Wednesday, August 5, 2020

IWSG and Keep Writing With Fey Blog Hops

Today you get two blog hops for the price of one. It's time for the monthly IWSG hop hosted by Alex Cavannaugh and cohosted by Susan Baury Rouchard, Nancy Gideon, Jennifer Lane, Jennifer Hawes, Chemist Ken, and Chrys Fey. The IWSG is great place for writers who would like to share what's on their mind. This month, one of the above co-host, Chrys Fey, is also hosting a blog hop on writer's block, depression, and/or burnout that I will be participating in, because, yes, you can do it all, right? 

Well, no, of course not. That's silly. I'll be skipping the optional monthly question for the IWSG. 

Once upon a time, I was a happy writer, cranking out my first novel with dreams of getting an agent and then a publishing deal and someday, seeing my book in a store, watching with pride as a customer came along, plucked it from the shelf, and put in their cart/recyclable bag. Ah, such innocent times. 

Then I tried to query. What a roller coaster that was. Lots of rejection, lots of not hearing anything, a small smattering of partial requests, an even smaller number of whole requests, and one revision and resubmit that still ended in the dreaded: No. Heck, I even went to NYC for a editorial conference to pitch to editors. 

When I'd had enough, I wrote another novel and followed the sage advice that an efficient writer should start their new novel while quering the finished one. Sure! Except they never said how to keep writing while actively being rejected again and again. 

So the third novel petered out during the second draft, restarted a bit here and there, and stopped dead with the pandemic. I haven't touched it in months. What to do, what to do? 

I could self publish, but the amount of work to do it well, figuring out how to hire editors, copy-editors, cover-artists, self-promotion, and marketing all seemed too much. I wasn't ready to commit the time or the money. Maybe I should clean one of the novels up and put it on WattPad and see if it gains any readers. But that still would take a lot of time and do I want to keep investing time in either of the first two novels? Not sure.

So now what? Quit writing? Maybe. Or maybe, I'll just write not for the purpose of publishing, but for the purpose (and hopefully, joy) of creating. In other words, write for myself. Will anyone ever see it? I don't know. When will this writing ever begin? Possible this fall, depending on how much my daughters need my help with school. How do I feel about it? Sigh. I really don't know. Whatever I'm going through, call it writer's block, depression, or burn-out, it's not over yet. 

But I'm not sitting in a corner crying about it. I'm gardening like a mad man (woman). I'm decluttering the house. I'm hiking, biking, kayaking, and reading Stephen King's Gunslinger series while eating way too many M&Ms.

The rock garden, now with some plants, but not finished.

And here's something else I could be reading: 





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.





Amazon / Nook / iTunes / Kobo






Chrys Fey is the author of Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication. She is also the author of the Disaster Crimes series. Visit her blog, Write with Fey, for more tips on how to reverse writer’s burnout.


Has burnout/writer's block been a problem for you?


  1. I’m trying to get in the mindset just to create for myself right now, because thinking too far ahead about publishing will make me not want to write at all.
    Love the rock garden!

  2. I'm glad you're dealing with hard times by being productive. While maybe I'll get published someday, I am looking at writing as something creative I like to do and if it's only for me and my critique partners, that's okay with me.

  3. Write for YOU, Tamara! After 70 published books, the ones I wrote for the publisher and not me were one's that seem empty. If the author is emotionally invested it shows in the prose! Write for yourself and submit when you feel like it. And take it from me, self-pub isn't all that bad!!

  4. Just write for the joy of it. Remove the pressure.

    Shame no one picked up Gold Leaf. I loved the story.

  5. I hike, kayak and bike so I can eat more M&Ms! I do hope you get published and congratulations on Chrys' new book.

  6. Your rock garden is cool.
    Just take a break. The urge will return.

  7. I look back on my innocent times before publishing and seeking publication and sigh with longing.

    Writing for the purpose of creating is the best thing we can do as writers. At some point, it became about publishing for me, and that impacted me in a bad way. I had to transition back to writing for myself, and I am doing so much better now.

  8. Definitely read Chrys's book! And keep up the gardening. I look forward to cooler weather when I can start converting my useless & environmentally destructive grass to a more interesting rock/native plant garden :)

  9. The rock garden looks beautiful!

    Have you considered submitting directly to publishers? There are lots of smaller publishers and imprints from the big five that don't require an agent, and that do a decent job of marketing. That's how I broke into the industry, after having to fire my first agent.

  10. Keep writing, Tamara. Keep creating, and disregard the editors who reject you. They're not all-knowing. They are as fallible as other people, and many writers found contentment and even success in self-publishing. Wattpad might also be a good idea. Experiment and see what works for you. But don't despair because of rejections. They are not worth it.

  11. I could've written this post. When I finally wrote for fun, not to publish, guess what happened? My 1st published book. Later, I went the self-pubbed route and love it. Good luck. Enjoy the writing.

  12. Tamara! First of all ... ((BIG HUGS))!!!!

    I've been there, done that!!! It all boiled down (for me) that I will just write for myself! Keep writing out those babies and writing and writing. It is my purest joy in escapism!

    I did, however, submit one book a few years ago and it was published by a company that restructured itself and stopped altogether. I signed a few contracts thereafter but it felt all WRONG so I pulled the books out and then that company went under.

    Fast forward about 8 years and I started emerging from timidity and learned how to write short stories so I've submitted a few.

    Please don't give up--even if it's just for yourself! Please! It is NOT a waste of time. Remember that publishing books is like teaching--you do it because you love it. Because you LOVE it.

    I hope we can be each other's support! Keep in touch!

  13. Nice rock garden! I've always loved rocks, and they're much easier to care for than living plants.

    There's no shame in putting a book on hiatus for a long time. If the urge isn't there, it can't be forced. Should you decide to return, it'll be worth the wait, and will probably be written in a way you couldn't write it earlier (for the better).

    1. Thanks for the advice.

      I've never had to change the ages of characters long after the original work. It seems like a very complicated endeavor seeing all your time lines and family trees. Yikes.

  14. So far, writer's burnout has only claimed me once, and I pray it never comes around again. Hopefully I learned a bit about pacing myself and being reasonable. @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

  15. That's a nice rock garden. :-)

    Writer for yourself, for whatever reason brings you joy. Or don't write. No one is judging you but yourself.

  16. Thanks for sharing your story. Writing for pleasure has helped me a lot. I've written more than most would ever know because I've been keeping a lot to myself. There's still a small part of me that says I need to put something "out there" but I'm just not ready. Hopefully, I'll be ready soon. Your nature and exercise activities sound great.

  17. Hi Tamara, first time here. I can feel the pain and I really pray and wish that you get what you are looking for! I have been writing since my high school but never did show until recently. After 20 years, I still write, shedding my inhibition at the encouragement of my close friends and family, I started submitting to a couple of them fairly recently i.e. in 2018 and unexpectedly got selected. Since I am slowly opening up! I guess, I have always been writing for myself. I love how you are keeping yourself engaged in activities! Love your spirit!
    Best wishes!

  18. Sometimes you gotta take a break and remember to enjoy other things in life. The writing will find its way back into your life. Writing for the sheer joy of it is a great way to write and take a break both together. Have a good weekend Tamara.

  19. Writing for publication can be incredibly discouraging. You have to write for you. Write what you love and what makes you happy. Life is too short to do otherwise.
    Lori at

  20. After reading how you cope, I'm thinking we should be friends! Thanks for sharing your experience. It is a reality that many of us will face, I assume. I'm working on my third attempt at my first novel. I'm not smart enough to move to another one :)

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  22. Don't quit writing. You can write just for fun if it is your passion.


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