When Will I Get My Breakthrough? Making It Past "The Dip"

Image courtesy of Cellar Door Films WANA Commons

Image courtesy of Cellar Door Films WANA Commons

If you stick with writing long enough, you will make it to The Dip (thank you, Seth Godin). The Dip is that span of suck right before the big breakthrough. The Dip is a killer and it seems to go on and on and on, but The Dip serves a number of important purposes.

The Dip Weeds Out the Uncommitted

Writing is the best job in the world. I love what I do and, frankly it’s a huge reason I struggle with resting. My work rarely feels like work…unless I’m in The Dip, which I’m in now. We writers also call these “revisions.” I’ve read my new book so many times, I swear I could recite it from memory.

But there’s a missing comma. Oh, and where did that extra period come from? Wait, the subject and verb don’t agree in that sentence. Doesn’t that need a citation? All righty. That sentence totally made sense in my head. WTH? Kill…me…now.

It’s so tempting to just say, Well, it’s good enough.

Then I could start a new book. I have all these ideas! But no, the world rewards those who finish what they start. The world rewards excellence. It rewards those of us who make it past The Dip.

The Dip Trains Us for Success

I train a lot of authors how to blog. Blogging is the gym for the writer and fabulous training for taking on The Dips that will come during your careers. Blogs train us to write faster, leaner and to hook early and SHIP. The writers who make good money in this business write a lot of books. Blogs are the most resilient form of social media. Twitter can flitter away, but blogs will remain.

But, blogging can be really lonely for a long time (it’s why my blog classes are automatically placed in a tribe of support).

I blogged once a week for over a year and a half and, if I had over 50 visits a day? I did a huge happy dance. But I kept going. I didn’t blog for others. I didn’t blog to get comments or sell books. I did it to train me to be committed, because I was a notorious flake/slacker who required far too much outside validation than was probably healthy.

If we need constant outside encouragement, we won’t last in this business (or any other). Sometimes we need to keep pressing when everything in us tells us to give up, when every friend we have thinks we’re nuts.

Getting Past the Dip

Keep Pressing

First of all, just keep going. Keep your head down. Small actions over time add up. No one might read your blogs today, but keep blogging and one day BOOM. People will discover you, then go digging through your archives and subscribe because they see you show up. You post. You are there.

Showing up is a huge part of success.

I still remember the day I broke past the Blog Dip. I posted my blog then went for my morning walk. When I came home and checked my blog stats, it looked like my site had gone into cardiac arrest. The previous post had maybe 75 views (most spam bots). But that day? Over 14,000 views. One post. Over 14,000 views in less than 24 hours. Hundreds of comments.

Yet, what if I’d thrown in the towel?

Keep Believing

The same thing happened with my first book. When I published We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media, I had no platform to support that book. My first royalty check made me cry for three days. Remember, I did all the dumb stuff so you don’t have to. When I tell you guys how important it is to have a strong platform, I speak from experience…from doing it wrong.

But, despite my mistakes, I learned how to do things better and kept my head down. I kept moving.

Keep Investing

One step at a time. One bite at a time. One page at a time. One blog at a time. One book at a time. Ignore the numbers. Keep investing in you, your career, your craft, your dream. Eventually all that potential energy will pile up and then WHOOSH!

Then Expect a New Dip

As Joyce Meyer likes to say, “New level, new devil.” 

Once you make it past the Dip, celebrate your success. Reward yourself. Then back to work. And soon? Guess what? You got it ;).


But remember, Dips train the successful. The Dips can even get bigger and longer. The stakes grow higher, but you will be ready because you’ve been blasting through Dips so long, your motto is, “Bring it on!”

What about you guys? Are you in The Dip? Ready to scream yet? What Dips have you conquered? I want to hear about your successes? What are you struggling with? Do you have any tips, tactics, tools that might help? Share!

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of June, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

Winner for April (yes, I am late) Raani York

Winner for May Cynthia Stacey

Ladies, please send your 5000 word Word document, or query letter or 1000 words or less synopsis to kristen at wana intl dot com. Congratulations and I look forward to reading your work.

And also, winners have a limited time to claim the prize, because what’s happening is there are actually quite a few people who never claim the critique, so I never know if the spam folder ate it or to look for it and then people miss out. I will also give my corporate e-mail to insure we connect and I will only have a week to return the 20 page edit.

At the end of June I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!



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  1. Love the term the dip. Very cool. And I bet it was so cool to get 14,000 hits like that. I’d pee all over myself.

