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August 05, 2020

Don't Make Light of Another Writer's Plight / Keep Writing with Fey BLOG HOP



Today is blog hop day for Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout.

Participants are sharing their stories about writer's block, depression, and/or burnout and how they overcame it or what they are currently doing to heal.

Visit them here:




Don't Make Light of Another Writer's Plight


Since I talk about my struggles and the things I have done that helped me with writer’s block, depression, and burnout in Keep Writing with Fey, I am going to do something a little different for this post.


WRITER'S BLOCK:

There are people who will say that writer’s block isn’t real. I disagree. (Obviously.) I’m not going to try to change anyone’s mind if they believe there’s no such thing as writer’s block, as I hope they will allow me my opinion, but I do want to address something.

Whenever someone says that writer’s block doesn’t exist or is a myth, they usually follow that up with something like “you just have to put your butt in the seat and write.” Or they will even claim that you’re just not writing because you don’t want it badly enough.

That is pretty damaging to hear when you're the writer struggling.

You can certainly believe writer’s block isn't real (again, I’m not attempting to change your mind), but PLEASE do NOT further knock down the writers who are struggling (for whatever reason), because you don’t know what challenges they're facing in life that you, yourself, are not facing. You don’t know how they feel when they want to write and try but nothing happens. And you won’t know until it happens to you.

One day, it might, whether you believe it’s real or not. You might even give it another name, since you don’t believe writer’s block is an actual condition. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that no one makes light of your struggles, so please, don’t make light of another writer’s hardships when they say they have writer’s block. Don’t laugh. Don’t roll your eyes. Don’t say it’s a cop out. Instead, offer support. We all need to be more supportive of each other.

 

BURNOUT:

Writer's burnout (or any kind of burnout) can come and go for some, but it doesn’t just disappear for everyone. And for some people, as it was for me, it is a very big deal. (My burnout wasn’t a symptom of writing too much. It was a symptom of EVERYTHING related to being an author.) My experience with burnout was destructive. It lasted a year (more even, since I didn't identify it until a year had already passed), and I couldn’t write. I tried. I tried my hardest. I WANTED to write. Sometimes I’d manage to write a little one day, only for my burnout to be even worse the next day.

Your burnout might not have lasted long, and you might have been able to get out of it with a bit of downtime, but not every case of burnout is the same, just as every writer is different. A short break sometimes isn’t enough.

Maybe you’ve never experienced burnout, in which case you’re fortunate and I hope you never do, but not having had to deal with something up to this point doesn’t mean you’re immune.

And did you know...? Burnout is an official MEDICAL CONDITION.


DEPRESSION:

Finally, there are even people who believe depression is fake…a lie. They don’t understand depression or why someone can’t just pull themselves out of it. Just because you’ve never experienced depression doesn’t mean it’s fake or not serious, and it’s definitely not something that someone can turn off like flipping a switch.


I never thought I’d have writer’s block…until I did.

I never thought I’d be depressed…until I was.

I never thought I’d get burned out…until burnout nearly derailed everything.

So, please, don’t make light of another writer's plight.

If you have or are experiencing writer’s block, depression, and/or burnout, check out my book. I hope it helps you through your hardships.


Take care, everyone! And thank you for taking part in my blog hop!



BLURB:

Catch the sparks you need to conquer writer’s block, depression, and burnout!
When Chrys Fey shared her story about depression and burnout, it struck a chord with other writers. That put into perspective for her how desperate writers are to hear they aren’t alone. Many creative types experience these challenges, battling to recover. Let Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout guide you through:
· Writer's block
· Depression
· Writer's burnout
· What a writer doesn’t need to succeed
· Finding creativity boosts
With these sparks, you can begin your journey of rediscovering your creativity and get back to what you love - writing.
BUY LINKS:
Amazon / Nook / iTunes / Kobo



SHARE: Your story about writer's block, depression, and/or burnout and how you overcame it or what you are currently doing to heal.


123 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We don't know what someone else is going through. We all experience things differently.
Thanks for co-hosting today!

