As I am always trying to learn and improve my craft of writing, I'm constantly checking out books and reading what I can do to improve my skills. If you are looking for writing books at our local library, they're all at my house, sitting in a stack on my nightstand. Please don't put a hold on any of them because then I have to lug them back.
One of the books I found helpful recently, asked the question: what do you want your readers to feel when they are reading your books?
I thought about it for a minute, searching around the themes and the genres of my past and present works trying to find a common thread. I found! I want them to laugh!
I'm not funny.
I mean, I'm not funny when I write. I'm hilarious in person where I can add facial expressions and gestures, change the tenor of my voice to make a hilarious point. But in writing? I guess I haven't found my voice. Or maybe I'm just not funny.
And it's slightly humiliating.
There is always a gap between reality and vision. And there should be or else we wouldn't grow. I have this vision of being a funny writer, of having great wit and vivacity but when I read my books, well, they're rather serious and dramatic.
So how do we close in the gap between vision and reality? You, too, may have a vision of the person you want to be, a skill you want to learn, a project you want to create but may be falling short of that vision. How do we get to our vision? I have a few suggestions.
First, have a vision. A specific idea of what you want to accomplish, the person you want to be, things you want to learn.
Next, write it down. I mean it, write it down! If you don't write it down, then it's gone, it's not concrete. It's easy for it to morph into something less, something not what you wanted.
Then, create a plan. The first two steps are spiritual creation, this one begins the work. How am I going to achieve your vision? What is it going to take? How can I break this into smaller steps? What do I need? Classes? Feedback? Professional help? That would be professional training, not psychiatric, although, I may need that too.
Finally, start. Start today and everyday. Do something, anything, everyday. Think about your goal everyday and what you are going to do to achieve it. If you skip a day, get back on the wagon the next day, don't beat yourself up, just be persistent.
Something to keep in mind: You are going to fail. A lot. Remember your vision and get back up. You are going to get discouraged. Keep going anyway. People will laugh at you. Ignore them. Things will distract you. Focus.
What do you do when you achieve your vision? Create another vision of course!
What are some ways you've accomplished your visions? What hard things have you done?