photo of sea wave

Surfing and Sailing Change

Change can make your creative life stumble. I’m feeling that now. Some significant changes have started in my creative life.

I’m trying to figure out how to juggle all this and, simultaneously, get the projects I started to continue. I found that there is no way in one week to do that many things. I dropped one and a half things. Even with that, I could not get another thing, the Swift playgrounds video done. I had to decide to skip a week and get it out This Thursday. I have a lot of thinking to do about all this.

I got so stressed about these new projects and not shipping the ones I’ve been working on that I ended up getting nearly nothing done. A push at the end of yesterday got me to a deadline on one project.

Seth Godin describes the point we decide to quit as the Dip. When is something intimidating, or is it truly a detriment to what you want to do? That’s the point you might quit. Sometimes it is good to quit, and sometimes bad. Usually, the Dip is a point where you are tired or stressed by the effort of moving forward. I typically get it at transitions to new work because I always fill my schedule with work and then decide what old work I have to shelve. I don’t necessarily quit everything, but I might put stuff into hiatus.
This Dip is getting to be a bad one, but I also know it is a transitional dip. I’m moving my focus, or more appropriately, I’m changing my tack. There’s a point in changing direction when sailing where you have no control and everything is chaos as your sails flap in the wind. If you get past that point, the boom suddenly moves quickly across the deck, Your sails fill with wind and start moving again. If you don’t, you come to a dead stop that is difficult to escape. It is one part of sailing that still stresses me out.

Often, it seems there is no way out when you are in one of these transitional dips. Besides sailing, it also reminds me of surfing. The swelling wave in front of you is too big to crawl over to get out into the ocean. When I was in Hawaii recently, I watched surfers do something I hadn’t noticed before. They do not climb over waves as they work their way out to where the waves form. Instead, they dive underneath them, and the buoyant surfboard pops them back up on the other side of the wave.

That’s true of transitions too. When faced with the Dip, think about what is on the other side of that wave. Sometimes it is good to turn back. If you’ve prepared enough, want to surf, and brought your surfboard, dive in and pop out on the other side.

Leave a Reply