Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Just Keep Showing Up

Well hello blogosphere! I hope you had a very nice holiday season and are settling into 2010 nicely. Mostly, I hope that wherever you are it's warmer than it is here in Chicago (current temperature: 14 degrees!). Now, let's chat more about writing, shall we?

One day in early December when I checked in at the gym, the general manager was working the front desk instead of the usual silent, sleepy employee who barely mumbles a hello. It was one of those days where I was too tired to even go to the gym, but I went anyway because I know that's when I need it most. I could tell the manager wanted to chat, but I just wanted to get my card swiped and get on with the workout.

But the manager beamed at me with a shiny smile as he slid my card through the reader and said, "Hi! What's your holiday workout goal?" He pointed to the wall behind me, that was plastered with small sheets of white paper where other members had posted their holiday workout goals.

I held my hand out for my card, not wanting to get roped into his game, but his smile worked its magic on me. So I said what instantly popped into my mind: "Just keep showing up."

"That sounds like a great goal!" the manager said and slapped down a piece of paper and pen for me to jot it down. And I was sucked in. It was a great goal, I decided.

I don't really care what kind of workout I do when I go to the gym, I just count it as a win that I even show up. I know that once I get to the gym, or step outside with my running shoes on and iPod in my ears, exercise is going to happen. That first step of showing up is more than half the battle.

And perhaps writing is the same way. If I sit down in front of my computer, and instead of going to Facebook or Google News or Twitter, I open the Word document that contains my current WIP, writing is going to happen. Some days I'll get in a great scene or craft some fantastic metaphors. Some days I'll write just a page or two that's way too heavy on dialogue.

But I've written words, and writing some words is closer to a book than writing no words. And the first step in all that, where I need to start each and every day, is to just keep showing up.


  1. Absolutely! Write. Just write. Write, write, write. Then, write some more. :-)

  2. Isn't it amazing that the same rule applies to writing, gym, meditation and relationships?

  3. Linda, and then there is the revise, revise, revise some more, which is the ickiest part of the process to me!

    Shahnaz, great comparisons!