Often I blog about things I am going through. Sometimes just writing things down, sketching out a plan of action, recalibrating MY perspective helps a lot. Hey, if nothing else, I have a blog post 😀 .
Lately, I’ve been in what Seth Godin calls…The DIP. In fact, I am even talking about The Dip over on my Dojo Diva blog for those who want more (and also a better chance of winning my 20 Page Death Star Critique).
What is THE DIP? The Dip is that span of suck before the breakthrough. The Dip is where character develops, where dreams grow, where WE grow. Bad news is this is also the place where most people give up.
I’d love to say I’ve never given up when faced with a particularly tenacious Dip, but I am a terrible liar. Dips are tough. Why are Dips so hard?
Dips Come Out of Nowhere
We are zooming along and then it is as if an invisible force field comes out of nowhere. Maybe you started eating healthy and were losing weight steadily. Then…nothing. Another week? Nothing. Another week, I gained three pounds? WTH? And another and another and pretty soon, why bother?
A little story…
Before I got pregnant, I was 130 pounds and a Size 2. When I was pregnant, I did two-a-days the entire time I was pregnant. I did step aerobics in the morning (which was nothing short of comedic when I was almost 10 months in) and swam a mile a day, six days a week even though I felt like I should be a show at Sea World. The night they induced me, I stopped at the gym and did an hour workout before Hubby took me to the hospital.
Eleven days after having The Spawn, I was back in the gym. I’d get up for the 3:30 a.m. feeding then go to the 24-hour gym.
For the most part, I have still kept a strict diet and exercise regimen.
These days I do 6-8 hours of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu a week…and am STILL a size 10-12. No matter how disciplined I am, it doesn’t seem to want to show on the outside. We go to restaurants and I watch people eat onion rings and fried cheese and have dessert while I am GF, dairy-free, low-carb, soy-free, no sugar, etc. etc. I drink water, not soda. And yet?
Sometimes I wonder why I bother.
This is the first main problem with The Dip. Sometimes, we can’t figure out why it is there or worse…why it won’t GO AWAY. After blood panels and doctors and experts, they all agree. I am the picture of health, but am overweight.
We might be doing something GREAT that shows nothing on the outside. Granted, I might be a fluffy size 10-12 for the rest of my life. I have amazing flexibility, can run for miles, can outfight and outlast teenagers and my heart and insides are amazing.
Funny, though. I rarely think of my shining cholesterol levels when I have to shrug into Spanx.
I wonder how many calories we burn trying to put on Spanx?
The next problem with The Dip is there are often others who will rub salt in the wound that we are IN The Dip.
On Saturday, I went for an hour of rigorous BJJ training, ran home, cleaned up then attended a 2.5 hour Judo workshop that I paid for. I was feeling pretty good about myself until…
I was in the middle of learning a new throw and could tell I wasn’t pivoting my weight the correct direction. Sure I was throwing my sparring partner, but I was landing in the wrong spot. The teacher comes over and tells me I am doing it all wrong.
Okay, I KNEW that.
But then, he tells me that I need to work out more. That the reason I can’t do the throw is that my legs are weak and then says, “Have you thought about going to a gym? Maybe trying some squats?”
*suppresses urge to stab him in the face*
He corrects my posture and the next throw I did? I nailed it. He probably could tell from the look on my face that I might have been envisioning him.
Of course, Judo is all about physics, not about strength. I didn’t point that out. I also didn’t point out that the rest of the attendees had slept in while I was one of the handful who came to the early morning class anyway (even when I knew there were 2.5 hours of additional training ahead). I also didn’t point out what should have been obvious. I was the only older female in the workshop and if the sport wanted to attract more like me? Insinuating we are out of shape is a bad plan.
After the Judo workshop, we had a family day at the zoo and all I wanted was to throw in the towel and eat all I have denied myself for a decade…in ONE day.
I know you guys probably have no idea what I am talking about 😉 .
The Dip is REALLY common in writing. You are working on a novel and it is going great and then? You get stuck. You KNOW you are stuck. Maybe you can’t even figure out WHY you are stuck. Then, when you are about to tap out for good and OD on brownies, someone in your life is there to point out that “Maybe you just aren’t trying hard enough…”
Yeah, because we didn’t already think of that.
