Proactive Means Taking Charge

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Did this guy learn to do this by simply reading about it? Or did he become proactive, take charge and just do it? 

 Proactive Means Taking Charge

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

I have a habit of saving things I read on the Internet. Little scraps of ideas or sayings, quotes or names I like and may use in a story someday, sometimes its web addresses of websites or blogs that I liked and want to remember. I’ll copy and paste them into a word document so I can read it again later.

Of course after I do this, I promptly forget about them. Then weeks or even months later, while trying to clean up my computer from all the stuff I’ve saved over time, I’ll come across one of those rare ones I should have been reading everyday.

I really need to apologize to the author of this little gem I found, because I didn’t save her (I say “her”, but it could have been a “him”.) I didn’t save her name or even where I found the original article. So if anyone reading this recognizes the words and knows the author’s name please let me know. I want to give her the credit she deserves.

I had no idea in January of 2011; I would start a blog in 2012 and want to pass on some of the great stuff I’d saved. Now when I find things, I do save the authors’ names and where I find the information, but it’s too late for this particular article to get her consent.

The author starts out with: “Fate does not run your writing career. You do.”

Then she lists ten things she believes anyone starting out in the writing business should be prepared to do. Most of what she listed, I now do and some I had to modify to fit my goals.

  1. looking for new markets…check
  2. finishing a novel and starting a new one…check
  3. beginning a blog…check
  4. finding the perfect agent…working on it
  5. landing a publisher…working on it
  6. establishing your writing career…check
  7. attending a conference to find your footing…someday
  8. locating or starting a critique group…working on it
  9. publishing in that magazine you’ve feared for too long…This one I would change to “sending queries/manuscripts to various markets”…check
  10. finding a writing mentor/partner…check

The list may not apply to you if you’re not a writer. And even if you are a writer, there are many different kinds of writers. Some writers write news stories, articles for magazines, short stories of fiction and/or nonfiction, books of fiction, and books of nonfiction…well you get my drift. Some of the list may not apply to you either and that’s okay, just modify the list by setting your own goals and work toward fulfilling your dream.

So what is your passion? Maybe it’s photography or painting beautiful portraits or starting your own business. Whatever we aspire to do or become can only be accomplished if we take charge and press forward toward a specific goal.

In this same article, the author goes on to further state: “Proactive means taking charge instead of waiting for events to find you.”

I think, to put it another way, if we’re still “dreaming” and wishing for something to happen, but not working toward a goal, then we’re not proactive. We’re not moving forward. We’re stagnant. Have you ever seen stagnant water, it’s not a pretty sight and it smells bad too. Are you stagnant?

What are ten things you should be doing to move forward toward your dream? Have you set reachable goals?

It takes more than just setting goals though. The article goes on to say: “being proactive and taking charge would help you fare much better, appreciate yourself more, and open new doors of opportunity by grabbing 2012 and molding it to your desires”.

I began taking charge in 2008. Not by “trying” to reach my goals. The article said “taking charge”, because by taking charge I’m no longer giving myself permission to be excused if I fail. I’m doing the things that make me uncomfortable, like blogging, socializing on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, branding my name and sending out queries and manuscripts, searching for markets. I could just write and not do any of the other stuff, and I could say I’m “trying” to be a writer. I’m writing, aren’t I, and learning, but who’s going to read my work if no one knows it exists. Are you really a writer if you don’t have readers. I tried for forty plus years for fate to make me a writer. It never happened and it wasn’t going too, because all I did was “try”. Trying is not doing.

So if trying isn’t the answer, what is? I decided to become proactive, take charge and make things happen. It’s taken time and effort, but I’ve already won; I became a writer and an author in my own eyes that day. And that’s where it has to start. The author of the original article made one final, but important point in her article. She wrote: “If 2011 wasn’t to your liking, make a change. No one else can do it for you.”

Just like the guy in the picture above and the quote here; you’ll never know what you can do until you do it, take charge…and be proactive.

“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” – Wayne Gretsky

As always, I appreciate your opinions or questions. Please, leave a comment. If you leave your blog or website address or where you can be found on Facebook or Twitter I will follow you, leave a comment, like, or Tweet in return.

It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone.

I was recently chosen as one of nine winners in The Young Adult Mystery Times Nine 2012 Short Story Competition. The list of winning authors and their story titles can be viewed at: (13) Buddhapuss Ink LLC    Click on “see more” to view the entire list. The winning stories will be published together sometime in September or October. I will update you then.

My first adult short story, “Saving Katie” has been published at: www.thepinkchameleon.com a free magazine. Once on the site, scroll down the page until you see Short Stories. Click on that and the list of short stories will appear. Find “Saving Katie”.

Some of my work can be found online: My children’s story “Pack Leader” can be found at: www.knowonder.com also a free magazine. Once on the site type in the title of the story in the Search Engine at the top of the page and it will take you to the story.

I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at: www.storiesthatlift.com. This too is a free magazine. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories. There is a Search Engine on this site also.

.In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” was published at: Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/  A subscription is required to read these stories, but if you have children between the ages of 4-10, it might be worth it.

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2 responses to “Proactive Means Taking Charge

  1. Hey Donna,

    This post makes a very good point. Where did you find the picture? I love it!

    Although I’ve set a few goals for my own writing, I really need to learn to put them into practice and “take charge”.

    • Thank You Ann for commenting and liking my blog. I found the picture on my mp3 player. It along with several others were on there when I bought it. You have make a beginning by taking charge and starting your own blog. Now you just need to keep writing and growing as a writer.

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