Slog – verb
- work hard over a period of time.“they were slogging away to meet a deadline”
Over the last few days, I re-listened to an audiobook I digitally dust off from time to time – The Dip by Seth Godin. It is very short, and I highly recommend it. What Seth calls “the dip” is that period of time between being a beginner (the flat part of the curve at the beginning) and being what he calls “the best in the world” (upper right part of the curve). Here’s the book cover to see the picture of the dip/curve:
In other words, the dip is the time when the work becomes hard, sometimes really hard, much of the fun disappears, and you want to quit. However, if you stick with it, you can come out the other side on top. This is where perseverance is key and where giving up on your ultimate vision is dumb. Seth’s argument is that if giving up is going to be an option, then you shouldn’t start in the first place. The problem here is that crystal balls don’t work and you have no way of knowing how long you’ll be in the dip.
However, one of the ways to make it through the dip faster is to quit distractions or dead ends that will not help you through to your goal. When I decided to pursue bigger goals as a runner, I ended up having to put aside several other time-consuming hobbies. My neighbors likely didn’t (and still don’t) appreciate me abandoning the yardwork hobby, but sacrifices had to be made.
These days, I find myself inside another dip, I think. Let’s be creative and call it the writer’s dip. I’m pretty sure I’m past the occasional beginner hobbyist blog post, and I’m sure I haven’t come out on the other side yet as “Best in the World.” Goodness knows I’ve put in the hours of studying and practicing. So, yep, I’m in the dip.
So, if what Seth says is true – that if I keep putting in the time and effort it is possible to come out the other side as “Best in the World” – then, there’s only one to find out. Keep slogging. And if I keep slogging, some baggage needs to be tossed off the plane. The main distraction that would free up the mental bandwidth I need can’t be chucked – the day job.
So, what’s next on the list? Not sure yet, but I’m thinking about it. It will likely mean further refining my writing objectives and cutting out writing dead ends that don’t help toward the final goal.
I’ll also need to define “Best in the World.” That’s part of it – I can define my own world parameters. How does this ring: Greg Fowler, the best writer in the world for a combination of Gen-X nostalgia, encouragement, writing advice, and fitness tips.
I agree. That needs some work. Like I said, might need to fine tune some stuff.
What about you? Are you slogging through a dip right now? Are there some distractions you can quit?
Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading,
PS. The Amazon link to The Dip is https://amzn.to/2Xx9o05