn’t Dance</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    O di ba, bigla nagkaroon ng continuity ang blog posts ko? Thanks to Jena for coming to the rescue of a blogger in distress. :) Oh that second extension need not be extended. I'm sure we'll come up with something decent. Ahehehe.
  • Roy
    am not really out to pressure you Jan, just can't wait to see the story you'll tell (if it is about what I told you in e-mail)

    <abbr>Roy’s last blog post..A father's dilemma</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Oh, well. Thanks for telling me that - it surely adds to the pressure. Okay now, I will just think that I'm writing for my favorite askal to get the pressure off. :)
  • Jan Geronimo
    Oh, please include Dee and Luke. That's a terrific idea, Jena.

    Askal? Well, why not - askals are low maintenance. Magbukas lang ako ng sardinas okay na sila. Mahirap iyong nag iisip ako ng kalokohan for my blog post eh mag mangangalabit na poodle. Kung di sya sosyalerang poodle okay lang. Pero kung mas maarte pa sa akin? Askal na lang kaya. :)
  • askal? bakit hindi poodle, para

    <abbr>Jena Isle’s last blog post.."The Curse of the Winter Mist" - 20th Story for the Inspirational Book</abbr>
  • Roy
    arf! :p

    <abbr>Roy’s last blog post..A father's dilemma</abbr>
  • how i beat writers' block? i put it into a 140-char tweet. and perhaps, twitter might be the reason why i haven't updated my blogs.

    or it could be my day job which deals with numbers. i have plenty of unfinished drafts. i mean i started a paragraph or two then abandon it.

    <abbr>ceblogger’s last blog post..Kaka Is Now A Real Madrid Player</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Maybe we bloggers should have an option of publishing 140-character post. Or 280 minimum. Will that be easy? Or even harder. I'd find it harder, I suspect.
  • hi Jan, thanks for dropping by my blog, been to the two of your blog, the one that has been nominated for the influential blogger and this one
  • Jan Geronimo
    That old blogspot and this one are one and the same beast, Mars. I just renamed it to writingtoexhale. If you visit the old blog you'd still be redirected to this site. Thanks for dropping by, Mars. Hey, did I already tell you I've followed you in Twitter? :)
  • Nice post Jan! I am currently having that moment too not because I lack enthusiasm but my freaking computer has a lot of virus. Hayan, na-divert tuloy ang mind ko sa ibang bagay instead of writing..
  • Jan Geronimo
    Ay Snow, we have a perfect teacher in Jena Isle. A little session with her in chat, in an exchange of comments like this one, will have your mind impregnated with exciting ideas. Like her list in this post, for example. :)
  • Jan,
    I'm keeping that secret, baka kasi madiscover I'm sure snow and you have also unique, and out of this world, ideas!

    <abbr>Jena Isle’s last blog post.."The Curse of the Winter Mist" - 20th Story for the Inspirational Book</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Thanks for the extension. Napapraning na ako sa pressure. Ahahaha... Si Elmot kasi chickadora, buti na lang di natuloy pagkapari. Mahihirapan yan keeping confessions in strict confidence. :) Peace, young bro.
  • just in time~! don't know what to write actually... i have been suffering from this stupid disease of "i have lots of ideas on what to write" and ends up actually writing nothing...peeeeh!

    great post jena! eheheh! i thought jan was running away from you for that writing project, eheeh!

    does not have my own inspirational story here either :D

    <abbr>elmot’s last blog post..Know the Origin of A(N1H1)</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Speak for yourself, Elmot. Nananahimik na nga ako dito para di mapansin ni Jena, inginunguso mo pa pinagtataguan ko. Ano bah! Ahahaha. Pag post? It's a breeze for me. Pag something for a book? I'm so tongue-tied. Help! Ahahaha.
  • eh, let me remind you bro, that you were the one who told me that you are running away from her ehehe! but you are not alone, same here.

    tongue-tied indeed for that inspirational project! ano ba kinakain nila roy at roz at jena at nakakasulat sila agad noh, eheheh!

    <abbr>elmot’s last blog post..Know the Origin of A(N1H1)</abbr>
  • Jan Geronimo
    Whatever, Elmot. Wala akong narinig. I don't know what you're saying. Ahahaha. Salbahe ka. Grrrr.
  • I'm still summoning the Force to aid me in comming up with something, Jen. :D Trying... Harrrd... I guess I'm just not someone who has something inspirational to tell. I'll keep on trying, though. :)
    .-= Luke´s last blog ..The Seven Ancient Sciences =-.
  • tow, that is a good idea jena!!! then the jedi bloggers would then be complete at last on your book project, ehehe!

    don't worry about darth vader, the jedi knights are here to protect your book project ehehe!
    [rq=1304,0,blog][/rq]Dont' Vote on May 2010!!! No To Con-A** Holes!
  • And Jan,

    I would be exultant if we can also have Jedi Luke and Lady
    warrior Dee with us too. You know, para there would be representatives of the "dark force" (winks), baka habulin tayo ni Darth Vader pag wala siya sa book. lol.

    <abbr>Jena Isle’s last blog post.."The Curse of the Winter Mist" - 20th Story for the Inspirational Book</abbr>
  • hahah! thanks jena for accomodating us, we are still trying to summon some divine inspiration to share an inspirational story :D

    now, we don't have to run away from you eh? ehehe!

    <abbr>elmot’s last blog post..Dont' Vote on May 2010!!! No To Con-A** Holes!</abbr>
  • Hi Jan,

    Thanks for the post. Flattered ako dahil na-feature na rin ako dito sa blog ng one of my favorite last!

    And salamat din kay Jedi Elmot at nabanggit niya ang book. The book would not be complete without you guys. I will wait for you till the end of the month. Si Ceblogger meron na rin siya. Salamat sa pag-unlak ninyo ng imbitasyon ko.

    <abbr>Jena Isle’s last blog post.."The Curse of the Winter Mist" - 20th Story for the Inspirational Book</abbr>
  • Fantastic stuff. I am still thinking about the sixth part of the "Top Of Anything Series", lol.

    I do suffer from this "sickness" once in a while, specially when I am tired. I found that it is better to just "cool off" and take the opportunity to blog hop. And, mind you that I too have a lot of ideas. My main problem is to get in cranking. As you said, once that part is over, everything else seems to just glide away.
  • Jan Geronimo
    Yeah, that would be lovely. Jan's top 6 blog sucky moments. But unless somebody squeals on me that will not see the light of day. :) Or unless I have nothing else to write about - then that topic becomes fair game for me.

    You're lucky you just had your vacation. No excuse to suffer writer's block, my friend.
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