Nancy Gideon said...

Thanks for co-hosting with me today, Chrys and for addressing something that I struggled with in the past year and still wrestle when I least expect it. Our job: be kind, be supportive and understanding even when we don't understand!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chrys - well done ... we so often to forget how others are feeling - my way of looking at it is what's the other person going through ... and be as gentle as I can at all times. Nancy says it well too ... be kind, supportive and understanding ... just that positive 'nod' really helps. Take care and good to see your blog hop ... Hilary

L. Diane Wolfe said...

All of those things are very real. People believe when it hits them, that's for sure.

Deniz Bevan said...

Great post, Chrys! I'm glad to be part of your blog hop!

Deniz Bevan said...

And thanks to the co-hosts!

Pat Garcia said...

Hi,
What you have written above is very true. People or writers don't believe it until it hits them.
All the best and I look forward to your book coming out in September. I've already pre purchased my copy.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

sherry fundin said...

you put yourself out there with your books, video chats and blog posts. we appreciate it and i feel it help us all to know we are not alone

sherry @ fundinmental

joylene said...

It's sad how many of us have experienced burnout. Wouldn't wish upon anyone. Glad you're on the upside. Congratulations on your release, Chrys. It's an amazing book. Thanks for co-hosting.

Jemi Fraser said...

So true! We are all different and we all struggle and succeed differently. Part of the beauty of humanity is the diversity in ourselves and our styles. We need to support each other whenever we can!

Carrie-Anne said...

I've unfortunately met people who genuinely didn't understand why I had depression in the past, and thought it was very easy and simple to fix. I was so shocked at their statements, I couldn't find words to respond intelligently. It seems like mental health and mental illness are the last things left it's still considered socially acceptable to mock.

M.J. Fifield said...

Congrats again on your release, Chrys! It's a fantastic book!

S.A. Larsenッ said...

So glad you shared your thoughts on this, today. (And for sharing them in the book, which was fabulous.) As we've already discussed, up until last year I'd only experienced teeny bouts of not feeling like writing or feeling stuck to move forward within a story, which I mistook for writer's block. Thus, I kind of shrugged it off as an attitude or lack of discipline. But this last 18 months has shown me differently. The tragedies that my family went through last year put me in such a funk I not only didn't want to write, but I didn't even feel like reading. It's been hard getting back at it. But I'm learning to go easier on myself. Learning to set smaller writing goals - like a chapter a month - is helping. I still find myself waning, at times. When that happens, I get on here to read and chat with so many amazing fellow writers. Very thankful to have everyone on the internet. :)

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Grr... Should have read '...these last 18 months have shown...' LOL

Lynn J Simpson said...

So true! Never are we justified to tell people what they are feeling is just not true, or right, or necessary. I hope overall we become more of an empathetic culture, and your writing points us in that right direction!

Natalie Aguirre said...

So agree with everything you said, Chrys. Glad to be a part of your blog hop too.

cleemckenzie said...

Whatever you call it, there are times I just can't write. Who knows what causes that? Congratulations again on your new book and thanks for co-hosting this August Wednesday.

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

To that I say... Amen. Also thanks for writing the books, because we none of us know when we’ll need that help.

Patsy said...

I wouldn't make light of what another writer is going through – chances are it's already happened to me, or will in the future.

Doreen McGettigan said...

I am really looking forward to reading and reviewing your book next week. I have definitely struggled with all of the above.

Sadira Stone said...

Hi, Chris, and thanks for co-hosting today. I've never experienced a time when the words just wouldn't come, but I've sure 'nuf experienced times when writing was much harder. Hello, pandemic brain. I'm currently working with someone who's struggling with writer's block, and I don't really know how to help, other than to encourage rest, creative cross-training, and a daily try.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

I've never had writer's block, but I've certainly experienced burnout and depression (as well as some fun crippling anxiety) so I'm not going to knock anyone else for it. Everyone experiences the world differently - pain, sadness, joy, everything - so you can't discount anyone's experience. Their view is just as valid and real as yours.