  2. If chips came with that dip, I’d feel a lot more motivated. Thanks for the shove…needed it.

  3. wow, I’m (brand) new to blogging so I guess I’ve got the ups and downs of the writing dips to come… But this was really interesting and helpful to read, and also really motivational, so thank you! 🙂

    • dinavidscuitee on June 5, 2013 at 9:30 am
    • Reply

    Is a dip the same as a block?

  4. I totally understand what you’re saying about The Dip. I’ve just started up out of a blog dip. For a while hardly anyone commented or visited my blog except for my faithful followers. Bless them. Then one day I linked my blog to my Avon Publishing Contributor page and BAM! I started seeing more views and comments. I did my own little dance.
    What’s amazing is my sales have increased since this out of the dip trend. It’s crazy how this writing career goes. One day you’re hoping someone will notice what you have to say and the next day people are asking you for more. I’ve even been given a spotlight in “Southern Writers Magazine” for their July Issue through my blogging.
    Thanks for the post. Very inspirational and helpful 🙂

  5. Once again, Kristen, you have timed a post with EXACTLY what is happening in my journey. Do you have a lock of my hair or something?

  6. It’s less of a dip and more of a very deep pit. Could someone toss me down some snacks?

  7. I guess I had the terminology wrong, I call it “death valley”, I keep believing that there is the other side that exists and one day I will come out of the valley blink furiously, rub my eyes, shake my head in wonder and head back in to the next “dip”. 🙂

  8. I am in the exact spot you were before you got 14,000 hits. So this post is incredibly encouraging! Not just for me, but for my audience, too. I love encouraging writers in their process– to keep writing because what they do matters. I will be sharing this with them for sure!

    On another note, The Dip reminds me of “the plateau” people reach when they are trying to lose weight. The only way through it is to keep pressing onward… keep working at it. 🙂

  9. I like to stash chocolate in my Dip. Not too much, or I’d never want to leave it. Here, Wanderer, have some of mine. 😉

    Hey, if I can have wine in my hurricane box, I can have chocolate in my Dip. Don’t judge me. 😉

  10. Is there a prize for the least hits? 🙂 Sue

  11. Totally in the dip with my blog, but a funny thing has happened. I’ve come to really like blogging, so will slog on… 😀

  12. I am in a current dip, for sure. I just endured two tragedies-a sudden death of a dear family member (healthy-collapsed at work) followed by a tornado the day after his funeral. I was there with my sister, his widow, and we were without power for 3 days. I am now home, resting and recuperating, as well as mourning..
    I love blogging and writing but it is more of a hobby than anything. I am a medical professional with strong right brain tendencies, which, as you know, need an outlet to survive. My blog is more photography and quotes but I finally got the nerve to do some writing and overall I think it’s okay and has been received well. I will definitely link back to your blog on a couple essays and would love for you to take a look if my name is picked.
    You inspire me to press on.

    1. I am SO sorry for your losses and happy you’re safe. Go ahead and send me ten pages. We’ll get your mind on your creative stuff ;). You’ll get through this. My dad died suddenly, too. On his 50th birthday and on the phone with ME. Was horrible, but the pain passes and eventually the good surfaces.

    2. I’m sorry to that too, what a hard time. I love following photography blogs, I’ll look for you. Take care.

  13. I can’t tell you how much I needed exactly this today. I feel like I’ve been working so hard for so long with so little pay-off, but if this is just a sucky dip I have to get through and learn from before the good stuff starts happening then I can handle that. Thank you so much!

  14. I hit a blog dip, climbed out of that recently only to hit a WIP dip (hey that rhymes!) now that I am deep in revisions. Whew! The WANA helps, though. 🙂 Thank you!

  15. I’ve been blogging for nearly two years and I’m still waiting to get out of the dip. Since I mainly blog for my writing students, though, I’m fine with my low numbers — that does not mean that I don’t *want* hundreds of people reading my blog, I would love it, but I’m fine writing for myself and a few others. The same with my books. If I make a couple hundred people happy with them, I’m good. I’m not looking to be a millionaire. I’m grateful for what I get. I do think you have to be to be in this business.
    Thanks for all you do!

  16. The dip, I love it. Yes, I’ve had several of them. My critique partner keeps telling me, just keep writing.

  17. Yes, I’m in a dip right now. Just started blogging, about to get a website up and running, about to publish an ebook, about to do a lot of things in fact. It’s a scary time, but exciting too, and what you said about one step and a time, one blog at a time, really helps to keep it all focused and in perspective. I think I might go and buy your book!

