Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Monday, April 19, 2010

What's your dream? Can you see it?

I believe in visualizing, imagining, dreaming. We cannot realize it unless we first visualize it. Can you see yourself submitting a complete manuscript to an agent or editor? Can you visualize an acceptance email or a phone call? Can you see your book in print, see people handing over money to purchase a copy? Can you imagine a room filled with strangers coming to hear you talk about your book?

Okay, stop right there, because yes, I'll be honest, that is my current visualization. The last presentation I went to, someone in the audience asked me, "What goals have you set for your writing? What is it you want?"

I knew the answer as soon as he said it. My response: "I want to see a room like this filled to capacity." It was a large conference room at a library, full of chairs, with three short rows occupied. In my mind's eye, I could see it full. Standing room only.

It's what I want. I visualize a room full of strangers coming to hear me talk (about my red shoes lol) and to buy my books. I added, "And then I want to go on Oprah!" This got a laugh and one lady said, "You'd better wear those red shoes of yours when you go on Oprah." Hooray, she was visualizing it, too! The more people you can get to share your dream, the more powerful it is.

That's me, what do you want? You're on a path to something-- what is it? And in your mind's eye, how far ahead can you see yourself on that path?

44 comments:

  1. My book sitting on a shelf next to other books. That's all I want. I don't care if anybody buys it, I just want it on the shelf. There's a lot of steps in the way to get there. But that moment is what I'm craving.

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  2. I want a published book. That sits on shelves in stores. Not sure what comes after that. Another book, maybe?

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  3. Yes, yes, yes, and yes. I want to be published, I want to write as many books as I can, I want to be on the NYT bestseller list. I want, I want, I want. I can, I can, I can.

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  4. My dream is very simple, I want to be able to write the word 'writer' on forms where they ask for your occcupation.
    I also would like my great-great grandchildren to find a book I've written, maybe in a dusty attic somewhere, in the future and for them to say:
    'Wow, she was a seanachai, a great storyteller'

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  5. I want everyone in my native Finland to know me as the best selling talented author who writes exciting and interesting stories set in her native land. How difficult can that be? Stieg Larson did it...(though I'd like to live to see the results of my efforts).

    Helena xx

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  6. Yes, that's what I want! But not the Oprah thing, I think I would just hyperventilate! She's kind of scary I think, in a nice way of course.

    Most of all I would dearly love to have my book published and receive one letter from someone who read it and loved it. And that someone can not be family!

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  7. I want to write for a living. I want to wake up every morning, shower, get dressed, and sit at a desk in my house and write. From my desk, I can see the shelf of all of my earlier books.

    Here's hoping!

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  8. I want to dabble in writing while I spend most of my time getting other people excited about reading and writing and discussing. That is what thrills and drives me right now. I can see it :)

    Great post. Thanks for sharing

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  9. As writers we all want to get a book published. When my book's published I can visualize being in a room face to face with my readers, but since I'm so housebound (with my disabled daughter) it's more realistic to visualize feedback through emails, through blogging. And to visualize my book on someone's shelf, including my own. Yes, to be on the NYT bestseller list. I'll visualize that!!!

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  10. A room full of people would scare me!
    However, I can see great reviews, solid sales, and recognition for my efforts. I can see CassaStar appealing to a far greater audience than its science fiction genre. And I can see enough people enjoying it to warrant a sequel.

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  11. My dream is to get my book out there and have others enjoy it so much that I'll be able to become a 'full time' writer and spend my time getting all the stories in my head out on paper for a living. That's it.

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  12. I can visualize a "literary coach" coming out of the woodwork to help me organize my writing into something that makes sense. Is there such a thing?
    If that actually happened, the "coach" would probably first ask me if I ever finish anything...

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  13. Right now an agent would be good enough for me! :)

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  14. Hi

    I'd love to see your red shoes and more especially you in them on Oprah!!

    I just want to get just one other short story published or one to win a comp! LOL! Seems so little to ask for and yet seemingly impossible at the moment! But I try!!!

    Take care
    x

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  15. Yes, yes, yes!! I visualize my dream every day. I want to go into that "standing room only" room too! I'm on track to realize the dream - but it's hard to take it one day at a time!

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  16. The dream of getting an agent and a publisher always creep into my thoughts. And honestly, it makes me work even harder on my MS.

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  17. I want to get my bl**dy fiction published! Six novels I've written and I'm still learning, yes, but I really want to get one published!

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  18. I want to go into a bookstore and see my book, with my name on it, on the front table. I want to sit at a table and sign the front cover for a long line of people. That would be my dream!

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  19. This is so true and something I struggle to always remember. Thanks.

