“80 percent of life is showing up.”
― Woody Allen
Have you heard of this quote by Woody Allen before? Or maybe you’ve just heard of the 80% is showing up idea.
I remember hearing this idea back in college, and I took it to heart — just keep showing up. This advice has helped me confront so many blank pages in my life: both literal and metaphorical.
When I was crafting this set of prompts for the 30 Day Journal Project, I did some research to find out more about this quote, and found a great interview where Mr. Allen shares in depth. I’ve quoted the parts about creative practice, here, below:
I made the statement years ago which is often quoted that 80 percent of life is showing up. People used to always say to me that they wanted to write a play, they wanted to write a movie, they wanted to write a novel, and the couple of people that did it were 80 percent of the way to having something happen.
All the other people struck out without ever getting that pack. They couldn’t do it, that’s why they don’t accomplish a thing, they don’t do the thing, so once you do it, if you actually write your film script, or write your novel, you are more than half way towards something good happening.
I think that the biggest life lesson I learned as a boy that has helped me and is still with me is that you really have to discipline yourself to do the work. If you want to accomplish something you can’t spend a lot of time hemming and hawing, putting it off, making excuses for yourself, and figuring ways. You have to actually do it.
I have to go home every single day, no matter where I am in a world, no matter what I’m doing, and putting 30 to 45 minutes of practice on my clarinet because I want to play. I have to do it.
When I want to write, you get up in the morning, go in and close the door and write. You can’t string paper clips, and get your pad ready, and turn your phone off, and get this, get coffee made. You have to do the stuff.
Everything in life turns out to be a distraction from the real thing you want to do. There are a million distractions and when I was a kid I was very disciplined. I knew that the other kids weren’t. I was the one able to do the thing, not because I had more talent, maybe less, but because they simply weren’t applying themselves.
As a kid I wanted to do magic tricks. I could sit endlessly in front of mirror, practicing, practicing, because I knew if you wanted to do the tricks you’ve got to do the thing.
I did that with the clarinet, when I was teaching, I did that with writing.
This is the most important thing in my life because I see people striking out all the time. It’s not because they don’t have talent, or because they don’t want to be, but because they don’t put the work in to do it. They don’t have the discipline to do it.
This was something I learned myself. I also had a very strict mother who was no nonsense about that stuff. She said ‘If you don’t do it, then you aren’t going to be able to do the thing.’ It’s as simple as that.
Source: Woody Allen Interview – VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA (8/15/2008) http://collider.com/movie/article.asp/aid/8878/tcid/1
Today’s Journal Prompts:
The reasons why I want to do this 30 Day Journal Project is: (make a quick list)
Notice if your reasons why are toward or away goals.
A toward goal is something you are moving toward: I want to do this project because I want to experience more creative flow
An away goal is something you are moving away from: I want to do this project so I don’t miss out
Circle the Toward goals. Underline the Away goals.
Next: Change your Away goals into compelling Toward goals.
Here’s another prompt:
If I simply showed up at my journal every day for thirty days, then…
Do you hold back from journaling from fear of lack of privacy?
For those of you who love to Zentangle and doodle in your notebooks, I think you’ll really like this idea.
The Journal Prompts in this Post Are Included in the FLOW: 30 Day Journal Project Printables
When I offered the first 30 Day Journal Project, I found that having the prompts printed out in advance helped me get right into my journaling for the day.
I think of this as lazy journaling. 🙂
Fill in the blank, and you’re done!
After I made these for myself, I prettied up the design (and added another layout) so you could use them, too. This is what I’m using for my own journaling.
There is another layout for cutting and pasting into an existing journal.
Get ALL of the FLOW 30 days of prompts & quotes (plus one bonus day) with 2 different layout designs.
FLOW: PRINTABLES | $18
No more blank page. No more writer’s block.
Whether you are brand new to writing or journaling or simply want to break out of a rut in your creative practice, these printable prompts make it fast and easy to get going.
See All 30 Day Journal Printable Designs
There are four different sets of 30 Day Journal Project Printables, beautifully designed, each with a different theme.
Use the printables on your own, or with The 30 Day Journal Workshop
Come on over to my studio in Mexico (via video!) where I’ll show you how to journal with intention and focus as we create two different kinds of handmade journals. It all happens in The 30 Day Journal Project Workshop, designed for experienced and brand new journalers alike!