  18. Kristen, did you blog about writing specifically, or was it anything that struck your fancy that day?

    1. I blogged about Star Trek. It’s why I teach writers how to blog for mass readership. I learned a lot from the content that hit that “tipping point.” I’d been blogging about writing. Regular people have nothing to say about POV or plotting. They have A LOT to say about Star Trek, LOL.

      1. Ahh, that makes it SO much easier. Danke.

        And, since I know you’re a fan, check out this blog post from AmyBeth from ROW80. You’re bound to get a chuckle or 20.


        Love to hear what you think about it!


  19. I really identified with the blogging dip. I’ve only recently started focusing on my blog. I’ve been really happy with the results that I’m personally experiencing from sticking with it. I set myself the ambitious goal of ‘One post every weekday. Gotta post something.’ I am really bad at keeping up with commitments and forcing an every day thing makes me not try to keep pushing it off.
    It’s nice to hear that it does actually get better.

  20. I. So. Needed. This! Thank you!

  21. Thanks for this encouraging word! I’ve had similar experiences with blogging, and it’s great to get the perspective of blogging to hone a writer’s skill.

    Love that you quoted Joyce Meyer. I’ve gotten similar encouragement through the words of Joel Osteen.

    This is a great word for all writers!

  22. If things were easy, everyone would be doing it, right? Thanks for leading the way. 🙂

  23. So THAT’S what it’s called! I’ve been Dipping all over the place without even knowing about the Dip 🙂
    I’m new to the world of blogging but I had been writing for a long time at another writing site (typetrigger.com, they give you 4 prompts a day to help break thru that damn writers block) and one thing I’ve always done is ignore the number of ‘likes’ and just write. It’s good to get feedback and of course numbers are important in the grand scheme of things but for me, it’s best to just sit in front of a blank screen and just write.
    When the Dip comes, as it inevitably does, I try to look at things from a readers point of view and think of what I’d like to see happen if I was reading the story instead of writing the story.
    I also read as much as I can, other blogs, books, etc and immerse myself in someone else’s world, somehow that helps to kick me back into gear. Speaking of which, I better get to it and get some more writing done 😀

  24. I love you. Loyal fan here. Loyal.

    1. 😀 I love you guys too *HUGS*

  25. I knew I heard rustling in my home office last night while I was laying there only half asleep. My mind, (I use that term loosely ’cause there are lots of times when I don’t think it’s mine,) was busy thinking about many of the things Kristen writes about here. Things like, blogging to no one, watching book sales go backwards in spite of good reviews and more effort toward social networking and marketing, and wondering why all the ingredients are there but the soup won’t cook.
    I don’t follow many blogs. I don’t even follow my own. (Are you supposed to? J/K) Kristen is gold on the days when I seem to be digging up cow manure. After reading this blog I realize I’m not alone despite the fact that nobody is here, (at my house, in my life). So I will continue to ‘talk to myself’, write blogs to no one, sell books that set records for low sales of the month. It is a fire that I cannot extinguish. It burns to get out of me and if one person lets me know that they were somehow touched today, it only makes the flame burn hotter.
    I realize that it is about being discoverable. One hundred thousand people cannot buy your book if one hundred thousand people don’t know you exist. Short of standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, completely naked and preaching the Second Coming, (thus easily making top story on the ten o’clock news,) I have yet to unlock the secret of discoverability.
    From the depths of ‘the dip’ I say thank you Kristen.

  26. I so needed this. I am just moving out of my dip within a dip LOL My writing career is in the no one knows me yet, I’ve read and re-read my book so many times I want to gauge my eyes out dip. But I have been blogging and doing other social media and last month I hit a blogging dip. I just felt like everything I wrote was stupid, trite, and forced sounding. There are things I want to share, but they just aren’t high concept blog worthy- honestly my most popular blogs are the ones where I talk about what an emotional spaz I am LOL.
    What I figured out my ideas that aren’t blog worthy are great for facebook, twitter, and tumblr! I can post about fun geek jewelry or foreign films I have watched on those platforms- perfect! And my blog, it needs to be more. Today I woke up with several blog ideas, and yes they focus on me and my crazy which people seem to relate to- go figure 🙂

    • Melissa Lewicki on June 5, 2013 at 10:45 am
    • Reply

    I am so looking forward to having a Dip. It will mean I am making progress; passing another milestone. Thanks, as always.

