by Mari Angulo
Creative Visualization for Writers: An Interactive Guide for Bringing Your Book Ideas — and Your Writing Career — to Life
Author: Nina Amir
Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books (October 18, 2016)
Paperback: 224 pages
To become a more creative, confident, and productive writer, you need to focus your attention, visualize your desires, set clearly defined goals, and take action toward your dreams. Let Creative Visualization for Writers be your guide on this journey of self-discovery. You’ll learn how to:
About the Author
Nina Amir started as a journalist. She has a BA in magazine journalism with a concentration in psychology. After working as an editor and writer for a variety of regional magazines, a national corporation in New York City, and a small consulting firm, she started my own freelance writing and design business.
Working on other writers’ manuscripts sparked her desire to write a book of on topics she felt passionate about: personal development and practical spirituality. More than publishing a book, she wanted to build a business around those books.
Setting out to learn all she could about the publishing industry she got involved with the San Francisco Writer’s Conference and started the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge (now known as National Nonfiction Writing Month). In April 2012, her first book How to Blog a Book was published, became an Amazon bestseller almost immediately, and has remained one ever since. The Author Training Manual was published by Writer’s Digest Books just two years later and was a bestseller before any books passed through the register on Amazon. In addition she’s self-published several more ebooks, all of which have made it onto the Amazon Top 100 right away. In fact, she’s had as many as four books on one Amazon Top 100 list at the same time!
Thoughts on the Book
Amir's new book is hard to categorize. It's an activity book, it's inspiring to read, yet highly informational. She's going deep, bringing in research about left/right brain, and even chromotherapy to support her material. It's a book that asks you to dig deep and know yourself in ways you might not expect. It's a call to action.
I, myself am not an author, and writer is far from a noun I'd use to describe myself. However, I found this book to be a fantastic exercise even for "non-writers." Interestingly enough, my background is in business and marketing and I found direct correlations to crucial elements of business and strategic planning in "Creative Visualization." Even the sections are organized in a way that flows like a strategic planning process (except it's so fun you barely notice). You can practically write your own author Mission and marketing plan once you're done with the book!
Amir makes it clear at the beginning, that you don't have to read the book from start to finish to get what you want out of it "You may want to focus on the Goals section if you need to set intentions, or spend time with the Creativity section if you want to develop ideas or stimulate your muse. Use the coloring pages when you want to relax or focus. Use the affirmations when you are ready to commit to changing a particular negative thought." I found this to be true. This book is a companion that you can read again and again and build your own adventure each time.
There are six clearly outlined sections in the book. She begins with Self Exploration, she's asking you to dig deep and ask questions about what you know about yourself. Where are you now as a writer and person? As Amir explored the concept of "knowing yourself" as essential to being a good writer, I couldn't help but think of Hemingway, who wrote his weight down and kept a log of what he ate on the wall of his bathroom. Talk about really striving to know oneself. In the next section, Vision, you're looking at the future. What's next for you? Can you visualize your book, your success, even your ideal reader? In the Goals section, she addresses intention and goal setting, and she's literally asking you to draw a map to success. In the Creativity section, there are exercises to help develop ideas and stimulate your own creativity. In Focus, there's even a section with coloring pages, but it's not all "fun and games," even in the creativity section you're prompted to brainstorm and plan ideas for things like your author website, a potential talk about your book, and even blogging topics. All things that authors need to know and think about "outside" of their writing. I think the section about focus is extremely important because writers/authors tend to be creative, interested individuals at the core, so it's easy to jump from one thing to the next. Amir is asking you to check yourself and stay accountable to the plans you make and outline a clear path. And finally, there are the Affirmation Pages that lead with a Muhammad Ali quote: “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” This is literally a section of affirming prompts where writers (or anyone!) have a chance to build confidence and weed out negativity by writing about themselves, in their craft, in an positive way.
There's so much to be learned and practiced in "Creative Visualization." It's not just about the ideas and the craft itself, it's also about accountability and goal setting. Amir is not only asking the reader to make a plan but also to believe enough in oneself to know that you can do it.
This book will make an excellent gift for so many writers I know.
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