I wrote her back, “My book? But, I don’t know what to write.”
She wrote back, “Write what you know.”
Of course. That is what they always told me in graduate school. So, yesterday, when I began to feel like quitting, I started editing entries from my first blog, which I began in 1999, and I started to write a story that belongs to my memoir, which I have only shared with two people.
And, yesterday, when I felt like quitting, Robert brought me home a book I’d placed on reserve at the library: Seth Godin’s The Dip.
Godin writes, “Winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time…Extraordinary benefits accrue to the tiny minority of people who are able to push just a tiny bit longer than most. Extraordinary benefits also accrue to the tiny majority with the guts to quit early and refocus their efforts on something new.”
And, yesterday, when I felt like quitting, I discovered that a local journalist, who also happens to be one cool Generation Xer, linked to a post I wrote back in April. Right in the middle of that moment that Godin says all high-achieving, goal-oriented people have – that moment when we want to quit – I received this tiny bit of validation. I’m thanking the journalist for it in the only tangible way I can, by adding him to my blog roll. Here, the rule of reciprocity prevails for a humble blogger like me.
So, as it turns out, I’m in the dip. Godin writes, “The Dip is the long slog between starting and mastery. A long slog that’s actually a shortcut, because it gets you where you want to go faster than any other path.”
My father’s favorite chapter of the Bible was Hebrews 12, sometimes called “the faith chapter.” It’s my favorite, too. Paul the Apostle said it even better than Seth Godin. “…Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Lately, I’ve been jumping rope to improve my cardiovascular health. I walk a block and jump for 50 and I do this over the course of 16 blocks. This morning, I inadvertently stuck my keys in the pocket of my shorts. They drove me nuts. They clanked. They threw me a little off balance. They interrupted my focus. One tiny set of keys slowed me down.