  27. This post was really helpful because it feels like I’m heading toward my dip. I am getting a lot of views and follows, am enjoying all the blogs I write for, and now I have entered into a phase of doing book reviews for other bloggers. Hope I win the June prize! 🙂

  28. Reblogged this on Sunshine Factor and commented:
    This is good advice…please read.

  29. “I did it to train me to be committed, because I was a notorious flake/slacker who required far too much outside validation than was probably healthy.” This is me. To a “t” – I’m so glad I followed a link over to read this. Thanks.

  30. This post is one reason why I follow Kristen. She post motivating blogs.

  31. Am definitely MID DIP. It’ll pass. They always do.

    • Julia on June 5, 2013 at 11:28 am
    • Reply

    I am in a BIG DIP! However, I recently found your blog & recommitted myself to blogging and to writing every day. Small steps, but they’re committed steps! This post really spoke to me. Thanks!

  32. Thank you so much for sharing this. I always enjoy reading your blogs. This one especially spoke to me exactly where I am at this point in my life, giving me encouragement to press on. My dad passed away suddenly in December 2012. I wrote a blog in January concerning some of the issues I was dealing with at the time, but so much more has transpired in my heart and my life since. Many times I have begun writing, only to be completely overwhelmed by my emotions, leaving me with a partially, and what I feel to be, badly written blog. Again, thank you so much for sharing. May you continue to be blessed in all that you do, Sheri Haskins : )

  33. I’m not in a dip right now, but I’ve been there and will be again. Some of my blogging “dips” are conscious choices because of my college courseload, but novel revisions – oh yeah. I’m there now and pushing through. This post’s getting clipped and going in my “read regularly” file – thanks!

  34. Lovely post! I think every job has it’s “dip”. I love the points you give to get through it. It’s great advice for anyone, even if they’re not a writer.

  35. Fighting the dip is what I struggle most with. I’ve been quick to give up on many things because they had become too difficult. I refuse to give up on writing. Thank you for your helpful blog!

  36. Thanks Kristen. Hubby and I had a long, productive but bruising talk last night about writerly next steps, and it is really helpful to have someone put a name on the rough spot and normalize it.

  37. Ahh, the dip, the depths of despair, the doldrums. Been there, done that. Actually, doing that right now. Especially needed to hear from someone else how important it is to work for the sake of the work and not the endless (and set-up for disappointment) craving for outside validation.

  38. Reblogged this on Novel kudos and commented:
    Is Kristen Lamb living inside my head?

  39. Yep, been in many “dips” but the only thing that really gets me through them is the fact that I just seriously love to write and learning about the craft. If no one ever reads my stuff, at least I’ve had fun writing it. 😀

  40. Great post! I’ve climbed in and out of Dips for a long time now. Your words helped give me a much needed boost today: I’m climbing back out of the hole, scratched up knees and broken fingernails be damned!

  41. Perfectly timed post! I’m in the Dip! Revising, editing, and revising some more. I find reasons aplenty to take a break . . . need more coffee, the cat needs some affection, snack time! And in the case of right now, it was check-Kristen’s-blog time. And wouldn’t you know it? You’ve booted me back to my manuscript. I’m heading there right now. But I really do need more coffee first. 🙂

  42. I say– when life gives you dip, make basil pesto: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/basil-pesto-recipe2/index.html

  43. Such a great post. Sharing this for sure!!

  44. Thank you for this. I am so far into the Dip lately that it’s scary at times. But I keep on pushing, and I’m going to reblog this. 😀

  45. Reblogged this on A Place That Does Not Exist.

  46. Oh I am so in the dip right now. I have a very tiny amount of time left this term to complete the trilogy I’m working on. Success for me is finishing the story; beginning, middle end. There’s a long haul after that before publishing but I don’t find that hard. The hard part, for me, is breaking through to the end of the story. I’ve set myself a very hard task and the chances of my finishing my trilogy within the next two years is remote, I have to fight tooth and nail for every second I get to write but it’s like a bad crack habit and even though it would make life oh so much easier if I gave up, I can’t.

    So yeh, I get the dip feeling… and the fact I’ve just realised I’m not going to finish my book in time to get it edited and done by Christmas is a massive bummer. On the upside, while I may well not finish the ‘trilogy’ for two years, I suspect there may be four books.



