Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tapping personal creativity: How to make a vision board

Today, our guest is Kathleen Pickering, an award-winning author of romance and women's fiction. Kathleen's latest novel is FLIRTING WITH ROMANCE.

The next time you’re feeling a need to ramp up those creative juices, or simply feel the need to create clarity in your world, try building a Vision Board. Vision Boards are a great way to revisit your inspiration and purpose as a creative being.

Vision Boards offer an opportunity to step out of time for a while--to ruminate, dream, create, and to spend time re-discovering you. I originally adopted this process to enhance the writing process, but no matter what your personal calling, Vision Boards help you to cement your goals. You can do this activity alone, or with friends. (It’s great fun with others.)  The goal is to create a Vision Board specifically describing you---your world as an author, parent, career person, planet dweller. The mantra in the movie, Field of Dreams, promised, “If you build it, they will come.” I say, “Build your Vision Board.  Success will come.”  

Building a Vision Board is simple and requires easy supplies: 

1.  A board. Construction paper or poster board works. I use Vellum Bristol art paper. (Great for framing.) Or a cork board if you're going to use pins and change out visions/goals as they are achieved. If really ambitious, use the back of a door!

2.  Scissors and glue sticks. 

3.  A pile of your favorite magazines and/or personal photos. 

4.  Book flats, if you're published, and if you choose to add them.

Peruse the magazines, cut out phrases and pictures that trigger an immediate reaction of your self-image, your dreams and aspirations. Be outrageous in your choices to show the mega-person you are! Then, paste/pin them on your board. Not only is the process fun, you'll be surprised at how the activity focuses your intentions and creates a powerful, visual image of yourself. Best of all, feedback from vision board creators confirms that the goals and visions posted on their boards actually come to pass. 

If you’d enjoy sharing your Vision Board, take a photo and send it to me at kathleenpickering @ymail.com. I’ve created a vision board page on my website. It’s brand new. I’ll post your board in the Mega-Author’s Visionary Club. You don’t have to be a writer to be a part of the club-- just the author of your own destiny.

Has anyone created a vision board already?  How did it work for you?


  1. I've never done a vision board before, Kathleen, but you've really inspired me! I went to our garage and found an old cork board and some pins--right now I'm collecting materials for it. Thanks for the tips!

  2. I'm all for visual motivation. When I first started out I got a coffee mug with WRITER on it and looked at it each day. I also have some visuals around the office. I wrote about those here.

    Thanks for the post, Kathleen.

  3. Good tip for any writer, Kathleen. Thanks.

  4. James-- visual stimulus works!!
    Kathryn--So glad! I love the process--and the end results. So far, almost everything I built into my first VB has happened for me.
    I'm ready to create a new vision board as well. I'm going to use the cork board and pins this time. Here's the link to my current VB on my website:

  5. It's a great way to focus without having to color in the lines

  6. I did a whole wall as a vision board in my old office. It was great to glance over at whenever I felt "stuck". Sometimes I would close my eyes and face the wall and open them--the phrase or picture I first saw I would challenge myself to include in what I was writing or doing.

    Time to make a new vision board for my new workspace! For focusing goals and cheering you on to what you want to create in your life, they really can't be beat!

  7. Maybe I could fix my life with one of these?
    Or at least decide where I want to go with it.
    With that coffee mug of James in my face every morning, I'd have to write!

  8. Like kathryn, I have never done a vision board but now I am intrigued and will definitely give it a go! Thanks for the idea - I can well imagine it helping me regain focus when I am stuck in the middle of a project.

  9. Looks like fun to me! A good way to get on track and better than New Year's resolutions. :)Thanks for the link to your site and the good info.

  10. Hmm, this might be a good time to make another one and see what my subconscious mind comes up with. Going to go check out your vision board wall for inspiration!

  11. Traci - - LOL!!

    Creating VBs is great fun for a girl's/guy's night in, too. That way it's not a solitary action, as so much of our writing is. I have a date with 3 friends to build our next ones while sharing pizza and wine.

    Kudos to you, Romancegoddess. I thought using a door was thinking outside the box. An entire wall? FABULOUS!

    Again, once you've made your boards, if you'd like to share, email photos to me. I'll post them on the new vision board page on my website. Enjoy!

  12. I've done this- you can even do it on your computer- and just let yourself go with it... sometimes things pop up on your board that you don't know why you put them there- but your subconscious does and amazingly it comes back to you later. Author Lani-Diane Rich advocates vision boards, alternates include a "shelf" where you put pics or items that relate to your character or book, she also had us try making a music sound track... Like she said- you have to kiss all the frogs every time to see what will work for you and it might be different every time. I am very visual, so that wasn't a leap for me, but the soundtrack- I put one together and refined it over the process as I got to know my characters better... I'd just listen to it when I couldn't sleep or on the way into work...I was suprised how the vision board, the soundtrack and the story all just short of "happened"... I was at a loss for what I wanted to do, but over a couple of weeks working with a vision board and a book soundtrack and I had the characters and major outline for my story and I've been working it since. So, I've personally found them to work.

  13. Great technique, Kathy, that can be applied to one's writing life, goals, etc. or to one's fictional characters.

  14. i'm trying to do one now, but with music/lyrics. have you ever tried that and can you give me any advice? thanks so much for your inspiration.