Working through the Dip

To begin, I want to thank everyone for reading my essays. Since Christmas, I have gone from 1 follower to 21! I appreciate and value the trust you’ve put in me to write some things that have spoken to you. I hope it continues to do so.

Also, I’m going to start referring to my blogs as essays or posts, as you may have noticed above. Personally, blog doesn’t roll of the tongue for me, and blogging is even worse. I’ll be writing, and that lends itself more to writing essays. Moving on.

Getting through the dip, also known as hitting the wall. I have been writing pretty regularly here since December 23. It has been fun, healthy, and a discipline for me. I have always thought I wanted to write, and something that I have enjoyed throughout the years. I know it is more than a passing fancy because I keep returning to it. I simply allow myself to be distracted by too many things. When I write for myself and others, it is usually done when distractions are at a minimum. I wrote when I was camping, when the power was out at home, on the road, or away from the TV. That sounds terrible, but true. Even as I began to write this post, I spent 15 minutes checking my site stats, seeing if I got hit up on twitter (yes) and then responding. I can get distracted. That’s natural.

But what I really want to talk about is the dip. Because while I was putting off writing, I had the nagging voice in my head, the pushy little guy who wants to work and speak his mind, telling me “You need to sit down and write, not do all this other stuff.” One of the reasons I was allowing my weak side to take control was because I felt like I didn’t want to do it. Writing wasn’t coming as easily the past couple of days. I was tired, busy, and wanted to let my mind rest. This is also natural. The initial high and excitement of writing, coming up with ideas, and unleashing them on the world, that was wearing off. The process was a bit of a struggle, and I didn’t want to push through it.

In sports, we call this hitting the wall. the part in a race or game where the early game energy has worn off, your pace has slowed, and you’re wondering if you can keep up through the end. Two things happen here:

  1. You realize how much this whatever means to you. So you suck it up, and keep going. You keep showing up, working hard, publishing, and turning out your art.
  2. You realize this whatever isn’t you. So you cut your losses, count your experience, and go find what makes you want to climb the mountain. Do this immediately.

I was also worrying to much about becoming famous, looking for places to submit articles, and dreaming about being that guy who gets to make short films of National Parks. All of this time looking for ways to be famous takes away from the actual writing. Which is ironic, because I’m certainly not going to make an impact by looking around for ways to be famous.

There you go. You may have to bear with me for a little while, because I may be turning out some pretty average essays in order to push through the wall. Of course, during any of that I could break through. Anything that you or I put out there for others can be used for good. It’s not up to us any way. The words will come, our job is to put them out there.

A few references for you good folks:

Writing Down the Bones – A book on writing by Natalie Goldberg, and I’m still reading it. Best lesson so far is to keep writing, some of it will be trash and some will be gold, but you have to wade through a lot of trash to find it.

The Dip – Written by Seth Godin, and the inspiration for the headline of this essay. I haven’t read the entire book, just bits while at Barnes & Noble. But a good lesson of pushing through your dips, or turning away. Update: Good news! I found a preview copy of the book on the Change This! website. Download here.

Bird by Bird – Another writing book, by Anne Lamott. I am thoroughly enjoying this one, Lamott gives great advice, some of which I’ll be sure and post later on. Plus she’s quite funny.


3 thoughts on “Working through the Dip

  1. Writing “average” work when you’re not feeling like it is a great practice to take up. You’d be surprised how often other people find that to be some of your best work. Almost as though you’ve stopped trying so hard and out comes literary gold, so to speak. Good luck with your writing.

    • Thanks for the encouragement, I appreciate it! I agree it’s a good practice to keep grinding when you don’t feel like it, because that will keep happening throughout life.

  2. Pingback: 5 Ways to Keep Posting Regularly | The Journey

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