Some Important Things to Know About Dips
First of all, people who don’t attempt anything remarkable, never have Dips. Thus, if we are experiencing Dips, it means we are still pressing for something better. The only way to get out of ever dealing with Dips is to just drift along on the tides of mediocrity and ambivalence. Don’t know about you guys, but I can’t do that. This means I have to take my own advice and Suck it up, Buttercup.
The second thing is that we can more painfully feel Dips when we get our focus on the wrong things. If we stare at Dips we get intimidated. This is partly why I refuse to get on a scale. I found myself obsessing too much. Yes, I would love to trim down and get into my “skinny” clothes, but is that my only objective behind eating and living healthy?
I am extremely fit. Working out helps me release stress. I look far younger than peers because I am healthy. My family is all involved working out together. Spawn learned to walk in the gym nursery. Now? We do martial arts SIX days a week together. Spawn has been sick ONE TIME in his entire life because I cook super healthy foods. He has to be told to stop eating so many vegetables and eat some protein.
Am I willing to abandon ALL those other benefits because ONE objective—trimming down in size—refuses to cooperate?
Same with writing. For years I blogged to The Great Nothing. At first, I did it to get “views” but after a year and a half of blogging to the male-enhancement bots, I got seriously discouraged.
Since I’d invested too much to give up, I decided to focus instead on ALL the benefits of blogging that had nothing to do with outside approval.
I learned to write leaner, meaner, faster and cleaner. I learned to eat deadlines for breakfast. I became a better writer because I was TRAINING. I learned to be self-motivated and self-disciplined. Granted, even if NO ONE ever cared about my blog, these traits would serve me well in other areas.
Of course, eventually, when I got my eyes off the numbers and focused on what I COULD control, THIS happened. Can anyone see THAT DIP? When I finally busted past it?
The last things we need to appreciate about Dips is that they are not permanent but yet they are.
One Dip alone is not permanent, but The State of Dippery is. Yes, DIPPERY. It is a word 😛 . Unless we give up, we will face more Dips and bigger and longer Dips.
For instance, as writers, a common first Dip is to finish the book. YAY! Then the next Dip. Getting published. Oh, if I could just be published, THEN I’d be happy. We get published and the next Dip is BOOK SALES. Then there is the next book and the next…and you guys get the point.
I’m not here to discourage you, but we cannot exist in a permanent state of happiness and satisfaction. It is a brief moment of sun and then? Back to work. Anyone who promises us a Dip-Free life is lying and probably selling something…like DRUGS.
Dips suck. They are long and painful and necessary. Dips weed out the uncommitted. Many people will give up on something remarkable because there is no instant payoff. Can we still LOVE writing when there is no outside evidence we are going to gain? Can we still keep eating healthy and exercising even if we never get to wear skinny jeans?
NO! Wait, okay fine *rolls eyes* I’ll keep pressing *grumbles*.
Dips make us value what we EARN. One of the reasons I get frustrated with our Everyone is a Winner Society is that is dilutes the genuine feelings of authentic achievement. A black belt is only valuable when it took years of sacrifice (busting past Dips) to earn it.
Dips train us for the mentality of the successful. Often others see what we have. They don’t see what we gave up to get it. And that is the reality of things. Successful people “get” Dips while others give up. In fact, I would be so bold as to say that most of the successful writers I know aren’t necessarily all that more talented, but they are far more tenacious.
When we face Dips, outside circumstances may never change, but we will.
Dips teach us to ignore outside opinions. Where would I have been had I listened to all the people who told me blogging was dead and that it was impossible to be a successful writer? We can choose to take that pushback as an excuse to quit or fire to fuel us forward.
Yes, I am frustrated with a LOT of Dips in my life, namely the “weight thing.” But am I going to let one outside jerk opinion derail me?
No. And the reason is that I have had extensive and intensive Dip Training 😉 .
