Casting a Vision

There is something powerful about spoken words. But I think there’s something extra powerful about written ones. There is a permanence about them, a visibility that we can’t forget or dismiss or shoo away as a passing whim.

Written words have a physicality. There they are on a page we can feel or a computer screen we can touch. Captured not just for our own eyes, but for other’s as well.

So today, with that power in mind, I’m encouraging anyone with a goal, anyone with a dream, to write it down. To type it out. To make it physical and permanent.

This is something I did a year and a half ago. And I think it’s one of the most helpful things I’ve done for my writing career.

I wrote something called a vision statement.

Let me just tell you, I love, love, love vision statements. They are fearless. They are honest. They don’t contain doubt. Or what-ifs. Or settling for less. They are filled with possibility and hope and anticipation.

But before you can pick up a pen and write something so glorious, it would probably be helpful to know what one is.

Simply put, a vision statement is a picture of yourself in the future. It’s what you aspire to be, deep down in your heart. In that place you keep hidden, because maybe your dreams are big. And maybe the odds are against you.

Creating one involves casting a vision for yourself. It means fast-forwarding ten or twenty years into the future. Giving serious thought to what you hope to be. What you hope to accomplish. Then capturing that vision in the shape of a bio.

So instead of: Katie Ganshert is a debut novelist…..

Mine starts: Katie Ganshert is a multi-published, full-time author….

The first is true right now. The second is my vision. What I hope to someday accomplish.

I think it’s important to write it in present-tense, as if that vision were truth. And it’s important to have it down on paper or saved in the computer as your stake-in-the-ground. These are your dreams. Your wishes. Your hopes. This is what you’re striving toward.

So be honest. Be confident. And write it down. Make it permanent and physical.

I wrote mine in a journal on April 11, 2010. And all the doubt and rejection and fear and waiting I’ve passed through since that day has led me back to my vision statement. A vision statement that keeps me focused. On course. Striving onward.

Let’s Talk: What is something that would be or already is in your vision statement? Let’s get real. Let’s dream big. Where do you hope you’ll be in ten, twenty years?

I know that’s a pretty personal question. So it’s only fair if I open up first.

One of the lines in my vision statement says this:
Her novels are known for their tension-filled pages, evocative prose, and hope-filled endings.

This doesn’t mean I’m there yet. It doesn’t mean I’m currently writing stories that capture this vision. But it does give me something to reach for.removetweetmeme

24 thoughts on “Casting a Vision

  1. Carol J. Garvin

    I like vision statements, too. They make us think about possibilities and reachable dreams. I'm not sure I could put mine in the present tense as you have, though. That would make it seem like I had already achieved some highly unrealistic, even unlikely, goals (thinking of those best sellers lists and movie contracts). But to identify what I will strive for… that seems like a good positive step towards realizing success. Thanks for this reminder that it's important to have a vision.

  2. Michelle DeRusha@Graceful

    I've never considered writing a vision statement, but I admit, the thought appeals to me right now. Maybe it will help me overcome all the doubts and insecurities I am grappling with right now? Thanks for the inspiration, Katie!

  3. Melodie Wright

    Vision statements are faith in visible form and I believe they serve a lot bigger purpose spiritually than we realize. For myself, the moment I declared I was a writer NO MATTER WHAT…things started happening for me timing wise that hadn't before.
    So great post, Katie! I pray that everyone who takes you up on it starts to see the intangible become real in their lives.

  4. Terri Tiffany

    Very encouraging! I have not written one yet for writing but about a year ago I wrote one in my journal for my life and I seem to maybe be headed there??

  5. Sarah Forgrave

    I love what you said about writing it in present-tense, Katie! I agree…It makes it so much more tangible.

  6. Jeannie Campbell, LMFT

    i'll never forget sitting there while debbie macomber told us to write down our top 5 list….to dream big on a little index card. i still have that index card! something about ted dekker…..and therapy? definitely adding that.

  7. Tamika:

    Lisa said it: I want to see God stretch me.

    I love this. I'll pray about a vision that completes all of my desires for writing.

