One of the mind tricks I use to stay focused on writing is to imagine success. I see my future self at a local bookstore signing copies of my book for devoted fans. I also envision myself typing vigorously as a giant calendar hovers over my head, rapidly counting down the days to a deadline (circled in giant red marker).
My imagination changes with my mood.
Flawless writing revealed a future of book signings, literary awards and a sports car. Writer’s block brought images of sitting in dark alleys surrounded by crumpled wads of my manuscript pages.
I needed to cement the successful image in my mind.
Enter the “Vision Statement”. A vision statement is a ‘one-sentence’ declaration of future goals. Vision statements are specific and concrete.
To create a vision statement, answer the following questions as specifically as you can. I’ve added my answers.
- What is the basic job you hope to have? Author
- How do you envision yourself in this job? Respected, prolific, financially successful
- What is the focus of this job? Horror, mystery, science fiction, fantasy
- Start your vision statement with these words: “I strive to become a”.
Now reword using the sentences in this order: 4,2,1,3. For example, my vision statement is:
(4) I strive to become a
(2) respected, prolific, financially successful
(1) author (of)
(3) horror, mystery, science fiction, fantasy.
The next step is to write your personal statement. My statement reads:
“I strive to become a respected, prolific, financially successful author of horror, mystery, science fiction and fantasy.”
How did the vision statement help me?
I take the ‘bad prose days’ as easily as I accept the great writing days. In fact, I find myself exploring the reason for my bad days: Am I hungry? Is my child sick? Is my checking account overdrawn? Once I figure out the issue, I make steps to rectify it quickly so that I can get back to writing well.
I’ve printed and framed my mission and vision statements.
They hang in my writing nook over my computer.
The Vision Statement motivates my forward momentum and strengthens my focus. I see the finish line, who cares that I knocked down some hurdles?
Until next time,