Tips for Busting Through the Dips
Remember the WHYs. Why are you doing whatever? Why are you correcting your kids when it feels like you just repeat yourself a million times? Why are you eating healthy? Why are you writing that novel? Focus on the why. If we write books simply to become millionaires? Could happen, but burnout probably more likely. Instead, focus on how much you LOVE writing. How much you LOVE your kids. How much you LOVE feeling good because you drank water instead of a 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke.
Baby steps ARE steps. Never underestimate the value of simply showing up. Every sentence is one step closer to a finished book. Small actions over time DO add up.
Remember “Dip Happens.”
If we know that Dips are inevitable, we are more mentally prepared for the challenge. It is more a sign we are doing something right than a great cosmic plot against our happiness.
I hope you guys feel more encouraged. Remember that the summit is only that beautiful because of the climb.
What are your thoughts? Have you been in some Dips lately? Are you feeling like it will never END? Did you know that this was natural? If not, do you feel a little better about being stuck? Do you have those around you rubbing in that you are in a Dip? Have you ever made it past some particularly tenacious Dip and are better for it? What was it? Share your story! We need the encouragement!
I love hearing from you!
To prove it and show my love, for the month of APRIL, 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. 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 novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).
For those who need help building a platform and keeping it SIMPLE, pick up a copy of my latest social media/branding book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World on AMAZON, iBooks, or Nook.
“Look at that,” says she who overcomes.
Your are right when you say ‘Dip happens’. In fact, I would venture to speculate that the majority of life is composed of one dip or another.
Weight is an issue for most people, but I think you look great, and advise you not to worry too much about this. Overall health is far more important than size 2.
BTW, the first time I saw the iceberg photo, it listed the top portion as ‘film’ and the bottom as ‘novel’… in both uses, it seems totally appropriate.
Being in a dip really sucks. But going through one builds perseverance in a way that nothing else can. Sure wish there was a different way.
I need to talk to you more. This blog saved me. I guess. Yes it did. I want to share and feel better. I gave up all what I loved the most forever. Yes today. It js happened a few hours ago. And ur blog came in my email. I read it for the first time. And I need to write a lot to you. Pls give me your email..i need to talk. N thank. Thank the lord.
Could it be your are blogging directly to me? Even your Facebook posts could be by me! I am in so many dips right now. I push and fight and give up temporarily before pulling myself out of the mud and trying to get, every so messily, up the next rise.
For me I want to eat veggies. I want to eat all those healthy foods. Ends up I have a weird sensitivity to salicylates. I needed to just be healthier, not hurt and have no energy. I knew I would never lose the weight and I was finally okay with that. I went to a low salicylate diet in January of 2014. This cutting of food included anything my blood results added to the list so all the latex/fruit syndrome foods, dairy, celiac disease foods and gluten cross-reactives (All the foods you use to replace wheat.) With my ten bland foods and a smidge of salt. Low and behold I melted 60 pounds in six months!
Then we moved two hours south of everything we knew, went to Oregon two times in two weeks, took our son in for surgery, found out I’m allergic to bees the hard way and uhhh… That isn’t only ten foods in my diet and where did my weight loss go?
I published my first book right before life got so complicated. I haven’t been able to write anything even worthy of a lousy first draft since. Dip, Dip, Dippy, Dip.
But according to you I’m doing it right. I’m pushing onward no matter now messy it gets. With seven kids between 15 and 3 (all with learning disabilities, allergies and some with health issues), money tighter than ever and my own health slowly revealing more about why it is so picky I need to give myself a break, keep trying though not to so hard I make it worse, and let the dips ride out their lifespan which is bound to be massively shorter than my lifespan.
So the good will come again. I can’t give up. There are stories the world needs to read and see and puppets that want to have a life so I have to keep going. Thank you!
