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  • Sally Collings

Are you a huddler or a strider?


There are two kinds of people in this world.

Those who divide everything into two groups, and those who don’t.

(See what I did there?)

Pandemics are polarizing events, for sure. In the midst of the chaos we’re experiencing right now, some of us are huddled, waiting for the storm to pass. Others are striding the decks, shouting defiance at the skies.

This week I’m huddling in place. If I can get through to Friday without a panic attack, getting some work done each day, with my two teenagers safe and sane, I’m going to count that as a win.

My husband, on the other hand, is out there striding the decks. Chaos seems to suit him.

I see a divide among the nonfiction authors I work with, too. Some just don’t have the headspace to dig into their business book project now. Worries about canceled speaking engagements, the unique challenges of remote work, and the concerns of their teams take up every spare brain cell—and then some.

For others, their book project is offering a welcome distraction. Especially if it’s been on the backburner for a while, it’s a relief for them to turn their attention to a passion project where the pressures are more internal than external.

You might find that now is an excellent time to tackle some of the fun stuff around book planning. If so, I’ve got an idea for you. Why not try some vision-boarding for your book?

Imagine that your book is already published and out there in the world. See it in your mind’s eye as a physical object (or an ebook if you prefer). What colors are on the cover? Whose endorsement is on the back? How does it sit in your hand— is it solid and weighty, or small and friendly?

Now you have that image in mind, think about this question:

What is your highest vision for your book project?

Really dream. Do you see your book in every airport bookstore? Trevor Noah holding it in his hand while he interviews you? The latest pick for Reese Witherspoon’s book club? The must-have book for US college graduates in 2024?

Consider some more specific questions to get you there:

● What are your intentions for this book?

● Who do you want it to reach?

● What will it do for those readers?

Your answer might look something like this:

My highest vision for my book is to help young female entrepreneurs gain confidence in themselves and build successful businesses.”

Or maybe,

“My intention for this book is to create a resource for rising leaders who will need to take the reins in their family business within the next five years.”

Once you have a vision statement that feels good (knowing that it will probably change as your book unfolds), print it out and stick it somewhere you will see it often: next to your monitor, or by your office door.

Use your vision statement to energize you at those times when your book feels more like a dream than a reality. Because one thing is certain: this storm will pass, and you’ll be glad you have a destination in mind.

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© 2020 Sally Collings

The Book Proposal Expert

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