Here is a little bit of advice for our literary peeps out there working hard to create beautiful things while hoping to achieve the recognition they deserve.
Because the creative industry is so competitive, it can sometimes feel impossible to reach that dream of finding success in the literary world.
Whether, you’re a writer, an editor, a publisher, or a blogger, you want your work to reach a bigger audience. You work hard and smart and put a ton of heart into what you do.
But, here is the thing. It might not be enough to believe in your talent and work hard. As Booker Prize winner Bernadine Evaristo says in a recent interview, attaining success also involves an imaginative process.
20 years before she won The Booker—the most prestigious, career-changing literary prize in the world—she “visualized” her win.
Here is how she explains it:
In my thirties I went on several personal development courses in order to improve my life and progress my career. One of the most effective ones was called MindStore, where I learnt to set what would be considered unrealistic goals, as opposed to more easily-achievable ones. I picked up strategies I still use to this day such as meditation, writing positive affirmations and creative visualisations, ie, visualising the future you want for yourself as if you already have it. I’ve never written to win prizes, that would be wrong, but many years ago I did have the Booker Prize in my sights as a desirable goal because I knew it would be a gamechanger for my career. I wanted my writing to reach a wide readership. I told no-one about this because they would have said I was being ‘unrealistic’. In my experience people project their own limitations onto you when you dare to have big ambitions. It’s best to keep your goals to yourself, especially in the UK. If you’re not strong enough, it can weaken your resolve. I play my cards very close to my chest. My vision for my career is too precious to let loose among the naysayers. Don’t feed your dreams to the lions.
What is that career milestone that you think is way beyond your reach at the moment? How can you create mental visions of this milestone and let them inspire and guide you as you strive towards its accomplishment?
Does it help to write these visualizations on paper? Can they inspire short and long-term goals? Are they in sync with your core values? Can they inspire you to stay the course and continue putting in those hours?
Remember that these visualizations can be really big and ambitious. They just have to be authentic and heartfelt enough to give your daily grind a sense of purpose and meaning.