Do you remember how it felt when you first decided you wanted to be a writer?
You had dreams about what your life would look like when you made it, when you finally became a real writer. Maybe you’d spend long hours at your desk each night, smoking a pipe and rubbing your elbow patches in between chapters.
Or maybe you’d stay in your pajamas all day and bang out your stories on an old manual typewriter.
Whatever your vision, you had a vision.
And then, when you decided on what your first novel would be, you had another vision.
You could see the finished book, with its perfect cover and gleaming white pages.
You could feel the sense of accomplishment that comes with knocking off a major life goal.
Maybe you even imagined your readers cuddled up with your book or the sales numbers rolling up month after month.
It was great!
Writing Is Hard
But whether you have attained any of those visions or not, you eventually stumbled into the dark reality of writing … it’s not all glamor and unbridled creativity.
In fact, the “job” of writing is much like any other job in that you must endure a lot of tedium and supply a ton of brute force to finish the gig. There are plenty of days when the last thing you want to do is slog through another half-chapter or edit another batch of blog posts.
Your enthusiasm wanes and, with it, your productivity. You start putting off what you need to do because it’s not so fun, and then that non-fun work starts to pile up. Before long, you flat-out dread your next writing session and your word count slows to a trickle.
It’s at this point that remembering and recapturing your early idealization of the craft can make all the difference. So …set aside your current tasks for a few minutes, and forget about how hard it is to get writing right.
Reclaim Your Vision
Here’s how you can use visualization to help you recapture that magic.
Sit in a quiet place with your eyes closed or with your vision fixed on some immovable point without much around it … like the cover of an old book
Now, think about your top writing goal. Is it to write or finish a book? Is it to become a Terre Haute Tribune Bestseller? Is it to write the screenplay for a Star Wars movie? Whatever it is, bear down on that thought and try to block all others from your mind.
As your target crystalizes in your thoughts, imagine the BIG milestones you’ll need to go through to achieve that goal: the book outline, the rough first draft, the edited manuscript, the book cover, etc.
When you get to the end of your imagined journey, stop. Linger in that space where you’ve just tackled — and achieved — your most sacred writing goal. How do you feel? What’s happening around you? How is the world different than it was before?
Luxuriate in the exhilaration of achievement for a few minutes. Doesn’t it feel great? Won’t it BE great when you get there?
Visualize Your Rewards
Finally, walk your visualization back a few steps and stop at the milestone where your current writing task belongs. That really tough chapter you’re plodding through? It’s going to get you that much closer to your finished rough draft … and to your published manuscript.
Zero in on that chapter and see the finished document in Scrivener or Word. Won’t it be great when it’s finished? Aren’t you excited to get it to that point?
I know I am.
Now go write it. In your mind, it’s already done.