Chrys Fey said...

We certainly do.

You're welcome!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you for co-hosting, too, Nancy!

I like that...that is our job. Sadly, many don't believe it is or don't take that job seriously. They/we should. <3

Chrys Fey said...

Yes, people often don't believe in things unless they see it or experience it firsthand.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you! And thank you so much for particpating!

nashvillecats2 said...

I can relate to writer's block, depression and burnout. This year has really knowcked me sideways as living alone is not to be reccomeneded.
Will bounce back as I have a book to finish to honour my late son.
Keep safe and well Chrys.
Yvonne.

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome. Every month, the co-hosts are amazing. <3

Chrys Fey said...

Oh, yes, that positive nod. Even getting those in the form of a comment is reassuring and comforting. <3

Toi Thomas said...

Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month and for hosting your book blog hop. It was a great excuse to write about things I'm been keeping to myself because I thought no one wanted to hear it. I'm so happy you released this book.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you! And thank you so much for pre-ordering Frozen Crimes. <3

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you! Sharing my story has helped me in many ways.

Chrys Fey said...

I wouldn't wish it on anyone, either.

Thank you, Joylene!

Chemist Ken said...

I haven't written long enough for me to have had either writer's block or writer's burnout. Or maybe I did, but I just chalked it up to life events and called it something else. But just sitting down in a chair and trying to write when it's not coming is like telling someone who suffers from depression, "Just get up and do something fun. It'll fix itself."

Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month!

Jacqui Murray said...

Hi Chrys--Good ideas for these horrible maladies. I missed signing up for your blog hop... Sigh... Would it be alright to simply review the book and then post the review on my blog? That would be sometime in September or October--or I'll publish it with your next book push. Just let me know!

Tamara Narayan said...

I suppose it's all in how you define the idea of writer's block. Maybe people find it hard to believe you could sit down and not be able to write anything at all as if some malign force is keeping your fingers from moving. But for me, it's not that I can't type or write, it's that I seriously doubt the value of what I am writing, or I can't focus and waste hours reading CNN or watching YouTube, or I force myself to write like a kid holding their nose and swallowing bad medicine in one huge gulp, instead of being able to enjoy the creative process. Whatever it is, it is not how I want to experience writing.

Chrys Fey said...

"Part of the beauty of humanity is the diversity in ourselves and our styles.." <---- YESSS!!!

Chrys Fey said...

And it's so sad, too. Mental health and mental illness are not jokes. They are serious and should be treated as such.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you!

Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne said...

You are spot on today!

Chrys Fey said...

Learning to get easier on ourselves is so important and a huge step in the process. It can be difficult at first, until we really do come to terms with things and see that it's not our fault.

The IWSG community has really helped me in the past.

Chrys Fey said...

I hope for that, too. Thanks for visiting my blog and for commenting, Lynn!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Natalie!

Chrys Fey said...

Any numbers of things can cause it.

Thank you! <3

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome! <3

Chrys Fey said...

That's good. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I truly hope you get a lot out of it, Doreen. <3

Chrys Fey said...

Many people can have different ideas of what writer's block is. I discuss that in my book. :) Either way, no matter how someone may view or define writer's block, it's not something to make light of. I don't want to experience writing that way, either.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Patricia!

Kate Larkindale said...

Everyone experiences these things differently, but that doesn't make the experiences any less real. Sometimes just listening, without offering any advice, is what is needed.

Chrys Fey said...

Being there for that writer in whatever way you can will make all the difference. <3

Chrys Fey said...

I've experienced anxiety as well, mostly related to social media and family drama. Not fun. At all.

"Their view is just as valid and real as yours.: <--- Absolutely right!

Chrys Fey said...

I hope finishing your book helps you, Yvonne!

Chrys Fey said...

Sending you hugs. We often think no one wants to hear about our struggles or will care, but that's not true. Sharing our stories can be very healing. I'm glad you participated in my blog hop. <3

Chrys Fey said...

