Friday, March 29, 2013

Life Lessons—When You Hit Rock Bottom

by Reba J. Hoffman Ph.D


Yeah, it’s going to happen. Sooner or later you’ll plummet to the lowest valley in the rock quarry and find yourself face down in quartzite and shale.

Writing is an emotionally exhausting endeavor. You feel the angst and depression of your characters as you write all manner of evil against them. Then, when you triumphantly put the period at the end of the happily ever after, you… well, sit. And wait. And wring your hands, hurl a few expletives and mourn the day you called yourself a writer.

Rock bottom. Why can’t the publishing houses in the Big Apple see you are the next big thing in literature?

Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you hit that geological bedrock in your writing career:
  • It ends. That’s the great thing about rock bottom. It’s definite, has limits and once you hit it, you won’t go any farther! Imagine if you hit outer space? You’d float in weightlessness for eternity without ever getting firm footing again.
  • It’s entirely directional. Hitting rock bottom immediately shows you the direction you should take. After all, you can’t go down any farther. You can now focus all your energy and efforts in moving up.
  • It’s not lonely. Everyone at one time or another hits rock bottom. You can find those who understand what you’re facing and you can help each other in the ascent. Hey, if you’re going to be there, might as well have fun, right?
  • It’s the core of your writing ability. Just as hitting bedrock in the earth, rock bottom is at the very core of who you are and what you’re made of. Imagine how awful your manuscripts would be without this hardcore essence. They’d be… umm… in a word: boring!

Hey, it’s gonna happen. You can’t always prevent it. So, might as well mine it for all you can, right? Become an emotional rock collector! The books you write will be rich, your experience will provide a wealth of wisdom and you’ll have fodder for years to come.

Relax. Rock bottom really is a firm, safe place to be!

When was the last time you hit rock bottom? How did you react to it? How did you feel about it? Share it here!

Reba J. Hoffman is the founder and president of Magellan Life Coaching (www.magellanlifecoaching.com). She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Counseling and is a natural encourager. She serves as Member Care Coach for My Book Therapy and is the author of Dare to Dream, A Writer’s Journal. You can connect with Reba through her motivational blog, Finding True North, or by email at reba@magellanlifecoaching.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at @RebaJHoffman.

9 comments:

  1. Great post, Reba. I've found that it's in the rock bottom places that I often get my most powerful stuff. Praise God, He doesn't waste any scars!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vonda, that's so true! He doesn't waste anything. Blessings, E

      Delete
  2. Wow....I have never thought of hitting rock bottom as a good thing! Reba, you are one of the most upbeat, energetic people I know. My day is feeling better already. And I do have a literal rock collection....guess I'll add the figurative ones!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary, it's a totally different perspective, isn't it? Blessings, E

      Delete
  3. Thanks Reba. I've been at the bottom of the quarry for quite some time now and am just beginning to see the benefits. I'll definitely enjoy the climb out, but will not forget the lessons of facing The Rock.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bruce, I'm glad to know you're coming back up! Blessings, E

      Delete
  4. What a wonderful thought, Reba! When you get to the end of your strength, God will be waiting there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's wonderful to know God's there at the end of our strength, but He's also there before! Blessings, E

      Delete
  5. I've been rock bottom on my book for more than six months. I was editing and then had to stop. I was sick of it. Then, the other day, as I was praying about my book, God said, "Haven't I anointed it?" It filled me with such joy that I've started working on it again. It will be hard work, but God is with me.

    ReplyDelete