I hit writer’s block for the first time in my life six months ago. Week after week of staring at a blank page, writing something, not being happy because it didn’t resonate, ripping it up, throwing it out, and starting over. Now that I’m finally coming out of whatever malaise threw me for a writer’s loop, it’s so frustrating, how few words a day I’m writing compared to before I fell into ‘the DIP.’ But I finally started using children’s writing prompts from my main character’s POV that have nothing to do with the story I’m stuck on and counting that towards my daily self-imposed word count. The book I’m writing is very dark emotionally, so the kiddie fun prompts have actually helped me get back on track. Of course, my readers are clamoring for the next book in the series. I’m still writing 5,000 words a day, but, oh, sometimes 4,500 of those words are stories about speaking in snake-language or flying carpets… I.e., stuff other people might see as a waste of time.
Hi Anna, keep all the stuff from the kiddie prompts. It sounds like that would make a fun children’s book.
Much needed post. Dips are horrid but once past them, it’s nice to look back and see how much we have overcome.
This is such a big help and am in the midst of reading your fantastic Rise of the Machines right now!
I’m in the middle of my first book promotion and overwhelmed- all of your info is SUCH a big help -many thanks Kristen!
Good reminders. I especially like the Remember the Whys.
Need your email. I need to write it to you. You made a huge difference in my life today. I mean it. Please do give me your email or contact. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I thank you heartily. I do.
I really needed this post today. I’m going through a dip (can I call it one, though, if there weren’t many listeners to begin with) in a podcast. We’re new, and while I know it takes a while to build a following, sometimes it can be quite discouraging talking to no one. Still, it is important to focus on the benefits that are under the surface, becoming a better presenter, streamlining organization and research skills, etc. There are still lots of good reasons to push onward.
If you have energy and your insides are healthy, screw your clothing size. Muscle is heavier and bulkier than fat, and I imagine you’ve got some serious muscles. The BMI was designed for white males living in the 1800s, so unless you’re Mr. Darcy …
I would be fine with that except the snide comments about me “Maybe going to a gym.” REALLY? Unfortunately, size DOES matter in how we are perceived. Also, it would be nice to just fit in clothes.
The next time someone says that, just kick them in the throat, that’ll shut them up!
That’s what I feel like doing every time someone suggests that my husband’s Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (the Dark Lord of Dips) would disappear if he just “pulled himself up by his bootstraps” or took a whole lotta Vitamin C.
Unfortunately I haven’t seen the inside of a gym in years so if I actually tried kicking someone in the throat I’d probably pull something. Unlike you 🙂
Love the “dip” idea. And especially that “Dips weed out the uncommitted.” Because the offset to that is that if I’m working through a dip, it’s because I AM committed. And somehow knowing I’m committed and most of the others aren’t is a huge boost to my motivation. Here’s to many more dips ahead!
First of all, Kudos to you for working out as much as you do! And forget about “skinny” clothes. They’re overrated. Until I started writing, the only dip I met head-on with enthusiasm was conquered with a potato chip. No joke.
I find writing is a constant battle of ups and downs. Your posts are always reassuring and needed! Thank you for this one. 🙂
Like Connie above, I really needed this today. I’m stuck in a revision dip that seems to never want to end, and this just reminded me that tenacious is my middle name (as are stubborn, determined, and obstinate). Time to get back to work and beat this story into submission! 🙂
Thank you. I needed this today.
I’m in a dip right now. I’m overeating, not writing and facing some family issues that make busting through this dip so hard. Really, the only thing I feel like I can accomplish at the moment is cleaning my home—so that’s about the sum of what I’ve been doing.
I’m a copywriter by day and even that’s going through some changes that make focus difficult. If they weren’t paying me, I’m pretty sure I’d stay in bed with the covers pulled over my head.
I have been wanting to make a blanket fort, myself. ((HUGS))
Erica – your story could so be mine too. Hugs and keep on writing!
Thanks. You too!
What a great article. Congrats on working out and sticking with it! And don’t let anything get in your way – you look amazing! Finally a name for what we all go through-I love that. And your tips on getting through it are great. At my age I’ve been through weight dips, health dips, work and career dips and lately just getting out of a dip as I move from career to retirement. Now I’m glad to be starting a new life as I relocate as an beginner ex-pat to Ecuador. We’ll see how that goes – hopefully without many dips! Thank you for such a lovely post.
“…the summit is only that beautiful because of the climb.” This resonates so much with me. Holy crap, thank you for putting it like this.