  47. My goodness. I never put a name to this dreadful process. I’m in the thick Dip right now, waist high in muck, wondering why I couldn’t pursue a career in high-voltage dental work instead. Happy to hear your blogging took so long. If a great blogger like yourself takes 1.5 years, my 3 month blogging-slumber-fest doesn’t sound so bad. As always, great post.

  48. when I studied martial arts, we called it the plateau — that point when progress was harder and you felt it was hopeless to continue. But if one just pushes on, the next improvement awaits if we can just keep on.

  49. Definitely a concept I understand and have been in. And kinda am in, right now. But I know that the only way to push through it is to PUSH THROUGH IT. Always have, always will. When I’m writing a book, it’s usually the middle that slows me down, that keeps me from feeling like I’m getting anywhere. Eventually, I get past that feeling and move on with my life. My writing is usually all the better for it. 🙂

  50. This month marks the one-year anniversary of my blog. Even though it still doesn’t get even 30 visitors on a daily basis, I love my itty bitty baby blog. And I love having my own space to write.

    As for the dip, I go through small ones almost on a daily basis, big ones every 4-6 months. And I get through by asking myself, “Next?” As in what can I do next? What do I want to do next? What is the next thing I can do to make this better? What can I learn next to get better?

    It’s all scary. But when I get through it, I make sure to celebrate it somehow, even if it’s just by smiling quietly. Or having a cookie. Yeah, cookie’s are great.

  51. GREAT post, Kristen, and so true. I’m in a dip right now, pushing through book 3 while waiting on edits in Book 2 and prepping for the release of Book 1…and although it’s a joyful time in some respects there is also definitely an element of “head down…feet to the fire…KEEP WRITING” that requires fortitude as much as love of the art. Thank you for the reminder that this is an important training ground as well as a normal part of the cycle.

  52. I feel as though I just came out of a doubt dip. There really has been nothing other than the kind words and new connections of other writers/bloggers that made the difference. Bloggers like you Kristen who let us know it will happen if we don’t give up. I so look forward to the big break and know I am closer than ever.

  53. Getting Past the Dip? I try to ignore the “dip”. And there are many dips. It is why I like this Internet World. It is easier to ignore the “dips”. You can keep walking when you have done plenty of talking. I thank you for your eNewsletters from your blog. I knew the importance of Social Media since I first learned of the Internet almost two decades ago. But my goal back then with the computer and a word processor was to write the novels. The Internet was a possible marketplace to sell something. It is still my goal to write as many novels I can, but now I know how to create the demand or at least be part of the communities looking for what I am writing. I cannot please everybody, but like from your words of wisdom Social Media can attract those who like your “stuff”, which you are selling on the Internet. The buyers read free at the public library, but usually will pay for a copy if they really like what you are doing. I teach that it is up to the wealthy to straighten out economies and they usually support what they like, even if a thousand devils trained by the church told them not to.

  54. Words of wisdom. Thanks for inspiring me to keep working at it.

  55. I am in a dip which is causing my novel writing and blogging to stall. I was recently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type 2 after years of suffering from depression and anxiety. I am sliding into the slowness right now and we are planning an interstate move next month…with two toddlers in two. Give me strength lol.

    Thank you for your inspiring blog posts – I always enjoy them.

  56. I’ve been experiencing the siren call of the new writing project before the WIP is fully launched. Begone, Dip. Thanks for the WANA love.

  57. Kristen, I got lots of “hits” from my blog “Five Things I Hated About ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ the first time I saw it. I had three other blog entries about “Star Trek,” and they have so far received more “hits” than anything else.

  58. Pushing through the lean times where no seems to appreciate our work is super tough. I love how you make it less of an ordeal and more of a calm before the storm of attention. In my new blog I knew I had few readers but one day I blogged about Alfie Boe and his fan club were so excited that they all came over for a visit – knocked my socks off!

  59. Patience has never been one of my virtues. I want a publisher to discover my talent now. But what will chance if they do? Will it alter how I see myself; how I see my writing? The desire to write must come from within. Validation for my writing must start with me.

