I used to and still do fear that I’m not a proactive enough writer. But then I remind myself that proactivity takes a lot of forms.
There are times when I worry that I’m not writing enough, and times when I’m not writing when I think I should be writing. These times lead to me feeling paranoid and upset.
What didn’t help me during these times was when I hung out with people who were being proactive right in my face. One time during my second year of university, I’d just sat down on the sofa and turned the TV on to relax that evening and my roommate was sat next to me hard at work on a report.
This got me worried because I wondered if I should be working at that time. I had things to do, but I’d always considered evenings as relaxation time. I always did my work during the day.
Now I realise that’s just the way I did things. I preferred doing my work during the day because I felt I had more energy at that time. It’s what worked for me.
My roommate obviously felt more energised in the evenings. Neither of us were less proactive than the other. We were just proactive at different times.
Remember to actually write
Whilst I’ve learnt from this experience, I do sometimes still worry that I’m not writing enough. I only ever write and edit my blog posts on Tuesdays.
But the rest of the week I’m coming up with ideas and jotting these down in my notepads. I’m reading other peoples’ blogs to see how and what they write. I’m reviewing the notes I’ve written and wondering if they would actually make a good post. All of this activity is proactive.
This mentality stops me from feeling worried that I’m not working enough, but I know it could also lead to a state of optimistic procrastination. It’s good to remind myself that idea-generation and research are part of the creative process, but I should always have something to show for that process in the end.
Not just writing
Proactivity takes a lot of forms. It’s never just the finished piece of writing. It’s also the things that helped it become the finished piece of writing.
People have different times and ways of being creative, so I should never feel worried I’m not being proactive enough when I’m relaxing and someone else is working.