Writer’s Block Off The Grid! Now What?!

Yes, this blog’s sporadic nature has shone over the past couple years with posts showing up with months in between.  This hasn’t been due to writer’s block so much as trying to figure out how to balance hidden health problems with dwindling work I can do from home in a less stressful environment.  That pursuit has led to more posts over at my financial blog over the past couple years than here.  I have some fledgling earnings going on that I write about over there and it is my prayer that they will grow.

However, in the fall of 2018, a question in a writer’s group spawned an idea in my mind that led to breaking the publishing silence.  This person wanted to know if there were any resources they could use to help break writer’s block.  In reality, a quick google search will reveal tons of source material for this plague in the writing world.  But this person wanted something they could hold in their hand, so I went to Amazon to do a search there.  This time I didn’t just look at the total number of available resources, but also checked out reviews here and there of books that appeared to have a following.  I found a couple different thoughts being expressed from various angles:

  1. While some people like themes, others do not.  If a writing prompt book was claiming to be varied in its content and a themed showed up partway through, authors weren’t too happy to see it.  Others were looking for themes and not happy about the variety instead.
  2. Writing prompt styles seemed to be gathered together one or two styles per book.  If you liked a particular style of prompt, you would buy that book.  I saw very few books that incorporated multiple prompt styles.

As I continued doing a quick bit of research, I ran across some prompt styles that I thought would make a great way to encourage writers and authors to think outside the box.  This appealed to me because I tend to think outside the box already.  I wrapped up my searching with the knowledge that I could do themed writing prompts, stating boldly up front what each book’s theme was, and I would incorporate as many of the writing prompt styles as I’d seen over the years and in this search.

The result is a new line of journals in the Themed Writing Prompt series:

These are great for jump-starting your creative thinking processes! They would also make great resources for creative-writing classes whether in schools or at home. As they are written by a Christian, there are prompts here and there that reference Scripture, or Godly themes or Godly perspectives on a given theme or portion of it.

While my intention is to eventually release them as ebooks as well, featuring only the prompts themselves and not the lined or unlined blank pages, they are currently available in paperback off Amazon via the following links:

ChristmasSpringNew Year | Valentines

While I waited for some of my new proofs to arrive during the month of January 2019, another idea hit me.

New Years is typically a time to set resolutions.  We called them “New Years Resolutions”.  For many, this is a yearly ritual that often ends in frustration by the time they hit February.  This is particularly true for those who set dietary or exercise-related resolutions.  A new resolution has begun to work its way into modern society.  Bloggers are starting to write more and more about living life “off the grid”.  For those who are 40 and older, this isn’t hard to imagine.  We weren’t born with a cellphone in our ear or a computer mouse built into our right hand.  But for many of the younger generation, a mere power outage can leave them wondering how to keep a store open, let alone count the cash at the end of a shift.  Needless to say, another brainwave hit me!

Scratchbooks!  In researching this concept, I realized that most people think of scratchpads or notebooks.  Scratchpads tend to get used by the artsy folk while notepads tend to get used by everyone else.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I tend to use scrap paper quite a bit to scratch down notes when I’m on the phone, or when I need to remember something already.  Phone numbers, calculations, doodles in the page corners, you name it!  Sometimes, if I was too fast or not feeling well, I will return to my notes later and wonder what on earth I wrote!  So to me, that is scratch paper, it holds my written scratches ideally for use at a later time.  So why not a whole mini-book of scratch paper?  A Scratch Book?!

Let me introduce you to:  Your Personal Paper Assistant – Scratchbooks 1, 2 and 3. 

Your Personal Paper Assistant by Songdove BooksAt the bottom of every blank page is a small Scripture verse, or part of a verse related in some way to either God’s creativity or His sovereignty.  Between the three scratchbooks you will get a few verses from every book in the Bible.

With people starting to make resolutions to be less dependent on their technology, the days of the personal digital assistant, otherwise known as the PDA that Palm Pilot first made popular, are waning.  People want alternatives.  So why not an inspirational alternative to the phone in your pocket?  At just 4″x 6″ and 90 blank pages for your scribbling pleasure, your personal paper assistant can literally go anywhere you go, except perhaps for water. . . unless you are wearing waders or a dry suit. . . put it in a waterproof ziplock bag with a pencil, and it can even ford the creek with you on your next camping trip.  They cost just $5.25 each on Amazon, allowing you to buy as many as you want.  Amazon links are:

Book 3Book 2Book 1

Yes, those are in reverse order.  But hey, does a creative mind always start at the beginning?

It’s possible more books may land in the Scratchbook series, covering other topics of Scripture such as finances or family or something else.  We shall see what comes along.

The themed writing prompt series has more books coming, including prompts for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, and other themes.  These books currently fit into the time frames I have available for any dedicated writing.

If you want to see a given theme explored in Scripture or in writing prompts, drop me a line and I will take a look at it.  I won’t promise to do every theme that comes along, but you never know if your theme might get chosen.

If you know people who could benefit from the prompts series or the scratchbook series, feel free to share this blog article with them.  Happy writing!