Hold On To Your Vision
This gospel might seem to be in direct conflict with Gospel Four, letting go of expectations. However, there is a distinct difference between expectation and vision.
Let me explain. An expectation is a limited view of how something will unfold. When we place an expectation on something, we shut off our ability to see other possibilities, and so may miss an important ingredient because we are no longer opening our mind to other options.
Meanwhile, imagination is the basis of a vision. But as you begin to implement the vision, systems and skills take over. A vision develops by becoming specific but starts as inspiration. When you take the first step, all the steps after that acknowledge and relate to that first step. Attaining your vision is a progression of decreasing possibilities. Each step toward the goal reduces future options by converting one – and only one – possibility into reality.
A finished piece is the fusion of vision with execution. The most common failures in achieving that fusion are that too often transformational writing authors believing that:
- they know their material too well
- their ideas are more inspiring than anyone else’s
- their execution is polished before they even begin
In short, their expectations outstrip their ability. Visions are realized in the connection between you and something – a technique, a word, a style of communicating – and both you and that something needs to be free to move.
Well-known furniture designer Charles Eames once said that he devoted only about one percent of his energy to conceiving a design; the remaining ninety-nine percent was spent holding onto the vision as the project developed. For a writer, holding on to the vision is the ability to develop the possible.
Holding on to a vision, while letting go of the expectation of an outcome has risks. You might not take the route you imagined, and the destination could possibly change. There is no certainty in creating. What’s really needed is a sense of what you are looking for, an approach for finding it, and a willingness to embrace mistakes and surprises along the way.
No Transformational Writing Author gets every composition right the first time. Get in the habit of being inquisitive and making observations. Live through your writing as a natural extension of personal philosophy and thinking. Move beyond fear, become familiar with your materials, and hold on to your vision. When you truly understand and accept how this works, the power of your vision will be unleashed, and the result will be a work of art.
Next exercise of Writing Coaching Session With MJ: Write about the difference between expectation and vision. Where have you been blurring the distinction? How can you see it differently?