  60. If it takes one to know one, then I celebrate my ‘dippiness’ when in ‘the dip’. I totally validate your experience with so much of what I’ve learned. “Just do it…so what?” If it’s good, they will come. But is that even really the point? So I lower my head and plow another row for no other reason than it’s what I know I need to do to honor the craft I’ve come to love like air. Like my grandpa used to say, “No one can really learn to swim and manage to stay dry”. I’m a dip. I’m often all wet and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Keep whispering from the rooftops. The echo is thunderous! Nice stuff. Dan

  61. I’m in a double dip at the moment (and you know you should never double dip! 😛 ): I’m in a blogging dip and a revision dip. Actually this is all part of a larger life dip where both my husband and I are dealing with debilitating chronic illness and are living in a little bedroom and office in my parents’ house. Sounds pretty depressing when I stop and think about it, so I’ve just got to keep moving.

    The only way out is through, right?

  62. It’s like you read my mood today. Thank you.

  63. I definitely have to train myself not to need the comments and traffic as validation. It makes me crazy. I’ve got to learn to write a good post, then walk away and work on my book. Only allowed to check back once that day to see if anyone commented!

  64. Oh, thank you – I so needed to read this today!
    It’s the Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul over here – and frankly, I’d do a happy dance for 20 hits.

  65. Reblogged this on Cynthia Stacey and commented:
    Awesome post from Kristen Lamb.

  66. Wow I won for may! Yayyyy I sent you my synopsis Kristen. This is fantastic. I love your blog. I am new at blogging but so far even one comment makes me smile. If I suddenly get a hundred or so I will do a happy dance for sure. Thanks again. I also re-blogged this article on my site.

  67. Familiar with the dip…love that term….just came out of one, though it felt more like a valley than a little dip. 🙂 I think a lot of it chalks up to just perseverance no matter what. Great post!

  68. Reblogged this on drzsmbukhari and commented:
    Am medical Dr, teaching in medical college at Lahore, Pakistan. By dint of being single, also, write poetry in English. My ID syedzafar60@gmail.com Love having your IDm if so advised. TC.
    With Regards,
    Dr Zaffar Bukhari,

  69. I was just fixin’ to (as we say here in the South) update a blog entry about this very topic when I read your post. I don’t know from one day to the next how many views my blog has–and honestly, I don’t know that I care so much. But when it comes to my novel, I care that I get it as sparkly as possible before sending it out. And that takes time and I want to quit and I’m SO sick of reading the same words over and over and HOW MANY TIMES CAN A PERSON REWRITE A FIRST CHAPTER??? But I pull up my Scarlet panties and keep at it, because I can feel that breakthrough. It’s just …right…there. (And I’ll add a link to your excellent post while I’m at it!)

  70. I may be late. But, I always read your posts. When I feel like I’m in a dip, I get claws out and start scratching toward my next target. I don’t like being down and it makes me angry. Sometimes it is a battle but sooner or later I come out of the hole and move forward.

  71. Love this. And perfect timing – I’m in such a Dip – feels more like double-dipped on three scoops of crabby apple ice cream. Thanks for the boost.

    • lccooper on June 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm
    • Reply

    I’m pressing on. This time around, the dip is both maddening and long-lasting. Since nothing is working to shake things loose, I’m finishing my 7th novel. Often, I’ll use a dip to write a short story (if you count the number of short stories I’ve pub’d, you’ll get the number of dips). This keeps me focused and not so worried about the stats.

    LC Cooper, author of:

    Christmess Diary of a Reluctant Vampire Legacy Man Cave Simmering Consequences The Voices of Cellar’s Bridge “Barefoot Homecoming” “Dan’s Accidental Convertible” “Halloween’s Perfect Storm” “Of Yellow Snow and Christmas Balls” “One Lousy Wish” “There Was a Knock at the Door”

    Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2013 14:15:21 +0000 To: l.c_cooper@hotmail.com

  72. Thanks Kristen, such great advice. Particularly struck a chord with me because I often question the use of my blog, although I keep plugging away because it is good for the process and craft of improving one’s writing (as you have pointed out here). I have re-blogged and liked to FB 🙂

  73. Reblogged this on theworldoutsidethewindow and commented:
    I think Kristen Lamb’s book “We Are Not Alone” looks well worth a read. Check out her blog for some really practical and useful tips in the why’s and wherefores’ of writing.

  74. If you stick with writing long enough, you will make it to The Dip (thank you, Seth Godin). The Dip is that span of suck right before the big breakthrough. – I posted and linked to FB, Pinterest and Twitter because I thought this article and the Seth Godin quote sum up where so many writers are at.