It really doesn't matter how long someone has been writing. Writer's block and burnout will come regardless. You could start writing and months later experience either one. These aren't things that happen only to writers who have been at it for X amount of time. No one, not even beginners, are immune. <3

Chrys Fey said...

That would be perfect. Thank you for the offer! I will email you. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Yes!

Jacqui Murray said...

OK, I just bought it. I should have some ideas by the time you email me!

Jemima Pett said...

I'm not sure that I understand the difference between writer's block and burnout, but you words are very useful. I hope anyone tempted to knock another writer for any reason thinks twice.
Thanks for co-hosting today, Chrys :)

Olga Godim said...

A very insightful post. So many of us suffer from the writing maladies you mention, but so few non-writers understand. It seems pointless to even talk to non-writers about my writer's block, for example. I don't, usually.
As for depression, it's chemical. It has nothing to do with 'picking yourself up'. None of us could 'pick up' the wrong chemicals in our brains. It takes time, strong psychological efforts, and sometimes, medications. If some ignoramuses don't understand, it's probably a good idea to avoid them. Their rejections of your depression could only deepen it.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Great Post and such great advice! Writers struggle more than we let on.

Thanks for co-hosting, Chrys.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for co-hosting! Depression is never fake. It's serious. I'm glad you found a way to put your positive sparks into a book to help everyone who deals with it and burnout. Thank you, Chrys!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Tyrean, and you're welcome!

Chrys Fey said...

We certainly do, unfortunately. I hope my book helps many realize that it's okay to talk about it and be open. <3

Chrys Fey said...

You could read my book to find out the difference, because they are very different. You can feel burnout in your bones.

I hope so, too!

Chrys Fey said...

Yes, exactly. None of my non-writer friends and family members understand. That's why having writer friends (like with the IWSG) is is important.

"None of us could 'pick up' the wrong chemicals in our brains." <--- Well said!

Fundy Blue said...

Well said, Chrys! The longer I live, the more I am humbled by the judging-too-quickly mistakes I have made in my lifetime. Until you've walked in someone else's shoes, you have no right to be dismissive of his or her experiences, feelings, and choices. And if you're lucky enough to live a long time, you just might experience such things yourself, and you may be shocked at how you react and the actions you take. Like I said, I've been humbled. I didn't write about my experiences with depression in your blog hop, but I may do another post next Friday on my SID blog and address it in the context of your book. Playing with the idea, quite likely to do it. Have fun co-hosting today! It's definitely a warmed-up-leftovers dinner for Terry and me tonight ~ LOL!

Chrys Fey said...

I wasn't sure if you would get notified of my reply to your comment, but that's okay. I will still email you. :) And thank you for getting a copy!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you! I appreciate your comment so much, and I love that my blog hop question has you thinking and you may use it for another post. Let me know when that post goes up, if you decide to do it, so I can read it. :)

Elizabeth Mueller said...

I'm astounded to hear that there are people who believe that Writers Block isn't real--I wonder if they believe that the earth is flat. LOL!

My daughter came across a friend who said that creativity is like crop rotation: the reason farmers do it is so that they can rejuvinate the nutrients in the soil so that the new crop would thrive. If we rotate our creative outlets (writing, drawing, cooking, baking, editing, formatting, marketing), our minds will be more than likely ready to get back into writing! (( <3 ))

Thank you for the glorious opportunity to participate in your blog hop!

Jennifer Hawes said...

Congrats on your book release!

Sandra Cox said...

Burnout and writer's block are very real and I believe most writers have experienced at least one, if not both, at some point in their life.

diedre Knight said...

I'm kickin the dirt here, Lady Chrys! I didn't know about your bloghop. But what a great turnout ;-) It's wonderful that you bring to light the darker sides of writing. It's good to know we're not alone. Thanks so much for sharing this - and for co-hosting!

Gwen Gardner said...

I've experienced all of it; burnout, writers block, depression. It is real, but even if it wasn't, it's nobody's right to criticize or tell you your feelings are wrong. Now me, heh, I don't share stuff so...also not healthy, I know. Congrats on your new release, Chrys! Best of luck to you :)

emaginette said...

