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How to Create a Vision for Your Book

create a Vision for your bookWe talked about Visioning your writing business. Visioning is also a wonderful tool when you decide you’re going to write a book.

When you create a Vision for your book you accomplish several things:

  • You open yourself to a larger idea or an expanded idea about your book
  • You set the stage for real clarity about your book
  • Clarity leads to better, and even easier writing
  • The clarity that comes when you create a Vision for your book also sets the stage for the marketing of your book you’ll be doing later.

First idea for a book isn’t always the best

I love that moment when the idea of a book I may want to write first strikes. It always seems like such a good idea!

Unfortunately, ideas rarely arrive wholly formed.

Take for instance, the book on my to do list that she just labeled ‘cats.’ That’s way too broad of a topic! Now I know that I’m talking about a book that would contain some of the conversations I’ve had with cats along the way. In fact, in the file I’ve made some notes about some of those talks. But the truth is, I don’t yet have a clear vision for that book. Without that vision the book simply isn’t going to come together.

There’s nothing wrong with my initial idea, but there’s nothing much right about it yet either.

Initial idea may be too big or too small

Ideas usually need to be honed, polished, paced over and generally reworked until they’re exactly what you want them to be. Often we don’t know what we want them to be until we open up to a Vision for them- or at least that’s true for me.

In the case of my cat book idea that’s way too big, even with the ideas I sketched out which do limit to some extent. aren’t enough to cut it down to size. On the other hand, it could well be that trying to limit talking about only one cat I’ve had conversations with may be too small an idea.

A Visioning will help me clarify what I’m trying to do.

When my idea is clear the writing is easier

It’s always easier to write when I have a clear idea what I’m writing about. A visioning will ground and clarify the idea. It’s not the only step needed before I start the actual book writing process but it’s the first.

Good marketing also comes out of clear ideas

You can imagine how much trouble I’d have marketing my book about cats if the idea weren’t a bit clearer. Any editor or publisher worth their salt or book wholesaler or retailer would turn down the idea in a heartbeat. I doubt if any reader would want to read it either.

Once however, I’m clear on the idea for the book the ideas for marketing will become clear too.

Book Visioning process and questions

The questions for any Visioning are roughly the same I used for Visioning Your Freelance Writing Business. I generally use a series of eight questions, but it could be seven or nine or some other number. That’s part of the magic of Visioning – it can be adapted to any situation.

Yes, this is very similar to the instructions I gave you for visiting trip visiting visioning your freelance writing business the process is basically the same. The questions are altered to reflect were talking about a book this time rather than your business.

The process

Prepare yourself by printing the questions here – just make a copy of them. I don’t have a lock or copyright on these so have at them.

Find a time when you can get quiet – turn your phone off, clear off unless you’re a doctor or a chaplain or some other person who simply must respond. Outside is good if you’re comfortable. Inside with a cup of coffee also works. Have pencil and paper ready. A notebook is great. Paper and pen or pencil is more effective than doing this on your computer… but on the computer will work. Quiet is the key.

You’ll ask these questions of yourself three times. The first time just sit with the question for a moment or two and let whatever comes up come up. Don’t make any particular effort to remember it, just notice it.

The second time through ask yourself each question, sit with it for a moment, notice what comes up and with your paper and pen capture the essence of what occurred to you. You don’t want to write a lot… a few words usually does it.

You might, for example, think of someone you love, or a difficult situation, or remember a song, or a fragrance, or want to draw something (which is why you want paper and pencil – no one but you will see the drawing so don’t worry about how it looks.)

The third time, reread the question and look at your written or drawn response. If it feels right, move on; if it needs some adjustment do so.

By the way, if nothing comes up for a particular question, that’s just fine… notice that too.

When you’ve finished going through the questions for the third time you’ll have a better understanding of what you want to bring to your writing business and what you want from it.

The questions

These are the questions I use for myself and others when I want to Vision writing a book… feel free to change them to suit your situation.

  1. What is my highest Vision or perfect idea for my this book?
  2. What ideas, thoughts and behaviors must I use (what must I become) to empower this Vision?
  3. What ideas, thoughts and behaviors must I let go of or release to empower this Vision for this book?
  4. What must I embrace to empower this Vision for this book?
  5. What is my specific roll in this Vision?
  6. Who else will be involved in the unfolding of this Vision?
  7. How will I grow, deepen and expand as this Vision unfolds?
  8. Is there any other information I need in this moment about this book?

There you have it. Create a Vision for your book and you’ll be delighted with the results.

Does this make sense to you? Let’s talk about it in comments.

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Write well and often,





{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Great advice! I think this will help me define my creative writing more. My idea are usually too big and then they get all tangled up and I abandon them. I plan on trying this vision idea soon.
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