It’s really fun to close your eyes and imagine what if – perhaps that’s why I’m a writer!
It’s also extremely effective.
Visualization is a technique used by successful people all around the world. In fact, I once ghostwrote a book for an Olympic athlete and he talked a lot about how visualization helped him achieve success. If Olympic athletes an use visualization to succeed then you can too.
Why Does Visualization Work?
Visualization helps you succeed in two primary ways. First, it puts you in the mindset of success. You’ve already experienced it in your imagination and therefore begin to expect it. That mindset is a whole lot different than the mindset of “We’ll see what happens” or “I”ll never get published.”
When you expect success, it happens. (Don’t take my word for it, give it a try. Really expect yourself to succeed.)
Additionally, when you visualize success it is incredibly motivating. After you’ve imagined that book signing in your mind you’re going to feel like sitting down and writing immediately. In fact, often when you’re in the midst of your visualization exercise you’re probably going to have flashes of inspiration for your romance novel. (It happens to me all the time. I now keep a notebook next to me when I visualize so I can immediately write down my ideas when I’m done.)
What Does a Visualization Exercise Entail?
First off, if the word visualization is a hang up for you then call it day dreaming. As a writer it’s imperative that you’re able to daydream, right? You need to be able to step inside your mind and go anywhere your story takes you. So visualization is just enhanced day dreaming.
Set aside a few minutes each morning or evening. We’re talking about five minutes max. Close your eyes and visualize what success looks like to you. Some possible scenarios to consider:
- Your first romance novel book-signing
- Your first royalty check
- Your celebration for your first romance publishing contract
- Holding/signing your first publishing contract
- Your first published book cover complete with your name on the cover and your acknowledgements and dedication inside.
- Shaking hands with a movie director because they want to turn your book into a movie!
Once you’ve chosen your scenario close your eyes and imagine it in as much detail as possible. How does the contract feel in your hands? What perfume or cologne is the movie director wearing? What color is your name on the book cover? Who are you shaking hands with at your book signing? What book store are you at?
Now there is some degree of discipline here. You want to dive into your visualization exercise and practice it several times a week. In fact, for the first few weeks I’d recommend practicing it every day. Once your visualization has practically become a memory (your brain cannot tell the difference between a daydream and reality) then you can cut back and visualize once a week.
Back to that Olympic athlete I ghostwrote for. He was a skier and he said they’d visualize the entire run again and again and again. They’d smell the air, hear the crowd cheering, feel the crunch and swoosh of the snow under their skies. And feel the elation as they crossed the finish line ahead of their competition.
You don’t have to visualize for hours a day. However, if you want to publish and are really dedicated to your dream, consider “daydreaming” your success for a few minutes each day.
To your romance writing success!