They called him the “Yankee Clipper” because of his swift, easy grace and “Joltin’ Joe” because of his amazing fielding and hitting. But what Joe DiMaggio is best known for — what’s made him a legend, not just among Yankee fans, but the world over — is his 56-game hitting streak. In 1941, from mid-May through part of July, Joe did something that no other player before or since has equaled: he made a hit in 56 consecutive games.
Now that’s amazing. But what’s even more amazing is this: Right before his blazing hitting streak, Joe was having one of the worst slump of his career. In 22 at bats, he made only two hits. That’s right: before the best time in his career he was plunged into the worst time.
So how did he do it? How did he go from the worst of times to the best of times? The answer lies in two words: relentless consistency. No matter how bad he was feeling about himself, about playing baseball, about striking out, about failing and being dubbed a loser, Joe put in a consistent effort using a consistent approach. And somehow, that “Steady Eddie” strategy carried him through.
As writers, there are two takeaways from this: First, even when it seems that success is nowhere nearby, it can be right around the corner. There’s no way to know this, so we just have to have faith in ourselves and our ability to get there. And second, when we’re going through a slump, a period when we just can’t seem to find our groove, relentless consistency can save us. By that, I mean, just like Joltin’ Joe, we need to keep showing up and doing what we’ve always done until either we figure out a better way or things get better — whichever comes first. So stay strong, keep swinging, and write on!
And if you’ve ever had a slump and worked your way through it, I’d love to hear how you did it.