Friday, April 21, 2017

R is for Reactive vs Proactive #AtoZChallenge

The #AtoZChallenge 2017 Theme at Operation Awesome is the Publishing Journey.

For our R post, let's examine the difference between writing and editing Reactively vs Proactively in the first of my 7 Habits of Highly Effective Writers series.

Like many people, I enjoy making New Year's resolutions. I'm not great at keeping them, but I sure do love making them. This year I resolved to read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey, with the hope of using it to improve my life.

It's been life-altering, to be honest. Eye-opening. It makes change seem possible. I really love this book. And as I've been reading, I've seen ways that the 7 habits could apply to my writing as well.

The first habit is Be Proactive. To understand what it means to be proactive, let's examine what the opposite is: being reactive.

Remember the post I wrote last month about waiting to process feedback? I had a knee-jerk REACTION to the feedback I received, and made a poor choice because of it. I made my editing decisions reactively instead of proactively.

When we make decisions proactively, we base them on internalized principles and values as opposed to our reactions and emotions. Had I been proactive about my revision I would have done things differently:

-I would have waited before processing the feedback because I have been told to do so by people whose advice I value.
-I would not have sent the revision off to an agent without one of my CPs vetting it first. I would have been sure to send the agent my best work instead of rushing.

What principles and values related to writing do you use to make proactive editing decisions?

#AtoZChallenge 2017 Operation Awesome R is for Reactive vs Proactive


  1. I like that. Reactivity comes from a thoughtlessness due to an emotional reaction, whereas proactivity comes from the consideration of facts. I'll keep that in mind next time I get a bad review.

    Her Grace, Heidi from Romance Spinners

  2. I get so attached to my writing (who doesn't?) that I do need to step away before reacting to any negativity. It is also good for me to have thought through some of the criticisms I may receive so I know what to expect and am ready to respond.

    Emily | My Life In Ecuador | Reinventing a 2.4 km beach front boardwalk


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