This post is a compilation of adapted excerpts from Nina Amir’s new book, Creative Visualization for Writers: An Interactive Guide for Bringing Your Book Ideas and Career to Life.
When you see your destination clearly, you know how to reach it. You also develop the confidence to navigate to your chosen endpoint.
“Seeing” begins with visualizing your idea or goal. Imagine it in your mind. Create mental pictures of how that state of being or finished product will look and feel. The vision helps you create a map from where you are currently to where you want to go.
Employ your imagination. Your visualization ability tends to improve just before sleep and after waking, but you can deliberately daydream at any time. Add as much detail and engage as many of your senses as you can in your visualizations.
Your definition of success
To create a vision of successful authorship, you first must determine what it means to you. Maybe your personal definition of success includes:
- leaving a legacy
- selling a lot of books.
- making a difference in readers’ lives.
- starting a movement.
- changing the world.
- taking readers on a journey.
- giving readers a window into your life or a life they’ve never lived.
- telling an entertaining or moving story.
- inspiring readers.
- creating a livelihood from your work.
There is no right or wrong definition.
Describe or draw your vision of success
Create clear publishing goals. It’s one thing to say you want to turn your idea into a book. It’s quite another to have a clear, written goal that contributes to your larger goal of becoming a successful author or writer.
You must know what it means to “become an author” or “have a career as a writer.” What will it take to achieve that long-term goal, and how will you know when you’ve done so?
Take the time to journal about your goal of becoming an author
What’s your “Why?” Do you know why you want to write your book? What do you hope to accomplish as an author? The reason you write provides your purpose, mission, or calling – what I like to call the “Big Why.” It keeps you writing day in and day out, no matter what, and doesn’t allow you to give up or fail.
Write a mission or purpose statement. For example: “I feel compelled to write this book because …”
Set achievable goals. How do you set achievable goals? In his classic best-seller Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill offers six steps for setting and reaching goals:
- Have a specific goal.
- Have a specific time to achieve your goal.
- Write down your goal.
- Develop a plan to achieve your goal.
- Decide what price you are willing to pay.
- Think about your goal every day.
Are your goals SMART?
To make your goals more effective, follow the SMART criteria, commonly attributed to Peter Drucker and George T. Doran:
- Specific: Goals should concisely and clearly define what you plan to do.
- Measurable: Goals should be measurable so you have tangible evidence that you have accomplished the goal.
- Attainable: Goals should be achievable yet stretch you slightly so you feel challenged.
- Realistic: Goals must represent an objective toward which you are willing and able to work.
- Timebound: Goals should be linked to a time frame that creates a sense of urgency or results in tension between your current reality and your future vision.
It’s a smart (excuse the pun) idea to apply SMART goals as you create and review goals for your career. They also help you arrive at Successful Authorship.
Make your goals SMARTER
Now make your goals SMARTER! The SMART goals can prove restrictive, so when you create your writing goals, be sure they also are:
- Sensational: Your goals should excite and inspire you. They may be part of a larger goal or a bold, audacious plan.
- Moving: You should feel emotionally attached to your goals; they should move you and align with your passion and purpose.
- Aspirational: Your goals should involve things for which you strive. Taking action toward them should create a sense that you are taking steps to fulfill your purpose and make a meaningful and positive difference in the world or in people’s lives.
- Relevant: Your goals should have meaning in your life and in relation to the big picture of what you hope to achieve, the legacy you want to leave, how you want to serve others, and the difference you want to make. They should connect to your Big Why.
- Timeless: Your goals should be attached to a big picture or vision that extends into the future.
- Elevating: Your goals should help you level up in some area of your life or career. You should feel as if achieving this goal forces you to be and do better.
- Relatable: Your readers, customers, or clients must be able to relate to what your goal produces or helps you achieve. This increases the likelihood they will purchase and read your work.
- What will you strive for today?
- This week?
- This month?
Create a map to successful authorship
Your goals constitute a map that leads from where you are now to where you want to go. Do you know how to get there or what stops you need to make along the way?
Map out the path from your current location to your final destination. Be sure to include your estimated time of arrival (ETA) for each stop and anything you have to do to ensure that you arrive on schedule.
Fill in the map below, noting your current location and your intended destination. Draw an X on the path to indicate a stop you must make on your way to your destination. Include where you are now, where you want to go with your work or career, and the stops or places you must visit along the way.
When you procrastinate or feel anxious about taking action toward your goals, remember what best-selling author Tony Robbins says: “Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited about what could go right.”
Use these queries to move toward your goals right now.
Now, go for it!
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