Rock Bottom

Maybe you have to hit rock bottom with your writing, with your confidence in your writing—and without any semblance of confidence, there is no writing. Maybe you have to fall. And fall hard. After that maybe you can go on.

By you, clearly I mean me. Maybe I have to go splat.

Yesterday, let’s not talk about yesterday. E asked me how it went; I told him we couldn’t talk about it, so we watched an awful movie instead. He wanted to talk about it, he tried, he doesn’t like seeing me dangling here, but I couldn’t put it to words, this hopelessness, I get all defensive when I talk about it, so it’s better to be quiet on the subject.

To avoid it at all costs.

Things are not going well. But today feels a bit—a solid smidge—better than yesterday, so maybe I’m climbing back up.

(If you want the truth, I know I haven’t hit rock bottom yet: there’s still a ways to fall. But let’s pretend I don’t know that. Maybe I can avoid feeling worse.)

Avoidance is one of my great talents.

5 responses to “Rock Bottom”

  1. Remember what they say about rock bottom: after that there’s only one way you can go and that’s UP. Writing without confidence is my idea of a hellish experience–the words don’t sing, the sentences don’t slip into place next to each other like perfect little stitches in a row. But perhaps you might salvage an idea, a paragraph, an image, something you can build on, a small victory in a long and savage conflict, a few words wrung from a recalcitrant muse…


  2. hello. I saw your blog at joe felso’s and I’m glad I dropped by. I’ve read “About Me” and “Return to Paper” and I must say the flow of your words is mesmerizing. I plan to return to read the rest of your work. I’d like to add you to my blogroll. I hope you don’t mind. 🙂


  3. I’ve got this month-by-month planner notebook. Each page is divided into boxes of about an inch squared. At the beginning of each month you write the month name at the top of the page and the date in each box. I’ve started using this for my writing and putting my progress for each day in the box i.e. my final word count for the chapter I’m on, before I go to bed. I started it because I was getting so demoralised. I often feel as if I’m being taken over by everything except writing, even the laundry seems to have higher priority. I wanted to see how much writing I was doing each day. You’d think doing this would be discouraging but, for me, it’s been such a help and encouragement. The past few months have been trying but seeing I’ve written even 50 words a day has cheered me up. I even feel slightly more confident… sort of…

    I hope things start to go better soon.


  4. Hi- I’ve been reading your blog for weeks now, maybe even months and I just wanted to let you know that I love it. Your voice is incredibly engaging. Reading this”rock bottom” entry has made me want to be more honest on my own blog about this darker side of the creative process. I tend to just disappear off the radar when it hits me. So thanks for the inspiration. Hang in there…


  5. Thank you, Cliff. A small victory is what I need.
    And storiesafterthefall, thank you so much! Of course I don’t mind.
    Helen, your advice is always helpful to me, always.
    Kim, I wonder if disappearing off the radar might be something I should consider? My negativity is wearing me down.


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