I've had all three, sometimes two at once and I agree. They are real. Too real. People that don't understand aren't worth thinking about. Here's why: ignorance is bliss because they see no other world but theirs. 'Nuff said. ;-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Steph W. said...

Thanks for sharing your experience with others. I think it is an important calling of survivors to help others survive.

Lisa Thomson said...

Oh, my gosh, absolutely agree with you, Chrys! I can't believe some people can be so insensitive. Writer's block not real? Depression not real? B.S.!!

You are one of the hardest working authors I know and it could very well be that your burnout was a way that your mind was telling your body to take a break. Just thinking out loud. I know when I get blocked there is other shit going on in my brain and there is only so much space up there!
In any case your new book sounds amazing and will help me and many other authors navigate a difficult time with productivity and writer's block.

As for genres...interesting question. I think stories come to me and then there is even confusion about what the genre will be. Eventually genre becomes clearer.

Mandy said...

Currently feeling the writer burn out, but it's been that way for a few years now. Hoping one day I'll be back.Thanks so much for sharing your encouragement.

Samantha Bryant said...

Lovely post--and good advice! @samanthabwriter from
Balancing Act

Lori L. MacLaughlin said...

You're so right. There are so many things that can interfere with a person's ability to write, and until you've experienced them for yourself, you have no idea what it's like. We need to be supportive of each other. There's nothing like a good listener to lift the spirits. Thank you for co-hosting!

Liz A. said...

I have learned that what people feel is valid. I know, that's a strange thing to say. We get entrenched in our own beliefs, so when someone says something that goes against those beliefs we want to fix it and make it fit the view we have of the world. At some point, I learned to release my view and let whatever someone else says about their experience to be valid. It doesn't have to fit my worldview. That, and to just listen when someone talks about what they're feeling.

I guess we're too used to trying to "fix" people and things. We shouldn't. Well, not unless someone asks us for help. Then we should help, even if it's just being a safe space where someone can talk.

Stephen Tremp said...

Chrys, "don’t make light of another writer's plight" this is spot on. We in this blogging community have a platform to not only survive but thrive.

Susan B.Rouchard said...

Thanks Chrys for co-hosting this IWSG. Bravo for your Sparks guide, very helpful tips. Thanks also for hosting the Goodreads book club; although I don’t participate much, I regularly take a peek at what you guys are up to.
Wishing you a Happy IWSG blog hop and your own Sparks blog hop.

A Lady Lawyer said...

This is such a wonderful initiative Chris! Fortunately I haven’t faced Writer’s Block and Burnout but I do believe it’s very real. It’s great that you’re being so supportive here.
www.nooranandchawla.com

Chrys Fey said...

I was astounded to learn that, too, and read the proof. If you Google "Is writer's block real?" you'll see articles about it and how there are authors who say it's not.

I really like that analogy.

You're welcome! And thanks for participating!

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks!

Chrys Fey said...

I believe that, too.

Chrys Fey said...

It is very good to know we're not alone. We need that. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I had depression and burnout together. It was horrible.

Chrys Fey said...

A calling of survivors to help other survivors....I love that!

Chrys Fey said...

It isn't anyone's right, but in this world, everyone thinks it is. It's very unfortunate.

Thank you!

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks!

Chrys Fey said...

I hope you can find relief and the spark to get back to your creative, energized self.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Lisa! I really was doing too much, pushing myself too much that caused my burned out. And then add in family drama and depression...not fun.

I sincerely hope my book helps you. Thank you!

Chrys Fey said...

A good listener is key and talking about our struggles can be so healing.

Chrys Fey said...

That's the problem that a lot of us have...we don't listen. We don't let others speak their truth. We don't let them own their feelings without us saying something to cancel those feelings out, as if they don't matter or are wrong. Everyone's feelings matter. No feeling is wrong.

Thanks for your comment, Liz!

Chrys Fey said...

