I have heard it said that ninety percent of life is showing up. More than one person has told me that, so I assume that someone famous said it first.
[brief break for internet searching . . .The Google Machine suggests to me that the famous person in question might be Woody Allen, which makes me feel a little dirty. The Google Machine also tells me that he may have assigned a different percentage of life to showing up than ninety, but no matter. To steal a line: I’ll take wisdom wherever I can find it. Now, back to your regularly scheduled blog post.]
I have found plenty of success in my Real Life, the life not documented in blog posts and tweets, and as much as I would like to attribute that success to my personal brilliance and work ethic, the overwhelming majority of that success came from simply showing up. Whatever personal brilliance and a strong work ethic I may have doesn’t go very far if I don’t report for duty regularly, ready to work hard at being brilliant on a task at hand.
I see no reason why writing is any different. In fact, I see lots of reasons why writing should be the same.
Depending upon when I draw the line between wanting to write and actually trying to write, I have been seriously writing around my day job for somewhere between one and five years. I have met some success with my writing endeavor–you’re reading this, aren’t you?–and I now have a sufficient sample size to observe that I have been vastly more successful when I actually show up at a keyboard or pad or at least a slab of touch sensitive glass and write something. I have had more success of late, and that increased success corresponds with (brace yourself for this) actually showing up more.
Brilliance and work ethic certainly matter, as do less virtuous things like luck and timing. But those are the remaining ten percent; none of those can even come into play if you don’t show up.
I’ve made an appointment with myself.