Wednesday, January 19, 2011

5 Tips for Writing a Vision Statement

I often ask authors to develop a vision statement for their proposed book. It helps me get a fix on the author's grasp of the project and also establishes common ground from which to guide the project.

Let's take a closer look at a vision statement and how to write one.

What is it?

A vision statement is a declaration of the effect you want your book to have on the individual reader and on the community of readers that make up your profession. The best vision statements communicate the author's rationale and philosophy, and declare a promise of benefits to the reader.

An educator or student should read a vision statement and think, "Using this book is going to help me succeed."

Equally important, the vision statement serves as an editorial compass for your book throughout its development. As work progresses, those working on your book can refer to the vision statement and ask, "Are we still on track? Are we furthering the goals of this book?"

5 Tips for writing a vision statement

  1. Use action verbs rather than passive ones.

  2. Explain in everyday language what you're trying to accomplish.

  3. Focus on the big picture. Don't discuss the "how" of the concept but the "why" and the "what."

  4. Provide a brief history of the title, if appropriate.

  5. Imagine you're trying to explain your book to a fellow faculty member. Write what you would say.