This is an area in which I’ve struggled in the past. There’s a fine line between motion and action. Rather than explain what I’m talking about, I’ll point to an excellent post by James Clear and provide a brief excerpt:
When you’re in motion, you’re planning and strategizing and learning. Those are all good things, but they don’t produce a result. Action, on the other hand, is the type of behavior that will deliver an outcome.James Clear
I can think of several examples of motion versus action in my writing journey. Here are some motions:
- Researching Web hosting options
- Evaluating WordPress plugins
- Learning about e-mail newsletters
- Evaluating professional editors
- Researching publications for submitting stories
And here are some actions:
- Setting up my author website
- Writing a blog post
- Setting up an e-mail newsletter
- Sending an e-mail newsletter
- Hiring an editor
- Writing a short story or novel
- Publishing a short story or novel
The motions aren’t a waste of time by any means. In fact, they’re necessary to make good decisions. That’s why I’ve spent considerable time on each of those. The problem arises when motions don’t eventually lead to actions. I could research, evaluate, and learn things indefinitely, but I need to take action and make progress at some point.
One could make the argument that some of the actions I listed are actually motions in disguise. Perhaps the only real actions for a writer are writing and publishing. Maybe it’s a matter of primary versus secondary actions. At any rate, I won’t officially consider myself a writer until I publish some of my work.
In the meantime, I’m tackling my list of actions, so I’m ready when I do get published. In my opinion, every writer needs a website and a newsletter. I want to hit the ground running, so my readers have a way to follow my journey—and hopefully, continue reading my stories.
Speaking of which, I need to set up that e-mail newsletter…