Do Your Thing And Don’t Care If They Like It (An IWSG Post)

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!

(If you’re new to the IWSG and/or are looking for more information, including a complete list of participants, please click on the above link.)

This month’s awesome co-hosts are Susan Baury Rouchard, Nancy Gideon, Jennifer Lane, Jennifer Hawes, Chemist Ken, and Chrys Fey!

This month’s (optional) question asks, “Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn’t planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

But I’m taking a pass on the question today because I’m pleased to be participating in a bloghop celebrating the release of a brand-new book from which any struggling writer could benefit. It’s really perfect for the IWSG, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a super fan of its author, Chrys Fey.

But before we get into the details of the book itself (or if you’d rather not wait, just scroll down a little…), we were asked to share our own stories and struggles with writer’s block and/or depression and/or burnout and what we did or are currently doing to heal.

So I’ve been trying to figure out how to approach this post since I signed up to participate. Me talking about my feelings in any sort of detail always leads me to feel worse about myself than I already do. And when you feel awful about yourself every minute of every day anyway, you’re never that eager to add to that.

But, as I mentioned earlier, I admire the hell out of Chrys (seriously, y’all, she’s a rock star), so I wanted to try. (Yes, there is such a thing as try, Yoda. Suck it.)

It’s no secret that I have been in a funk for…a good long time now. I don’t even know when it started. It’s been so long that it feels like it’s always been this way. And maybe it has. Again, I don’t know. I do know things got worse last year (I’m not going into the reasons why), which was a surprise because I honestly didn’t think I could feel worse about myself than I already did.

So…good for me, I guess? My ability for self-loathing is limitless! Woo Hoo! High five!

But however it happened, I have yet to find a way to right the ship or turn it around or…stop the ship from sinking, or whatever boat-themed metaphor you prefer.

And neither can I say that I’m doing any dealing or healing because ‘dealing’ and ‘healing’ implies action, and I’m certainly not doing anything active. What I’m doing is more…living with it. Like the lizard that’s currently living in my pantry. And the one in my bookshelves. Not to mention the mailbox.

Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE living in the tenth circle of hell Florida?

For me, living with it boils down to one simple philosophy that I have mentioned on this blog many times before…


This is a quote attributed to my good friend, Tina Fey (note: the phrase ‘good friend’ may be a slight exaggeration, as we’ve never actually met), and I repeat to myself a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Some days, it’s far easier to do than others, but it’s a good mantra for me to have. And some days, it’s the only way I get anything written.

In this industry, I often hear that I’m doing it wrong, or that I need to do X, Y, or Z instead, and that I don’t really belong here. Which are all things that are probably true, and some days, it’s easier to shrug off that shit than others.

But here’s the thing: I have to do this writing thing on my terms. I have to do the publishing thing on my terms. Even if it means I don’t do it at all. And if my terms don’t conform with someone else’s vision of things, then…too bad.

I’m here, I’m obstinate as hell, and they’re just going to have to deal with it.

But if you are currently living with writer’s block, depression, or burnout, or some kind of combination of the above, it’s well worth checking out Chrys’s book. (How’s that for a segue, huh?) I was privileged enough to read an early copy of it, and I think someone would have to work really hard to not find something within those pages to help them out.

Which leads us to…


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.

19 Commentsto Do Your Thing And Don’t Care If They Like It (An IWSG Post)

  1. Chrys Fey says:

    Sending you great big hugs! You definitely belong here. If I ever hear anyone say that you don’t, I’ll bite their heads off. lol When we go through block/depression/burnout, we really do have to learn to live with it for some time, and how long that time is will depend on each person and their situation. Part of learning to deal with it is reflecting and trying different things, but all of that looks different, too, and comes at different times. I think you’re doing the right thing. It sounds like you’re accepting it, which is definitely the hardest part. Now I hope you can find tiny actions that can help you crept past what you’re going through. One baby-step at a time.

