September 17, 2016

On Writing: Dreams to Reality by Rohadi

Anybody and everybody has ideas. Ideas to make things better. Ideas to make a million bucks. Ideas to write that book.

Ideas are the easy part. It takes a special kind of person to turn ideas into something real. The piece that stumps most people from completion (or even starting) is usually fear. Fear of rejection, fear of change, fear of risk.

"I could never be an entrepreneur (or writer), it’s too risky," one might say.

Although it’s not true, at least not entirely. Entrepreneurs are risk-averse. We find all the data before making the leap to ensure the idea has the best shot to succeed. Entrepreneurs may differ from artists and writers since the latter has a wild card in the equation — sometimes you just have to write that book — and there’s no other explanation than something inside you says "go".

In my view, this innate drive to create is a good enough reason to start, but it's hardly enough to finish. A good plan is necessary to turn haphazard dream into nuanced creation and eventual completion.

There are many models for both personal development (I’ve used, organizational development, and creative projects. Here’s just one of many to help clarify direction and turn ideas into reality.

This model flows like this: Vision --> Objective --> Goals --> Strategies --> Tactics --> Cost

Here’s a brief introduction of each stage; follow along by jotting down some notes with your own project in mind.

Vision. Begin with a clearly articulated vision (you don't have to start with a clear vision, going through this process may help refine what you have in your head). This might take some time to muse over. You want to create something that’s inspiring and sits way off on the horizon, you can see it but can't reach it just yet. Vision/dream describes the place if you ever 'made it'. A vision could be: “become a published author”.

After Vision, create 1-2 Objectives that are just out of reach, attainable in 1-2 years, that support your vision. Objectives could be:

1) build an author platform;
2) complete 1 manuscript for publishing;
3) complete a book proposal.

Next comes 1-3 measurable Goals for each Objective. We need to know when we've arrived, and if we didn't, why.

1) Build an author platform
  a) Open and engage audience on platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Pinterest
  b) Start collecting emails for a newsletter
  c) Create list of prospective agent or editors.

2) Complete 1 manuscript for publishing
  a) 2000 words a week
  b) first draft by quarter 1


After measurable goals it's time to describe practical Strategies to help meet each goal.

1) Build an author platform
  c) Create list of prospective agent or editors.
   i) Get the Writer’s Market Guide and find niche publishers.
   ii) Collect favourite related books and research the editors.

Tactics are simply the actions you do for each strategy. Cost is going through your model and connecting a cost of money or time to your project. You may discover you don't have resources to achieve your vision and an adjustment is required. Or, you may discover your dream is well within reach.

This may seem boring, and it is, but it’s the necessity attributed with creating that leads to ultimate completion. It sounds like a job because it is. If you want to publish (using that as our example dream), then you’re going to be treating your craft as job.

I’ve found I need to layout some kind of activity plan before every new project, and then return to the plan at least every year (but in reality I will reference weekly). Having a clearly articulated and concrete plan helped me turn my adult colouring book Soul Coats around in 3.5 months rather than 12. Now, marketing the book, that’s a whole different kettle of fish, and yes, more planning….


Visit Rohadi on his blog on church development.


  1. Thanks, Rohadi, for this instructive blog. I will be back to read this more deeply and to take notes on what I personally must do. I appreciate the way you differentiate between entrepreneur and artist, and I can clearly see that you are both. I enjoy being a writer, but I have much to learn and discover about being an entrepreneur. Blessings on you and your work.

  2. Hooray for storyboards! Hooray for index cards! Goal setting geeks like me lap this stuff up! Great post.

    1. I just can't use screen versions!

  3. I was taught a similar system by one of my Bible college professors. Valuable and very helpful when you use it and continue to revisit and update on a regular basis :)


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