    Thanks Katie! I love you heart.

  8. Lindsay Harrel

    Katie, thanks for the inspiration and encouragement. This is a great idea, and I definitely think I need to sit down and do this…

  9. Heather Sunseri

    This is exactly what I'm going to work on next. Thanks for the idea. I finished a full proposal of my current finished novel over the weekend, and it was a fabulous exercise into where I stand right now and what I think I'm capable of doing if I were to sell a book tomorrow. Now, I need to decide where I plan to be in the future. Thanks for this, Katie.

  10. Jen Daiker

    This is the most creative thing I've ever witnessed. I love how bold and confident you are. It's exactly what I needed today! I'm headed off to go write my own πŸ˜€

  11. Eileen Astels Watson

    Katie, I love this. It also offers something for us to be accountable to, personally, so we don't get sloppy and just pour out mediocre to meet deadlines.

  12. Jeanette Levellie

    Good for you for reaching for the moon, my dear girl. I admire those who ask and believe for what others only wish for.

    God is bigger than our highest goals, and wants us to achieve things so impossible that people wonder how…then ask what kind of Power we operate with!

    With that in mind, one line of my vision statement is to introduce one million people to my Jesus. I know it's impossible–that's why I want it.

    Thanks for asking,

  13. Jennifer Shirk

    Oh, I love that! I think I'd like have "RITA nominated or winner" somewhere in my statement. πŸ™‚
    It'll be pretty cool to look back on it and see how much you've accomplished!

  14. Keli Gwyn

    Katie, I enjoyed the glimpse into your vision and look forward to reading your tension-filled tales with their evocative prose and hope-filled endings. =)

    Now to write my own vision statement.

  15. Lisa Jordan

    I love dreaming big to see how far God can stretch me. Right now, I'm feeling pretty stretched. πŸ™‚ This year has been amazing on so many levels.

    I am starting a five-year plan so I can be a full-time writer once my boys are out of college. I'd love for God's provision to help that to become reality sooner than 5 years.

  16. Robyn Campbell

    I just want to hold my lovely books in my hands and smell the crispness of the pages. So my vision is to be read by kids and to help them want to read books. I love your vision, my friend, it's very moving and warm, but then I always knew that about you.

  17. Jennifer K. Hale

    I love your vision, and I've no doubt that you are going to get there, friend! πŸ™‚

  18. Beth K. Vogt

    Well, nothing like asking the big questions on a Monday, eh?
    I've rewritten and rewritten my vision statement through the years. And as I've crossed over to the Dark Side–moving from non-fiction to fiction–I've had to rewrite it again.
    And then there's my professional vision statement and my personal one …

    And, to be honest, both are a work in progress …

  19. Julie Jarnagin

    I wrote a vision statement several years ago. I had forgotten about it and recently ran across it. It was so fun to see that I have made steps toward my vision since I'd written it. I'm a big believer in the power of writing your vision down.

  20. Nisa

    That is a great vision and you'll succeed, I am sure. I don't want to be famous. I don't want to be rich. I just want to be written. It may sound like a small dream, but it feels big to me. πŸ™‚

  21. Stina Lindenblatt

    Love your vision. Aim big. That's the only way you're going to get there. If you aim small, that's where you're land (not that there's anything wrong with that, either).

  22. Wendy Paine Miller

    Need to wake up more.

    Coming back.
    ~ Wendy

  23. Katie Ganshert

    Paul – I LOVE yours!!

    Very inspiring and such a great goal to strive toward! Thanks for sharing, dude!

  24. Paul Anthony Shortt

    Fun! I am right with you on this sort of thing. I honestly believe that keeping our dreams in our minds and thinking of them in the present-tense, as if we already had them, opens up your mind to see the opportunities to make them real, ad even draws those opportunities to you.

    Mine would include:

    "Paul Anthony Shortt's novels are gripping and entertaining, loved for the author's vivid action scenes, engrossing characters and epic showdowns between good and evil. His work was introduced to a yet wider audience when his Memory Chronicles series was adapted for film, to universal acclaim."


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