Reblogged this on writersback and commented:
Such a powerful, inspiring article for anyone trying to achieve a goal…not matter what it is. You have to be really persistent and work on it everyday. Overtime; you will see results or even more than what you imagined. You can’t give up and no one can do it but you. But there exits alot of people cheering for you; me for one.
Your posts always get me to sit back down at the keyboard and try again. I’m making a conscious effort to share my failures with my 6 and 2 year old children. I want my daughters to see me fail because I want them to see that as a natural part of the process. Trying is just part of the mix, and I think people gloss over that too often. I’m also making more of an effort to share the parenting failures as much as my successes. I tend to want to hide the mistakes, but I think I’d feel a lot closer to the other parents in my life if we could share the failures more freely.
Thanks for being real!
I shared your link on my blog, too:
I’m sure you could earn a fortune as a motivational speaker Kirsten! I’m English and the idea of ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’ is part of our psyche – just expressed differently! Here is one ‘dipster’ who will not give up for sure – thanks for the reminder and btw I have no idea what a size 2 is given the sizing system in the UK and my adoptive home France – they’re just numerals – you look the picture of glowing health to me!
PS So sorry – my lazy editor let me write Kirsten instead of Kristen there!
I had to laugh at the thought that you are overweigh. I mean, have your doctors even looked at you? Have YOU?
But getting on to your post…The DIP. Now I know what to call it. I just recently got out of one of those. I was beginning to believe being a “real” writer–meaning published–was never going to happen. I had people tell me that I needed to give it time. (I’ve been trying for about a decade. Ten years, man. Isn’t that enough “time”?) That I needed to try harder and send out more queries (there aren’t enough fingers and toes on every person living in my 200-home neighborhood to count the number, and you want me to send out MORE??). And worst of all, that I should just BE REALISTIC AND GIVE UP. Find something that will make you money (I don’t know about you, buddy boy, but if I give up my dream, I might as well give up, period.).
Then I got not one contract, but two; one for a stand-alone and another for a trilogy. FOUR BOOKS!
Where would I be if I had listened to those naysayers? If I hadn’t persevered and clawed my way out of the DIP?
Moral of the story: keep moving forward.
Thanks again for a fun and inspiring post.
And don’t worry about being a size 10 or 12. You look great. As long as you are healthy and there for the Spawn, you are good. (The average American woman is a size 14, by the way.)
What great timing you have! I’m definitely in a career dip at the moment and it’s taking a bigger than usual effort to get out of it, so I really needed the pep talk.
After delivering Book 4 to my publisher I took a short break from writing. That ‘short’ break has now extended to nearly 5 months as I haven’t had the will to get back writing again. With sales down across all my books and the sheer volume of books and promo out there, all vying for attention, I just haven’t seen the reason why I should sacrifice my already limited time for a career that seems to be going nowhere. Shouldn’t I rather focus on the dead-end day job which is at least paying my bills?
But now I realise I’m just going through a dip. I need to get writing again if I want to have any hope of getting out. So watch out for book 5…
I had interesting conversation with several seasoned writers within the specific writing community I joined. Two separate sets of people reminisced about those they’d started up with 20 years ago in publishing, and how many of them no longer write or publish. It’s neither good nor bad–for some they now pursue other things. To me, it reminded me that not everyone is in this for the long haul. Twitter might be exploding with cover reveals and giveaways, but will all those writers still be putting out books in 10 years? In 5? In 3?
Several of the women I spoke with noted above are not the writers who put out books every 4-6 months. One only publishes a book every other year, but she’s now a big enough name that she’s a bestseller when she does. She put her time in and delivers great books. Anyway, I found that inspiring–every writer’s journey is different.
Nice. We could also add: “Be Patient with Your Dip and Yourself
.” This pairs neatly with your point about baby steps. It is hard not to want to BE DONE with the dip, already. Can’t always happen. Especially if the Dip is due in part to another swear word you mentioned, “burnout.”
Reblogged this on Katherine McIntyre and commented:
This was an article I really needed to read right about now, and it’s one I highly recommend any artistic person, or anyone who’s really fighting hard for anything to read.
