Like many people, I have a bad habit of thinking that reading enough books on my area of interest will result in me being more skilled. I know this is foolish!
It’s a habit I picked when I was doing my undergraduate degree. I would go to the library, get out about ten books on the essay topic and breathe a sigh of relief. It was as if having done the research equated to having the knowledge inside my head. I would relax a bit, knowing that I had all the necessary information at my fingertips. I knew that the essay wouldn’t write itself, but somehow I felt as though having the textbooks on my desk would do the trick.
As a result, my essays were never very good. I never left enough time to write a really polished piece, and I always submitted work that was not quite finished. I longed to get good marks, but I just couldn’t quite get myself moving enough to start early and refine my work. Once a tutor wrote on my work “good start, where is the rest?”.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a great reader and a great supporter of reading. Reading can help you in many ways. It can provide context and a theoretical basis for your ideas. Books can describe methods and processes, but it can’t ever replace doing the actual work. No amount of reading is a substitute for actually doing something, even if the result is not quite as good as you would like it to be.
In many ways, reading is just another (more pleasurable) form of procrastination. Its a lot more fun than doing the ironing or tidying up the cupboard, but ultimately it’s a poor substitute for doing something.
I guess that’s what led to this blogging challenge. I was caught up in reading and not taking enough action.
Is there something that you are putting off doing?