I've definitely survived and thrived here. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Susan! And I'm really glad that you pop in to the Goodreads group to see what we are doing. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks! I received support when I needed it, so I can only provide support back. :)

Ornery Owl of Naughty Netherworld Press and Readers Roost (Not Charlotte) said...

Kind thanks for sharing this. I've almost stopped sharing my writing publicly on several occasions because people were extremely rude when I tried to describe what I was going through. I don't put up with that sort of thing anymore. Supporting each other is very important, even if we aren't coming from the same point of view.

Chrys Fey said...

That's horrible that people were rude to you when you shared what you were going through. The Insecure Writer's Support Group is very supportive. <3

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I've mostly found writers to be very supportive of others going through tough times, but there are always those people who don't understand. Thanks for being open and sharing.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi Chyrs...

Thanks so much for publishing such a much-needed book. WE ALL experience these emotions and coming to terms with them is healthy. Giving us your experiences and advice is a wonderful thing. I know you have been suffering from depression since we became blogger friends years ago. You have managed beautifully and now you are sharing your techniques with others who may be experiencing the same thing. You should be very proud of yourself for all your accomplishments in our community. BRAVO!

Jay Artale (aka Roving Jay) said...

Writer's Block is defo a thing and I think there's two ways of approaching it -- give yourself a break and come back to it fresh, or do some freewriting to tap into your creativity.

Liesbet said...

Congratulations on your new release, Chrys. Happy to see the high participation in your blog hop; certainly a topic that affects us all.

I have a problem with people who cannot put themselves in other people's shoes or deny the existence of facts (Coronavirus, anyone?), conditions, and experiences, because they have never gone through it/them themselves.

I think most of us understand what burnout feels like. I hope depression has only happened to a few. And, in the case of writer's block, it can be helped or improved (hence your book). That being said, I have not experienced it, because I'm not a professional author, really, which means I have loads of distractions, and I feel that I have so many writing ideas bubbling in my mind that if I get stuck with one project, there are others to tap into.

Thank you for co-hosting and success with the blog tour and book sales!!!

Empty Nest Insider said...

I’m sorry that there were people who doubted what you and many others have gone through and continue to go through everyday. I admire your strength and bravery in battling depression, as well as, your willingness to help others. Best of luck on your new book, Chrys!

Julie

Shannon Lawrence said...

You're right that we all need to be more cognizant of what we say to others. Whether it's something we believe in or have experienced, it's valid to the person suffering it. I remember you suffering through it, and hope I only said supportive things. And I'm doubly glad you're back to enjoying it some.

Jeff said...

Good advice. Actually, making fun or light of anyone who is struggling with anything should be avoided. Why can't we be nice to one another?

www.thepulpitandthepen.com

Tonja Drecker said...

A huge congrats on your release! Oh, and I'm emailing you soon. I believe I forgot that I promised to write something ;)

Debra Renée Byrd said...

Thank you for the encouraging words and for co-hosting!

Nick Wilford said...

Thanks for an excellent post. One of the worst things we can do is dismiss someone else's struggles... and that goes for any context or field of endeavour.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I posted a link to your page on my Twitter page (hope that's okay because if not I'll remove it) because I think what you wrote is definitely relevant, especially right now, when a lot of people are struggling with depression and burnout made even worse by the pandemic and all the problems that came with it. I've struggled with writing burnout many times, mainly because of my multiple jobs that left me with little energy or time to write what I really wanted to write.

Chrys Fey said...

Yes, there are always those people.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you for such a nice comment, Michael! :)

Chrys Fey said...

Sometimes, though, giving yourself a break and free-writing doesn't do the trick.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Lisbet!

But you don't have to be a professional author to experience block. A hobby writer can also get blocked.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Julie!

Chrys Fey said...

You were definitely supportive, Shannon. Thank you!

Chrys Fey said...

Good question.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Teresa!

Chrys Fey said...

You're welcome!

Chrys Fey said...

I agree.

Chrys Fey said...

That is totally okay. Thank you! And I hope you are doing okay during these tough times and are not experiencing burnout. <3