Thank you for this post. It’s exactly what I needed to read right now. I have been in a several-year-long publishing dip, and it’s so tempting just to give up. But you’re right: it’s important to remember why I write and focus on that.
Kristen- all you have to do is read through the comments to see what an amazing success you are. Look at all of us you help day in and day out. That’s the true meaning of success, not the size clothes we wear. Screw bad comments made by bad people.
Thank you for this post, Kristen. When I land in the dip (it often happens when I complete a draft of a manuscript or when sales bomb out), I try to focus on why I write in the first place. It really helps me claw my way up So I can fall into another one… 😉
I’ m having some chips with my dip right now thanks to you and your encouragment. Chips being popcorn, lol, dip being too much inside my monkey mind today about slow progress waiting for edits on my novel and checks in the mail and feature stories that haven’t run yet and bla bla. Bobby Klein’s I Ching broadcast this week talks about just this, about the fact that even when no progress is blatantly showing there are things blossoming (or sap running) beneath the surface of the seemingly dead branch. So my takeaway from your excellent blog is to just show up and do the work without needing a round of applause or immediate results or even that check in the mail. Oh and the weight thing? You’re gorgeous. No worries. Just keep doing what you’re doing.
Reblogged this on Laurie Boris and commented:
I really like this post by Kristen Lamb. If you’re feeling burned out and tempted to give up, no matter what dream you’re chasing, it could be worth a read.
Oh yeah… I’m in one right now! Quite a deep one, actually, and I’ve been in it for most of the year. Strange how much I love writing, yet here I am on the brink of Book 3, the final one in the trilogy, and I just can’t seem to get started. What’s holding me back? I don’t know. But I need to work through it, my story needs closure, and anyway, whoever heard of a trilogy made up of only two books?!! thanks for the pep talk Kirsten!
Super, super post, Kristen. You’ve obviously nailed it for a lot of people. . . me too! Thanks.
Reblogged this on Meeka's Mind and commented:
I’ve been lurking around Kirsten’s blog for over a year, nodding my head, laughing at her wry sense of humour, enjoying myself. Then BAM, this post. Could it be more appropriate? Love it. 🙂
Reblogged this on Many Worlds From Many Minds and commented:
Last week I posted about how little setbacks shouldn’t hold us back…. then there are those more enduring dips in our performance. As Kristen Lamb points out in this awesome post… you deal with them all the same way.
Your blog today reminded me of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd6zQrcQ9YE
Been struggling with a dip for years. I want to write, and after a particular trigger to a long ago trauma I started writing. A Lot…but then I stopped and I have this aversion to starting again. I don’t know what it is exactly but obviously I’m avoiding something. I have a NEED to write though. So I’m super frustrated.
And as for being able to get back into your pre-pregnancy clothes…am I right in thinking that’s what you mean? I have some suggestions, but I’m no doc or even a nutritionist. Just someone who’s been doing some research and reading.
Try eating more fats, like butter from grass fed cows milk, coconut oil and coconut milk. Cut back on the sweet fruit carbs and eat more green veg… no rice or corn either. Most are genetically altered even if they are marked organic. Grass fed beef and locally raised and true free range chicken and eggs.
The synthetic hormones and antibiotics given to factory livestock also effects us when we eat it. If you’re stressed or staying up past midnight on the regular you are burning your adrenals out. Just sleep will make a big difference. And sitting and doing some deep breathing will also help. No need to be all spiritual about meditation for it to be beneficial for health.
Some docs recommend no exercise when healing adrenal fatigue but of course I have no way of knowing that’s your problem. And it doesn’t sound like you’re willing to give up your fitness regimen anyway. 🙂
We’ve been told fat isn’t healthy and there are those that aren’t. However, there are plenty that are and will create satiety and balance out blood sugar.
More fat, no grains, non-sweet fruit and green leafies should do it if you give is a little time.
Stay away from soy products too.
Ok I’ll stop there.