  75. Got through my revisions – woo hoo! The next slog will be when the edits come back from each of my two editors. At the moment I’m experiencing a dippy sensation because I thought I could afford to outsource the design of my book, and have had a nasty bump back down to earth on that one. Yikes. Designers charge ten times the amount of some editors! I’m definitely in the wrong business 😉

    1. I’m a designer and charge a fraction of a normal designer as I’m still in school and building a portfolio. Check out donyadunlap.com. If you like what you see, drop me a line at citygirl11513@gmail.com for a quote.

  76. Dip? Try sinkhole. Three posts since February have received a modicum of support (over 150 hits) so I start to be encouraged. This week I decide to blog everyday and just see what happens. Crickets. Nada. Nothing. Like four hits a day on my entire blog. What is up with that???

    1. Hey, give it some time. Don’t give up yet! It’s only been a week.

  77. lovely encouraging post, although I believe in continuity, but posts like this are also helping for going on…

  78. This post cracks me up! Mostly because i just wrote one VERY similar to it (http://tamarknochel.com/2013/06/06/closed-doors-opened/), then I opened my email to find this! Mine was about knocking on closed doors until you find the one that opens just for you. Kristin thank you so much for hanging in there until we could find you. So times your blog is the thing that God uses to make me WANT to keep going. It’s so very nice knowing that i am not alone! Oh and how do i find one of those blogging classes and tribes? ? ?

  79. Great post, and you won my heart over by your sweetness and generosity in the comments. Plus, you shoot guns. Did I ever tell you you’re my hero? 😉
    I confess I’m probably you’re most bullheaded WANA member ever, and maybe your laziest. I was quit blogging. Well, it died a slow and painful death. I thought, “No. I need to focus on my manuscript. The book. The book is the thing.”
    But everything you say is true- blogging builds our writerly muscles. When I slacked off the blog, I went all soft in the middle for months. Less writing, more Grumpy Cat and Netflx.
    I gave my blog a new name, a new look, and was thrilled to discover that my most visited piece is “Urban Legends: Bloody Mary.”
    Since the fiction I write is spooky, I’m planning more Urban Legends posts and have this crazy idea about contacting a local ghost-hunting society and doing a few pieces on them.
    At the bottom of the dip- that’s where all the good stuff is. 🙂

  80. I love the word serendipity. It has a dip in it. That maybe corroborates what you are saying.

    I sure do like your blog.


    1. Awww, thanks *hugs* Serendipity is an AWESOME word!

  81. Definitely been in a Dip lately. Lots of thoughts of just letting it all go. Lots of feeling like I’m running as fast as I can and going nowhere. But I won’t stop. I’m far too stubborn for that. Besides, the surest way to have nothing happen with my writing…is to stop writing. So forward I go. And if I ever had 14,000 hits in one day, I would think WordPress was broken. 🙂

    1. I thought it was broken, too. I e-mailed tech support in a complete panic, LOL.

  82. Oh boy, I have been behind on your posts and am just catching up. So I’m new at this, blogging just a few months, but have noticed something resembling a dip in between when I post–get all excited–see feedback–then don’t have any inspiration to write for a bit. Then do, and then the feelings recycle again. But I just saw in another post of yours that I can’t wait for inspiration–so need to stop doing that to break freee of being an amateur. Thanks for the information provided 1)that this blog took you awhile to build and showing the timeline and 2) to keep moving forward regardless. Right now I struggle with feedback. I want to be focused, so try to stay on theme, but don’t want to be redundant or preachy. But then I get feedback from relatives who aren’t really intended as the target audience that I need to ‘branch out’ to reach new people. I think that’ll lose people. You want to take constructive criticism but stay true to the idea too. Oh, and I’m struggling with trying to decide if I should be self-hosted. Might be ready for that. And I saw your comment above about your Dad, and I’m sorry to hear that–similar story too here but on a bicycle 2 years ago–anniversary was Sunday….thinking about a Dad post lately :)….Thanks again Kristen,

  83. Dip? More like VALLEY, lol. My poor little Blog has suffered from being ignored a couple of times in its brief life as I dealt with major ‘real life’. It has no ‘audience’, don’t think anyone reads it but my friends, but I keep plugging away. Someday someone might actually find something there they enjoy. But I keep on writing. Maybe somewhere in there I am connecting to someone else.

    It needs tweaking. Heaven knows it needs to find its footing. Having a hard time finding topics related to my genre that would draw readers as opposed to more writers. Big Dip. But beyond that valley is a gorgeous sea shore…and I am determined to reach it.

