Showing Up Is NOT Half The Battle

Most Times It’s Nothing But A Skirmish

One Mississippi…..Two Mississippi…And Three Mississippi.

Okay, then we’ll use me as an example. I show up to work Monday through Friday, five grueling, mind-melting, punishing, tortuous days a week.

We have a water cooler, but at six-thirty in the morning nobody is hanging out around it.

What I do after I shag my first cup of coffee determines whether or not I showed up to work, or just showed up. I could sit my butt in my chair and browse the internet all day, giving my job just the barest amount of attention necessary to keep them from walking me to my truck, or I could knuckle down and fight the good fight.

“Has anybody seen P.G.?”

“Last time I saw him, he was sitting in a conference room all by himself laughing at his computer.”

As a writer, showing up is the easy part. On weekends, just like today, as I write this, showing up in front of the computer, cracking my knuckles, then hovering my fingers over the keyboard is nothing but a preliminary skirmish. The real battle, the one I must tackle every time I write, is with one of the evilest enemies a writer must battle.

The Blank Page.

Now here’s where the war starts, my friends. Here is where each side competes for a tiny purchase of real-estate. The blank page fights to stay pristine and bare while I hammer away at it to fill it up with readable and enjoyable prose.

But you know what? Sometimes I win. Maybe not the war, but I win a major conflict that just might turn the tide of the entire war. Not only did I show up, but I made it through to the other side of the battle. Showed that sucker a thing or two.

So what about you? You showed up and sat your butt in the chair in front of the computer? Or you're curled up on your couch with pen or pencil in hand?

Now write something.

Write something somebody is going to want to read. Write what your heart and head are telling you, you have to write. Pour out your heart, bleed on the page. Rip your emotions out and smear the love, hate, fear, insecurity, hopelessness, happiness, or pain all over it.

It’s a writer’s very intimate and very real version of war and yes, hell.

So with me, each time I hear someone say or I read the words “showing up is half the battle,” I mentally tell myself, or sometimes forget and use that outside voice of mine to point out that no, showing up is not half of the battle.

Because in my opinion, showing up which is supposed to be half the battle, isn’t.

Unless you’re willing to engage in full-on, day to grueling day combat in the trenches fighting writer’s block and the blank page, taking it to the enemy in battle, you are never going to get there.

Don’t just show up.

Show up and write.

Let’s keep in touch: paul@pgbarnett.com

Written by

A published author enjoying married Texas bliss. Dog person living with cats. A writer of Henry James' stories. Featured In MuckRack. Top Writer In Fiction.

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