Why 90% of writing is showing up

Man on bus

Showing up is a strange ride, but here’s what happens when you show up.

Recently I had a weekend where I didn’t much feel like writing. I’ve been on a writing streak since November—177 days in a row of as this email, in fact.

But man oh man, there were these two days I did not want to show up.

I did anyway though. After all, writing 1,200 words a day is just a matter of writing one word after another until you’re done. (Yes, that’s really all it is.)

On this day, I figured I’d slap something down about some guy on a bus. No idea why. Just did. So I went with it.

Then I started wondering where he was going. What his thoughts and feeling were that day. (Not good, not good at all, as it turned out.)

And, he was on his way to pick up his two daughters from school.

The next day I did some more.

And here’s the crazy thing.

I figured out who the guy on the bus is. And, especially, who one of the daughters is.

She’s rad. Oh man, she is so cool.

And the story quickly showed me that it was about far, far more than a sad guy on a bus and the daughter waiting for him outside her school.

All because I showed up when I didn’t want to, I now have the beginnings of a brand new Rucksack Universe book in my head. It’s all starting to take shape. The strokes are broad, but getting finer.

That’s what can happen just when you keep showing up. You know that old saying about how 90% of success is showing up? Showing up is 90% of writing too. Once you show up, all you have to do is get the words down. Two days of drudgery—that suddenly strike gold.

See you on the blank page.

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