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  20. You are totally right, here. Right now I'm having a little trouble visualizing my dream, and pretty much anything beyond getting through tomorrow. I just keep hoping the haze and smoke of real life lifts just a little so that I can see a little more clearly.

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  21. I want a child to tell me they loved reading my book.

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  22. I’m not sure if I’m visualizing or daydreaming, but I “see” my first book being turned into a film. I also visualize being asked to be on the Oprah Show!)

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  23. Me on a stage, and people laughing.

    For the right reasons ... hopefully.

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  24. I think visualization is a great idea, not necessarily because some cosmic force makes it happen, but because you work harder to achieve the dream that's already real in your head.

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  25. I want to see my novels published, and have a connection (via blogging, conferences, signings, twitter) to my readers. To me it's more important to find my voice in fiction and find readers who enjoy reading what I enjoy writing than it is to be a big name author. I'd love to be a full-time writer if the sales were in the cards.

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  26. Excellent point. We have to see the end before we can begin. I want people to read my work and learn about cultures other than their own. I want to bridge the gap in understanding between the east and west. I want to encourage younger people to read. I want so much and I'm working on it.

    Jai

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  27. I want to feel comfortable with the title writer. To have a book published and feel the pride in a work well done.

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  28. Great thoughts!

    I want to see in my mind's eye a note from a kid who says that I turned them into a reader, showed them reading is cool and now they've moved on to more and more books. That would be the coolest thing ever.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog so I could check and make sure I was following yours! Cheers!

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  29. I want to write full-time with many books I've written lining my bookshelf. Visualization is a great thing - and we definitely have the imaginations to do it.

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  30. Ooooo - I love this game! I see myself as a career novelist with a picture book series and some nonfiction deals tossed in for good measure. I also see myself making the rounds at conferences & events - as the keynote speaker of course!

    P.S. In this dream, all my clothes are from Anthropologie :)

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  31. I can visualize that call from my (as yet non-existent) agent telling me I've got a five book deal with a major publisher. Thanks for reminding me of the dream!

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  32. At this stage I want to finish my writing course. I'm way behind and have even received a letter telling me to hurry up with my assignments or I wont pass :o( Once the A-Z blogging finishes then I can put all my time into it :o)

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  33. Just reading all your visualizations makes me want to fill mine out more. Like hearing the people in this room talk, and guess what!! They have British accents! I'm in the UK! And then the accents change. I'm in Dublin, where I get to meet Brigid, Barbara and Ellen! Ooo, this is a fun dream. Don't pinch me, I don't want to wake up.

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  34. My dream is to tell the world about social anxiety. Having a book or two published would be a step in the right direction!

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  35. I see myself as a successfull writer, sitting at home writing something. And I have tons of money, beause I'm so pretty and popular:)

    No, but seriously, I visualise myself as a published writer, who can make a living writing books. That's all I want.

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  36. Just wanted to add that you've recieved an award on my blog:)

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  37. I love your goal of visualizing a room full of people and I have no doubt that you'll reach it.

    I want it all, but I'd take less. The more I visualize, the more bits of hope creep in, and the more devastated I become when I get the bad news.

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  38. I have so many dreams but the biggest one I'm not comfortable sharing with the world just yet. But I can visualize it, I see it happening. Now I just have to make it reality.

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  39. I would like to make a living as a writer. I'd like to grow creatively and see my work published and read by a wide audience. Obviously, I need to keep setting goals and working toward accomplishing that end. Great post! I have an award for you at my blog. :)

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  40. Love this post Karen.. and yep we all need to visualise, in glorious colour, our dreams. And when you get to Dublin, it will be and Brigid and Ellen who will be in the front row!!!

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  41. Barbara, I'm even hearing the lilting accents. This dream is filling out nicely!

    Roxy, thanks for the award! Take care of that pinky finger!

    E. Elle, now I am really curious about that big dream! Seeing it is over half way there.

    Theresa, hope is good. Putting a time frame on our dreams is not as good.

    Query Girl, thanks for the award and I don't think you're at all creepy.

    Alexandra, that's my dream too! Especially the tons of money and pretty and popular part.

    Miriam, sounds like you have a pretty clear platform! (which is where I tend to fall apart)

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  42. This is good! I need this right now. For me, it's to be writing and supporting myself with it. Right now it covers my reading habits and a nice date night out once a month!

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  43. Oh, I love that concept. I recall Michael Jordan making a comment like that. He visulizes the ball going into the net, winning championships, etc.

    I see myself going to New York to meet an agent. And then talking about my book to students at the local highschool, to show them that successful people don't always come from 'somewhere' else.

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  44. Finishing my novel,and finding an agent who thinks it is good enough. That will keep me happy.
    I believe in visualisation, I have used it many times.

    I wish you many full rooms. :)

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