An Archive of Growth?

Write a verbal vision board.

A verbal vision board is an idea from Octavia Butler. The idea is to write a positive statement about where you want your writing career to go.

I’m not much for the whole vision board thing–I’d rather go ahead and make what I’m going to make, not spend several hours cutting pictures out of magazines for ‘inspiration.’ But I’ll try this, as it does come from the eminent Ms. Butler.

I don’t care about awards, or even about bestseller lists. I just want my books to be loved. I want them to be cherished by readers I could never have met otherwise.

I want a significant body of work–meaning many books, not necessarily important books. I want to have the authority to host workshops and lead groups.

Writing important books would be nice, but I think that’s asking a lot. “Important” means so many things. It means the book moves people in a way that’s socially significant. I’d like to do that, but I don’t think many of my ideas qualify for that.

So, I want recognition from readers, not from the establishment.

I want to get an agent in the next year or so, find someone who likes what I do and how I do it and knows how to sell it. An editorial agent who works with me to make the books as good as they can be, and is not averse to the occasional existential “Where is my career going next?” phone call where I weigh ideas and make selections for new projects. Someone savvy and strategic who still appreciates that the heart wants what it wants.

I want an editor who gets what I’m working on and asks for more. I want long-term relationships.

I want to entertain and spread joy, in the form of happy thrills.

Photo: Debra Roby

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