In my last post, I briefly discussed vision before launching into the more exciting stuff. Today I want to back up and look at vision a little closer. Why, you ask? Because if you don’t have a vision (a goal) for your writing career, how will you know what strategies and tactics you should use to become successful?
(This example of a financial vision is brought to you by freedigitalphotos.net)
Everyone has a different idea of what success is. Some want to hold their book, in their hand, in print format. They can hit the print button on their computer and have a copy. If they want it to look like a book published by a traditional publisher, they can go to a print-on-demand service and have a copy of their book made for them. But if your idea of success is to hit the NY Top 10 list, you’ll have to do quite a bit more work than the guy in that first example.
Vision, according to Randy Ingermanson, is “a clear definition of where you want to go and what you want to be as a writer.” I’m quoting him because I took a class from him last week on marketing, so I’m handing out a tiny portion of the good stuff he offered. But back to vision. Your vision statement could include the category/genre you write in, your financial goals, your fame goals, and anything else that might appeal to you. Sounds simple. It is. I whipped one out in three minutes when he told us to do it in class. Here’s my vision statement:
I want to write mystery and suspense stories that have a touch of the fantastical and plenty of twists: stories like those written by Sharon Shinn, Kay Hooper, and Janet Evanovich. My target audience are men and women who like an exciting story with mystery, suspense, and a bit of romance. I want to earn enough cash to remodel my house, hire a house-keeping service, and attend a couple of writing conferences each year. I don’t care if I win awards, but it’s nice to have the words “award-winning” on the cover of a book. My books won’t have an overt spiritual theme, but they’ll reflect my love of God and my theology. I don’t need to become famous, just famous enough to achieve my financial goals.
Everyone’s vision statement will be different. Some people want to sell tons of copies and make boatloads of cash. Some want to win awards. Some want to be in the top 1,000 on Amazon, while others want to be on the NY Top Ten list.
What do you want from your writing life? What kind of books do you want to write? Who are your target audience? This exercise only takes a few minutes of your time, but it’s worth the effort. Identify your vision, and you’ll be better equipped to plan your strategy for getting there. If you’re feeling exceptionally brave, share your vision statement in the comments section.