Woody Allen puts it this way, “80% of success is showing up.”
Though I do not seek the wisdom of Woody on a regular basis, I think he got this one right. It matters not what he was referring to at the time. Exercise? Cooking? Spirituality? Financial Planning? Education? Marriage? Parenting? Absolutely, it applies to all of these and more.
He is not saying that I will be 80% successful if I show up, but rather that by simply making the commitment to show up on a daily basis is 80% of the battle. The remaining 20% can never happen if I fail to show up. Hoping for success in any area of my life is futile if I abstain from the journey.
If I long to be a better mother, I need to be there. A better wife? Show up, even when I may not feel like it. A graduate? I must go to class. A millionaire? Well, first, I need more money, but then I must make an effort every day to manage it effectively.
This principle is so true when it applies to writing. I am convinced that both starting and finishing a new project are the hardest steps in the process, but neither of these can happen if I fail to show up. I make an appointment with my chair at the same time each day, setting daily and weekly goals. I allow room for chasing down unforeseen opportunities and inspirational moments. I map out a plan to be creative, confirming my goals and recognizing that those who get stuck are the ones who are not sure of what they truly want to say. Or more importantly, why they want to say it.
That first and last 10% of my projects continue to taunt me, daring me to plunge deep enough to discover them. But with every day I add to my “perfect attendance” record, the stronger I become, the more I learn, and the journey to success becomes its own reward.
Success waits for me in the future. I’m sure of it, as long as I continue to show up every day. Because the best part about my future is that I still get to write it.
But if I fail to show up, it will remain unwritten.
Janet is a writer, wife and mother of three who recently relocated to Canton, MI from Nashville, TN through her husband’s job transfer. After finding herself unemployed for the first time since she was fifteen years old, she admits that her dreams of writing finally wrestled her to the ground to the point of surrender. She is currently working on her first book project for Atlantic Publishing, and has several more projects on the horizon. Janet also writes about health and beauty, her latest article is on as how to treat pimples (beauty). Janet is also the manager of a review site about inversion tables, which deals with treating back pain.