What to do when you hit the bottom

At some point in every writer’s career (at least, in most if you’re not super overly cocky about the quality of your work), you’ll hit the bottom. This is the place where it feels like nothing you write is good enough, that you’re not improving in any way, and that it would be pointless to continue. We’ve all been there, and if you haven’t, you’ll get there eventually. I’m not saying it to be mean–it’s a fact all writers face. We’re full of self-doubt and have a nasty habit of comparing ourselves to others. For some, the bottom is where they stop writing and funnel it away into a desk drawer never to look at again. For others, it’s a time to wallow and complain and generally feel terrible until we get it together enough to pull ourselves up.

Some people might think that wallowing isn’t the way to deal with a problem, but time is really what it takes. Some people might call this writer’s block as well, but that isn’t what it is. You may start projects and then abandon them because you feel they’re simply not good enough. That’s completely okay. Sometimes you just need to take a step back and give yourself a break.

When you hit rock bottom, or at least, what feels like it, it’s going to suck and it may take weeks or months before you start feeling better about it. Like everything in life, your brain has to take time to wrap around it and work through why you’re feeling that way. It may be because of comparisons you’ve made to others, comments others have made about your work (whether true or not), or just a feeling of ennui. Whatever the case, don’t be afraid of not writing for a while. If you can take a break, do it. Revitalize yourself. If there are problems, work on them. I tend to make the same writing mistakes over and over, despite knowing my faults, and that sometimes makes me wonder if it’s even worth keeping going. If you can’t learn from your own mistakes, how are you supposed to improve? It’s a difficult question to answer and one that has to be answered. It sucks, but you have to remember that this too shall pass. Well, hopefully anyway.


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