If there's one career path, vocation, or calling that requires the use of creative visualization, I think writing is it. I think most writers are pretty good at it--actually seeing a story unfold in the mind, like a movie is playing. You see the characters, hear them, and watch them act and react before putting it down on paper (or screen, as the case may be).
|Sometimes it's hard to stay Zen... photo by lavenderstreak via Flickr <3|
But there's another side that's not so easy--and that's the publishing end of things. If you decide to try and get your work published, you have to check your ego at the door, but you also have to have a certain level of confidence: To believe in your work, but not be so proud that you can't see room for improvement... and all of this without any guarantee of compensation or acceptance. Enter creative visualization...
Picture this. You're a writer. You've finished your manuscript. You've sent it to beta readers, you've had consultations with editors. You may even have an agent who's worked with you to perfect your story--as much as you possibly can. You send it out. Here is the key. DO NOT THINK: "Ok, bring on the rejections, I know they're coming!" Instead, SEE the positive. Visualize yourself getting "the" phone call or email. Play out a success story. It took me a long time to work through this as I almost saw it as a kind of arrogance--but it isn't. This isn't something you have to share with everyone. Say it to yourself. Write it in your journal. MAKE IT REAL.
I know, I know, it sounds like that whole "The Secret" thing... that just thinking something will make it so. There is a difference. Visualization DOES NOT take the place of hard work and practice--it ENHANCES it. And I can tell you--it works. First there's an increase in focus. "Seeing" things before they happen has helped me to make them happen, whether it's a scene I'm writing, or a problem I'm trying to solve. I'm also a big believer in "what you put out, comes back to you." If you think something will never come to pass, it never will--you know what I mean--the ole' negative self-fulfilling prophecy. Why not think that things will work out? Why ever not? It's not the easiest thing sometimes, I know--especially when things don't work out exactly they way you visualized them; the trick is to see it as another step on the journey.
The method I've been using lately is one that was developed by a dear friend of mine, Monte Farber. In Quantum Affirmations he details the process of visualization to achievement in 5 steps. These can be applied to any goal, not just writing--and I say simple--but you have to do it--it's not just wish and wait...
|A little book with a BIG impact!|
I'm so thrilled when I can share the accomplishments of my friends :) April 1 will see the release of Quantum Affirmations from Weiser Books! I'm thrilled to have been able to preview it--I've always been a believer in creative visualization, and Monte's method is incredibly easy to use on a daily basis. He's having a great giveaway on his site at the moment to celebrate the release. Check it out!
So what do you think? Do you visualize? Has it worked for you?