Groan!!!! I am in such a dip right now… but I see clearly here I’m not the only one 🙂 I launched my second novel a month and a half ago and now stare at the cursor blinking at me on page one of the next. Day after day I’m finding other things to occupy my time. Anything other than writing that first opening paragraph. Argh! Thanks for the encouragement. I know that this too shall pass but it does suck being down here. At least I’m in good company. Thanks Kristen for yet another enlightening post!
You call it the Dip.
Sailors stuck on the open sea without a bit of breeze to push the sails called it The Doldrums. It sometimes lasted for weeks and drove seamen to jump overboard, fight with each other, and even see things on the flat water.
I live in the Doldrums more often than I like…
Creative web content, PR, Blogging & more
coming soon — Vintage West Magazine,
an online digital magazine for Southwest enthusiasts
So nice to remember, as I continue to blog to the silent ether, that other successful writes have trend this path before me…and that I simply need to change my perspective and think of this as training. I love writing more than I’ve ever loved doing anything so I WILL work to earn it!
The book writing dips you described are pretty much what I went through. Am going through. I’ll have to keep your Dip tips in mind for the hardest bits, especially the Why. It’s so easy to lose track of the real reason you’re doing something when things don’t go as planned. Thank you, this post was really motivating.
Brilliantly written with a some laughs and good points in there. I think the lesson is always to talk to people, not judge, dictate or assume. When you’re in a dip you think will never end. There are days when I think it wont…
Thank you so much for this post Kristen! It’s inspired me and will help me face the various dips I’m currently staring down and working through.
Yeah, it would be easier to quit the writing. There are probably crickets at my blog and I can barely buy lunch with the number of books I’m selling. I started writing in 1989 and knew absolutely nothing about writing except I wanted to be a writer at the age of 12 and I wasn’t getting any younger. I found a local writing group and worked my way up to RWA.
Major life happenings have occurred but I discovered it’s made me flexible. I won’t quit. I have a dream and goals. But sometimes it feels like the DIP is an uncrossable abyss with monsters waiting down there.
Thanks again for your wonderful words, which have beaten down some of the monsters.
This makes me feel better. I thought I was the only one who dipped and dipped and dipped. Sometimes, I just want to give up, but I eventually jump the DIP instead. Sure, there will be more. But them more I jump, the better I get. Thanks for posting. I needed to read this from someone I admire.
I’m ALWAYS in the middle of Dippery! If I’m not dipping with writing, then I’m dipping concerning family, crafting, housework….there is never day of undipperyness- and yes, that’s a word too- I don’t care what spellchecker says!
Thank you for being a complete dip, and sharing your dipperyness with us other dips. It’s nice to know I’m not alone!
Maybe we should start a Dip Hotline? LOL!
Reblogged this on and commented:
So timely for me.
Thanks for the reminder that baby steps are still steps. Most encouraging.
Living a dip myself at the moment – and thank you for the reassurance. Not my first dip, won’t be my last I’m sure. to quote the old saw, “this too shall pass.”
And! today’s my birthday! even if I am at the day job…
Yeah, I understand the “dip.” Mine lasted about 10 years, though. Finally, pulled myself up and out. I didn’t give up writing, exactly, I just couldn’t do creative writing. So, I focused on other things like editing, marketing, teaching, etc.
I can’t even begin to tell you how great it feels to be part of the creative process again. Creating new worlds, new characters, new plots, new motivations…It is just simply awesome and makes each day a creative new beginning.
The really great thing about my writing, my “dips,” my failures and my successes is that they have provided great examples to my children with one of my daughters even winning the RomCom Readers Crown Award for best new novel.
Even if I never achieve that kind of recognition, I will know I have succeeded in areas that really matter, i.e. the lives of my children
Reblogged this on Nancy Segovia and commented:
An excellent blog on staying motivated and getting past the “dips.”
P.S. re-blogged and commented on your other blog as well. Smiles to you, Nancy
I’ve been dipping, sometimes double-dipping. I love your statement that the Everyone is a Winner Society dilutes the genuine feelings of authentic achievement. When I hit a dip, I keep grinding until I finally break out the other side. Then it’s smooth sailing for a little while until I hit the next bottomless pothole. You’re right. It’s all about perseverance and showing up every day.
