14 Tips on How to Become a "Take Action" Type of Person: Part 2 of 2

John Wood here with the final day of The Writer's Life this week.

Yesterday, I talked about taking action and listed seven tips that I hope will inspire you to "go for it" more often. If you missed it, you can read it here.

Today, I offer seven more.

In the grand scheme of things, your ability to consistently take action is more important than how talented you are as a writer. You could be the most talented writer in the world, but if you don't take action to get clients, your skills will help you little.

Or you could be great at networking with clients. But if you never lift a finger to improve your copywriting skills, you'll disappoint clients and find it difficult to move forward in your career.

Here are my next seven "taking action" tips:

  1. Keep a daily log of the progress you make each day – Record what you accomplish each day. Did you do all you set out to achieve? How many billable hours did you work? How much time did you waste that day? What task did you perform to enhance your skills in some way? What could you have done better?
  2. Change how you view the less fun parts of your job – Writers love to write. But in order to live the writer's life, you also need to find people to pay you for what you write. If you're not big on that part of the job, change how you think about it. Think of it as a way to meet new people, improve your customer interaction skills, and build a better lifestyle for you and your family –not as something you have to do.
  3. Have a "can do" attitude about life – Back a number of years ago, I read Errol Flynn's biography, My Wicked, Wicked Ways. When Flynn was in his twenties living in his native Tasmania, he overheard someone at party looking for a manager for a rubber plantation in Indonesia. Flynn said, "Well, I can do that!" The plantation owner replied, "Oh, can you … what do you know about managing a rubber plantation?" To which the totally inexperienced, unqualified, but full-of-brass Flynn said, "What do I know about managing a rubber plantation? Only Everything!" And he got the job! Flynn then found someone who actually had experience running a rubber plantation and learned what he needed to know.

    Now, I'm not saying you should oversell yourself. But do adopt Flynn's "can do" spirit when it comes to tackling new challenges and assignments.

  4. Don't wait for the perfect time – I know you've heard this before. But don't wait until every last piece of the puzzle is in place to take action. There has never been a better time than right now. If you're not making any progress because you're unsure of how to do something, find out what you need to know and put a plan together to learn it. Above all, isolate the reason you're not taking action and overcome it.
  5. Interrupt your non-productive actions – If you catch yourself doing something that is not productive, recognize and acknowledge it – and then interrupt it. A good way to accomplish this is to use a technique that motivational expert Anthony Robbins highly recommends: associate pain with the unproductive task. For instance, if you sometimes procrastinate by aimlessly surfing the Internet, link it in your mind to having no money at the end of the month to pay your bills. You could also use pain to inspire you to adopt some good habits. For example, to motivate yourself to take a walk every day, associating not going for a walk with poor health and having limited mobility later in life.
  6. Take a break – If you're having one of those days where nothing seems to be going right and you feel you're not accomplishing very much, take a break. Forget about work for a while and go and do something you love. Take the entire day off if you can. If not, a few hours should do the trick. Play golf or tennis. Slip away to the theater to see a movie. Read a book. Then come back stronger than ever a few hours later or the following day.
  7. Live with a sense of purpose – Inspire yourself by attaching a sense of purpose to the important things you do in life. For example, you're not just going to exercise and eat right every day; you're going to add years to your life so you can be there for your family and friends as long as possible. You're not just going to be making a living as freelance writer, you're going to be a good example to your children and grandchildren of what's possible when you put your mind to it. Check out my article, "Be Happier and Accomplish More by Living Your Life With a Sense of Purpose … " for more on this.

I hope these 14 tips have inspired you in some way to consistently take more action in pursuit of your writing goals.

If you have a personal story about how you took action, I'd love to hear about it. I want to know what good thing happened in your life because of it. You can post your story below.

And speaking of taking action, did you know the font your client uses to display your copy on their website could be playing a major role in prospects not taking action online? It's true. To read all about it, check out an article I wrote recently called "The Best Fonts to Use in Print, Online, and Email."

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The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: October 7, 2011

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