Beyond the Board: Vision Board Tips for Writers
We’re in that season of the year when everyone and their mama are talking about one thing: vision boards. I’m not the type to jump on bandwagons so it took me some time to adopt this tradition. In fact, last year was the first time I’ve ever created a vision board--but I’m glad I did.
In case you aren’t familiar with vision boards, they’re simply a collection of words, phrases, and images you place on a board of some kind to remind you of what you want your life to look like. The size of the board doesn’t matter but the items on the board do.
Since last year, I’ve completed three vision boards for my personal and professional endeavors. Here are four tips to keep in mind as you create your vision board(s) this year.
Identify your vision
So many writers are tweeting and posting about their vision for the year. It's tempting to look at their vision and to compare it to yours. The danger in doing that, my friend, is that you ignore the path you’re supposed to take. All you can see is that Sally’s talking about hosting a week-long conference. Now you’re questioning if your one-day workshop is enough. Let’s take a step back. Before you create your vision board, you’ve got to identify your vision.
If you’re not sure what your vision is, your vision board won’t be useful. You’ve got to know what your heart desires to make your vision board effective. Grab your notebook or journal and ask yourself the following:
What do I ultimately want to do as a writer?
What sets my soul on fire when it comes to being a writer?
What do I want my legacy to be as a writer? Why?
Once you’ve identified the answers to these questions, you will know which images, words, or phrases to include on your vision board. The items you place on your board should remind you of your vision--not Sally’s.
Pro tip: Create a vision board for your overall writing goals (as prompted by the questions above). Then, choose the goal you’d like to focus on for a specific timeframe.
Know what it takes
Oftentimes, we don’t meet our writing goals because we don’t know what it takes to achieve them. If you know your writing goal is to publish a children’s book, you need to write down the steps to make your goal happen. Writing down the steps can also serve as a checklist. You’ll know if you’re on track to meeting your goal if you can check off the tasks you’ve completed.
If you’re not sure what steps you should take, you’ve got a few options. You can always enroll in Google University or pay a book coach to help guide you.
You’re either going to invest dollars or time. Google has tons of free content to help you. The catch is that you’ve got to piece all the steps together yourself. This may take a while and can prolong the process. With a coach, you’ll have direct access to someone who has been there, done that, and can give you the rundown about what you need to do.
Whatever route you choose, be sure to remember that knowledge is great, but means nothing without action.
I hate to break it to you, friend, but simply looking at your vision board will not help you actualize anything on it. You’ve got to move beyond the board and take action. James 2:14-26 shows us that we can have all the faith in the world that our writing vision will come to pass; however, if we don’t put in the work, our vision will remain on the board.
It’s like wanting a nice cold Frosted Lemonade from Chick-fil-a but not being willing to drive there and purchase it. Just because you want your vision to happen doesn’t mean it will. Desire alone is not enough. You’ve got to know the steps it takes to make your vision a reality and then put in the work.
Click to tweet >>> Just because you want your vision to happen doesn’t mean it will. Desire alone is not enough. You've got to put in the work.
Putting in the work may require you to give up watching your favorite show for a few months, shop less, or get up an hour or two earlier. Whatever that looks like for you, you’ve got to remember the end goal. Sure, you’ll have some tough times but ask yourself if the sacrifice is worth the pain. Look at that vision board regularly and remind yourself of why you’re working so hard.
Pro tip: Join an accountability group like The Writers’ Lounge Monthly Meetup so you can have supportive friends to push you to stay on track.
My great-grandmother used to say, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” As morbid as that sounds, it simply means there’s more than one way to accomplish something. As you’re creating your vision board, remember to be open to taking risks. Think outside the box.
One of your writing goals may be to increase your brand’s visibility. Don’t settle for your normal, safe methods. Maya Angelou once said, “If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” Put an image on your board to remind you to take risks and then intentionally do something each month outside your comfort zone.
Vision board reminder
Remember, life is a marathon--not a sprint. You’re going to need to pace yourself. If your goal is to write a book, you cannot expect to write, illustrate, publish, and profit a million dollars in 24 hours. You’ve got to be realistic. Let your vision board simply serve as a reminder of what you want to accomplish as a writer. Choose one goal to focus on at a time, and don’t be afraid to go all out to make your goal a reality. Link up with other writers who can encourage you, and aren’t afraid to step on your toes and call you out when you’re falling short of your goal. You’ve got all the tools you need to make your vision move beyond the board this year. So go forth and make some waves in these Interweb streets!