I took the first step out of my current writing dip today and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that more steps will follow.
I’ve been meaning to make a concerted effort to lose weight for some time and have failed pretty miserably. A couple of months ago my dad brought out some old photographs which included ones of me on my 18th birthday. I’ve suddenly become more motivated to shed the pounds! I too haven’t weighed myself (Wii Fit tells me my weight has increased as if I hadn’t noticed) and I don’t intend to until I’ve dropped at least one dress size!
Reblogged this on Bardotbarbiturate and commented:
Reblogging this for my dippy days!
Thank you, Kristen. Perfect timing – I needed to hear this.
Reblogged this on Blog of a College Writer.
Feel like you’re helping me with my career assessment class as we speak…love it
Great post, but you’ve got to let go of the dress size. I mean, you can keep that goal, but seriously, Kristen, you’re hot. And the next time some jerk mentions going to the gym, just kick him in the balls.
Reblogged this on scribblings007.
Kristen many congratulations on your brilliant article. I’ve always lived my life comparing it to a round of golf and sometimes we get stuck in a bunker. (The “dip” in your blog post). Last summer I went through such an enormous dip that was the rock bottom of a 3 year dip that I truly realised for the first time why people kill themselves. I was effectively bankrupt. But I refused to give up. Today I am taking giant strides towards recovery and I am back doing what I do best. Storytelling. Both with words and video. I am a filmmaker. I will soon be back blogging too http://vsitv.net/blog
For me the key is having a goal that is fulfilled by the act of keeping on. I write mostly because I love writing and I love engaging with readers and other writers. I have this fear that if I don’t make enough money at it, I won’t be able to keep doing for more than a hobby squeezed in between low-pay jobs. But that’s just a fear. For now, even though I’m experiencing a serious (and in my analytical view of the market a likely permanent) dip in any ability to make a living doing what I love. For the moment, I have things arranged so my non-writing jobs are small and my lifestyle is modest enough to keep going. So, I do. I keep eating in a healthy way because that’s the lifestyle I want. I keep my kids off the electronics, because that’s the lifestyle I want. Yes, there are long-term goals and dreams involved too but first and foremost it’s for today.
I do love your writing, Kirsten. You don’t have to be only a cheerleader to create a good feeling among fellow writers. At least not in my view. If you make your goal of being a NYTBSA in five years or in twenty and I hear about it, I’ll give a little cheer. Because that would be awesome. But I’ll also give a cheer if I run across you still kicking and keeping on without it in ten or twenty years. That would be very cool too.
Absolutely love this post for the fighter spirit that shines through your every word. Thank you, Kristen. 🙂
This one resonated with me so much with my first writers road block. But the ripple effect really kicked in when I was in session with an adolescent boy (I am a school counsellor) who I have been seeing for a while, has a pretty dysfunctional, unhappy and intractable home life, but has a dream of being a youtube blogger. He’s finally (after many sessions exploring ‘baby steps’, ‘barriers’ and being just plain scared) has decided to take the leap. I talked about dips, even drew a nifty diagram of a mountain, with the goal at the top, that involves dips, obstacles (boulders, mud pits, stands of trees…), so he could see that’s exactly what a journey looks like. He felt really motivated and empowered that he would recognise dips, know they are inevitable, and that maybe, just maybe, he’ll be able to over come them! I even tied in the ‘top 5% of people will ever make it, because they are the ones that persevere’ blog from earlier! Double Kristen Blog Whammy….
Thanks for posting it Kristen, it motivated me, and it motivated a young man all the way in Australia!
The article was able to get me back to work!! I accepted a higher position in a global organization with a clear mind that I had what it takes. My son was 1 year old when I accepted this position. I went there to do something valuable for the org. From the past two months, I am absolutely in the DIP. The shear idea of work gives me chills. I have brilliant strategy to success however I am just unable to execute it. As if someone ties my hands to stop me from being successful. But when I look back its me, my mind, my heart! I am reading as much as I can too wake up from the DIP and be my best… Thanks Kristen!!