I’m a self-improvement junkie. I’ve listed it as one of my hobbies because it takes that much time, energy, and passion from me.
The thing is, the proportion of the amount I’ve read to the amount I think I’ve improved isn’t as much as it should be. Have I improved? Absolutely. Hands-down, books have been my greatest teachers in learning how to understand myself. But compared to the vast, VAST amount of books and articles and podcasts I’ve consumed? It should be more. I’ve read enough business books to have started a hundred businesses. I’ve read enough dating books to be married. Or so I think.
The thing is, at some point, self-improvement books become another means of putting off actual action.
For instance, I need to stop logging the time I spend reading self-improvement books as productive work time because it’s really not. I’m enjoying the books and getting a buzz off them, but they aren’t upping my rate of actions taken or anything. In other words, the return on investment stinks.
Just like how I can plan and plan my business and project and never actually get anything done, I can read and read about writing and never have a novel written, but still feel like I’m getting somewhere. Only I’m not. A self-improvement book is a whirlpool in the river to progress, sucking me around and around. It feels exciting and fast-paced and useful, but I haven’t gotten any farther.
So…I’m swearing off them for a month. Starting November (when NaNoWriMo starts, so it’s a great time to buckle down) I will only read for pure pleasure. Like fiction. Or history. Any time I might have spent nobly reading a book on writing will be spent…you know…actually writing. Any time spent reading a book on communication will be spent, hopefully, communicating. Any time spent reading books on business will be spent on actions around that business.
I’m hoping I can count on you guys to help keep me accountable for this. Tweet at me, Instagram me, comment here…however you want to barrage me with reminders to stop reading and start doing, please do so. Heaven knows I’m addicted.