    Thank you so much for participating in my blog hop, sharing all that, and for being is freaking awesome!

  2. Jemi Fraser says:

    You are a rock star, too!
    Love the mantra and just may borrow that myself. This writing biz is hard enough when you just consider the writing. Add in all the other stuff, and … yeah. It’s hard.
    I went through a really tough time when we realized Mom’s dementia. That took me months and months and months to get through. Sending hugs your way!

  3. You know, people call it “stubborn” when they disagree with you. When they like what you’re doing, they call it “determination.” Both can serve us or hurt us, and that’s the tricky bit. Here’s to figure out when to be stubborn (for both of us)! @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

  4. Exactly! Write on your terms and don’t worry about it.

  5. I can relate to feeling down and your attitudes toward writing/publishing your way regardless of what people say. It reminds me of how my husband asks “What can I do? What will make you happy?” To which I typically reply, while tears are rolling down my face, “You can’t fix me, alright?” I haven’t read Chrys’s book yet, but it’ll be one I check out.

  6. C. Lee McKenziE says:

    Tina Fey’s quote is certainly very freeing, isn’t it?

  7. There are ALWAYS deeper depths of despair you can sink to. Finding the lowest possible point you can reach in life is a never-ending challenge; no matter how good you get at it, there’s always someone better at being and feeling worse.

    But yeah, writing is whatever you want to make it. You get out of it what you put into it, and there’s no right or wrong way. You have to enjoy what you’re doing, otherwise what’s the point?

  8. Are they at least cute lizards? I wouldn’t want to live in Florida either. I need snow.

    My critter of annoyance is mice. They like to leave their crap in the drawer under my oven all over the baking pans. No, those aren’t chocolate sprinkles, are they?

    Come on, kittens of mine. Do your job!

  9. Toi Thomas says:

    I love that quote. It’s helped me a lot. I can’t help but be who I am and not worrying about others is a huge weight off my shoulders. I think you totally belong here and am rooting for you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us today.

  10. Kate says:

    Very wise advice. Just do your thing and don’t give a crap what other people think. If we all waited for approval, we’d never do anything!

  11. We all have different paths to take – there’s no one fit-all when it comes to being an author or writer.

  12. J E Oneil says:

    When you step into the darkest corners of the human heart, bring a shovel.

  13. I love your motto. I think it’s a blessing that we’re all unique and have different paths to take with our writing and our lives. Go, MJ! You do you. 🙂

  14. OOh, I agree with Diane–no one size fits all! We are all individuals programmed to express what’s etched within our hearts and if they don’t like it, too bad!

    Don’t be down on yourself! Let your light shine and be proud!

  15. Donna Hanton says:

    Yes! You do you. Now… if only I could take my own advice! Working on it, maybe Chrys’ book will help

  16. Liz A. says:

    There are some writers on Twitter that you need to follow. They were having an interesting conversation a day or two ago about how the “gatekeepers” of sci fi are idiots. Well, I’m paraphrasing… Anyway, they write kind of out there stuff (different from your out there stuff), and they’re fairly successful. The “do your thing and don’t care if they like it” is also their mantra, to an extent.

    I think we all feel like impostors. You know who doesn’t feel like an impostor? Sociopaths.

  17. mshatch says:

    Well I think you’re pretty awesome for self publishing #1, and extra awesome for your love of Buffy and Joss Whedon #2 and #3 your posts always make me smile or snicker or laugh. My mom is in Florida and I’ve been there in the summer and it is definitely the tenth circle of hell or as close to it as one can get. Stay cool and keep being you.

  18. That’s a great mantra and I’ve used a variation of it. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out what’s going on, what’s blocking you, and how to fix it. Life isn’t simple and neat, after all. It’s more of a bitch.

  19. Steph W says:

    When I started writing for this blog hop, it completely drained me and I felt like such a Debbie Downer. I know exactly what you mean. I almost deleted the whole thing, but then I couldn’t come up with anything else to say! Here’s to living with it!

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