August 20, 2012 • 252 views
“I can’t think of the finish.”—Chico Marx
“Funny, but I can’t think of anything else.” Groucho Marx
I wrote my first Fanview column in late October of 1998. Since that time I’ve written over 1,200 of them. Some were harder than others to write. Some flew from brain to fingers to keyboard…Some started with a fifteen minute blank stare at the screen.
Here’s the thing…the columns that I wrote where all of synapses were firing like the big guns of a World War II battleship often re-read a month or years later as flat, stupid, syrupy ridiculous.
While the stuff that was a struggle, the stuff that felt like I was trying to rake the yard with a toothbrush, that stuff still breaths. In fact it looks like something someone better and smarter would have written. Sometimes it actually looks alien.
If you’re writing fiction and you come to me and say you have writers block…okay. I’m not going to argue, but if you tell me you have writers block when it comes to getting your sportswriting duties done. Then at worst I would call you a liar, at best I would call you lazy.
Someone said once that eighty percent of life is just showing up. If you keep showing up good things happen. That means you show up when you’re tired, when you’re ticked off, when you’re happy, when you’re lacking inspiration. You show up and do your job.
This isn’t about just writing a column, this is about everything life isn’t it? I’m not only going to be a good parent when I feel like it, I’m going to be a good parent when the microwave and air conditioner are broken. I’m going to be a good parent whether or not I’ve fought with my boss or my friends. I’m going to be a good parent whether I’m sick or not.
Some days might be better than others, but I will never know that, or come to realize that, unless I show up.
I’ve had fifteen years to figure this thing out in regards to my column, but for someone in another place…Say, a local football player…You only get a couple of months to keep showing up.
There’s going to be the injury to the key teammate, there’s going to be the guy you think is vital who will walk away, you’re going to have that nagging bruise, that nagging sprain, and the weather is going to turn (or in our case get worse)…and you’re going to feel like phoning it in.
All I can say to you is keep showing up. If this is the last line I ever write, just keep showing up. Seasons will change, moments will come and go, and all you’ll have of them is the long, reflective, look back.
Good days and bad days we can’t control…but we can say that we always showed up.
Contact Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org