    Thank you for offering to help teach us more effective ways to climb over, or out of, the Dips in our writing. I have joined WANATribe and hope to be making some new cohorts soon 🙂

    Who knows, we may find some of our ‘dips’ are just part of the dance? 🙂
    Love ya bunches

  84. from 75 to 14000? I had to reread that.
    I wish I could get to the dip, haha. I really need to start editing that damn book. I keep telling myself “after you read this book on writing, or after you finish that book and have analyzed a few more stories” etc etc, trying to spare myself of work later, while the only thing teaching me how to edit is to do it.
    I remember you once said you had half a year where you wrote a bunch of flash fiction to strengthen your plotting and editing skills. I’m thinking of doing that. Like, one flash fiction story a week, written monday, edited friday or something.

  85. Thank you for blogging about this. To be honest, this is the first time I’ve ever seen your blog, having found it while searching for information about the writing community. As an aspiring writer who has gone through his fair share of “dips,” it is inspiring to read something hopeful from a person who has found success. Consider me a new follow!

    1. Great to meet you!

  86. I don’t believe there has to be a dip every time we make it through. At sometime you have to find a level of contentment. There must be a time to enjoy your accomplishments. If I had known Doug from Seth Godin’s book, I would have congratulated him on his success in attaining his goals.

  87. Reblogged this on Melissa Janda – the Buzz on Writing and commented:
    An older post but definitely worth the read if you haven’t seen it yet. It may take me a while but I read every post Kristen Lamb publishes. This one contains words of encouragement for all the writers out there. I’m in The Dip too, aka Editing Hell and needed to read this today.

  88. Reblogged this on cicampbellblog and commented:
    There’s a message here for writers, and it’s not to give up, but to keep writing, keep blogging, who knows, one day…..

  89. But I’m a dip of a person. I’ll never get over that dip… I kid, I kid. I’m pushing through right now. Here’s hoping for the strength to keep working hard.

  90. Whenever I’m in a Dip, is hard to remember that it will eventually end. Your post will certainly help next time, thanks Kristen :}

  91. I didn’t think I was in a dip…then someone posted a link to this blog and I recognized myself in the photo. Thank you! I wrote my first post in ages and linked back to your blog. The writing community continues to inspire! http://bit.ly/1FRYV07

    1. I saw that and commented 🙂

  92. Thank God you survived the Dips Kristen because you have helped me and no doubt countless others dipping, peaking, collapsing, spiraling. It’s the self doubt. Writers, it seems to me, often have complex emotional histories, are inclined to melenconic states.
    Anyway, just to say, I adore you. Size 2 or 10, spanx or Judo kimonos, you are brilliant, contemplative, hilarious, human. Plus a great mother. Spawn looks so happy and deeply nurtured. And beautiful. Yes. That too.
    My daughters are grown and it does pay off someday- all the thousands of gestures of love. Getting through the pesky dips.

  1. […] who required far too much outside validation than was probably healthy.” – “When Will I Get My Breakthrough?” Kristin Lamb’s […]

  2. […] But there are a ton of writers out there who will join you for the ride, shoring you up. I read Kristen Lamb’s blog today about making it past the dip, and felt a teensy bit better about the manuscript dragging me way beyond a dip and all the way […]

  3. […] Small decisions/actions add up over time. Yes, this blog has a large, active and amazing following, but that didn’t happen overnight. I had to blog even when it seemed I was only talking to the ether and the male-enhancement products. Every novel is written one word at a time, one page at a time, one day at a time. Trust that consistent action eventually adds up and that eventually you’ll break past The Dip. […]

  4. […] have been reading Kristen Lamb’s blog for a little while now. She started a series last week that I found fitting for a […]

  5. […] project—those moments when we just wanted to quit the whole writing scene. Kristen Lamb explores how to get past the “dip”—and how to gain the self-discipline to keep going. Speaking of writing discipline, Faith Mortimer […]

  6. […] Kristen Lamb says, “Showing up is a huge part of success.” We may not write great words, but just showing up to work is half the battle in getting motivated. […]

  7. […] clicked on author Kristen Lamb’s blog post and recognized myself in the photo – a dark-haired writer with her face in her hands. The […]

  8. […] The Dip is that pan of suck right before the breakthrough (thank you Seth Godin). No one knows how long The Dip will last until they are standing on the other side. Problem is, this is the place most people give up. […]

  9. […] you make it past this newbie phase, you’re likely going to hit The Dip (which is that giant span of suck before our […]

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