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The Power of Creative Vision

Today, I'm thrilled to reveal the cover of When It Hurts to Hope!


But first—a quick reflection on the power of creative vision.  


(It’ll take two minutes to read!)


One of the fundamentals of the creative process is that you don’t know what you’re making until you’ve already made it.


Anything we set out to make—a home, a cake, a friendship bracelet, a business—surprises us when it emerges in its final form.


Vision (the gift of imagining a desired outcome) is essential for bringing a long-term project to life. Vision is the gps that guides us through the twists and turns of the unknown creative process.


And it helps when our vision is, well… something we can visualize.


In 2021, I attended a writer’s retreat with the amazing women in my writing mastermind. My friend and fellow author, Johanna Vann, came up with a great activity for us to close our day. We each brought a hard-backed book and designed and decorated our own book covers to represent the book we were writing at the time.

Writers make prototype books for writing motivation.

Here’s mine!

Author Rachel Miller holding up a book. A woman holding a book prototype.

As you can see, my design skills are laughable! Today, my actual book has a completely different look, tone, and feel—and a different title!


But I cannot express how powerful it was to have a physical book sitting on my desk, pouring lighter fluid on my vision, giving me a picture of the end goal. When I grew discouraged, I would pick it up, flip through the pages, and imagine the day when those pages would be full of words I wrote.


Want to know something incredible? Three of the five covers we made that day are now published books!



The Journey Home by Meredith Boggs




When It Hurts to Hope by Rachel Miller! Ta-da!

A womans hand holding a book When It Hurts to Hope by Rachel Miller

I would like to say a big THANK YOU to my Acquisitions Editor, Jason Fikes, and the design team at Leafwood for working with me to create this beautiful cover. We went back and forth on multiple directions, with many iterations of each one.


I love where we landed—the natural landscape, the dark blue of night fading with the hope of the morning sunrise. I love the approachable, friendly, hand-lettered font.


While the cover I created is almost nothing like the one I have today, I cherish this early prototype.

And if you're in the middle of a long-term project, I encourage you to harness the power of vision. Sculpt, draw, paint, or dedicate something physical to remind you of what you're building!

A woman holds a book in a coffee shop. Author Rachel Miller holds her book When It Hurts to Hope.

By the way, the book is available for preorder! Snag a copy from Amazon, Target, Barnes and Nobel, or any major online book retailer :)





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