How to Achieve Your Writing and Publishing Goals

visualize your best self

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Eighty-one percent of the American public says they want to write a book, but only two percent actually follow through on that goal and achieve it. If you, too, dream of becoming an author, make sure you end up in the two percent by employing more than just good writing skills and tenacity.

Become Your Best Possible Writing Self

It’s true that you need to sit yourself down in a chair and write if you want to complete a manuscript. However, you will find it easier to do so if you have prepared yourself on a conscious and subconscious level. The best tool you can use for this type of preparation involves visualizing yourself as a successful author. As I explain in The Author Training Manual, this exercise is quite similar to the Best Positive Self (BPS) process used in Positive Psychology.

Numerous studies show that writing about your life goals and imagining your most favorable future helps you learn about yourself. This makes it easier to restructure your:

  • Behavior
  • Priorities
  • Goals
  • Motivations
  • Values
  • Beliefs
  • Attitudes

When you do, it becomes easier to achieve your desired results.

Your Future as a Successful Author

To complete the Best Possible Writing Self exercise, which I describe in detail in The Author Training Manual, create a written vision of yourself five years from now. (You also can visualize yourself one, two or three years from now.) See yourself as a successful writer or author. Imagine yourself as successful as you possibly can. Include every aspect of your life in this vision—writing, publishing, blogging, social media, speaking, teaching, as well as your income level, relationships, friendships, family, health, free time, etc. Be specific. Mention the number of books you sold, how much money you earn, how much time you spend working or playing. Don’t forget to include a deadline. At what point in the year did you achieve this success level?

You can write a vision of successful authorship by imagining your BPS in the present tense. However, it’s better to write it in the past tense, as if you have already achieved the successful state. This method effectively turns your statement into an affirmation that this goal will be realized even though you haven’t realized it yet. In the past tense, your vision might be written like this:

“My book, [Book Title], was picked up by a traditional publisher over a year ago, and I received an advance large enough to make it possible for me to promote it well ($10,000). I now enjoy a speaking and coaching business that revolves around my book and that brings in $60,000+ per month, book sales of 8,000+ per year, and monthly media coverage for myself and the book of five to ten radio show, podcasts, blog posts, and magazine articles per month. This nicely supplements my family’s income and affords me a chance to travel and meet new people. It enhances my professional life and allows me to pay a virtual assistant for 8 hours per week of work to help me with a variety of tasks. My publisher has asked me to write a second book in an effort to build a brand, and with this added push I expect my first book to sell well over 150,000 copies in its lifetime.”

Develop an Author Attitude

Once completed, keep your vision handy. Read it often; it’s best to read it two or three times a day.

As you read your vision, try to see yourself as successful. Also try to feel what it would be like to succeed as an author. Also try to act “as if” you are already a successful author. This helps you achieve what I call an Author Attitude, which consists of Willingness, Optimism, Objectivity, and Tenacity. See yourself as a person with these qualities, who:

  • Is willing to do all the things necessary to become a successful author
  • Is optimistic about the outcome of his actions
  • Is objective about her work
  • has the tenacity to keep moving forward despite challenges

These tools help you engage your conscious and subconscious mind in the belief that you can, indeed, write and publish a book and become a successful author, which reduces your resistance to doing so. These tools also help you develop the habits of successful authors so you take the actions necessary to achieve your goals.

This Nonfiction Writing Prompt might support you as you create your Best Possible Writing Self exercise. If you want further assistance developing your vision and Author Attitude, click here.

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