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Why vision boards work and why you should make one today [for authors]

Visualization is a powerful tool. Athletes have harnessed this power for decades. In fact, visualization stimulates the same regions of the brain as actually performing the action does. This powerful tool, however, isn’t just for athletes. Writers too, can benefit from it. One way to do this, and express your creative self while doing so, is to create a vision board. A vision board is literally a board of some kind that you display images on to help you concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal (or goals) you have.

To fully realize the power of a vision board it should focus not only on the things that you want, but also on how you want to feel. Images are powerful tools that evoke specific emotion within us. For example, perhaps you are a doctoral student wishing to complete your doctorate at the end of the year from Yale University. On your vision board you may have a photo of the cap, gown, and stash you’ll wear as you receive your diploma. Besides images, quotes are another excellent motivator to have on your vision board. Therefore, you might include a quote on the writing process that always inspires you to get words down on to the page. In addition, you might include a positive review or note you received from a reviewer, colleague, or supervisor. Any time you doubt your writing ability, that positive note would inspire and reassure you of your writing abilities and help you visualize excelling in your writing and achieving your goals.

Ideas for items to include on your author vision board:

  • Journal covers of the journal(s) you wish to be published in
  • The university name or mascot of which you hope to graduate from/become tenured/have an academic career
  • Inspirational writing quotes
  • Positive reviewer comments
  • An image of the coffee shop that you have often found writing success by just being there, sipping coffee, and hearing the bustling sounds of people coming and going
  • The logo or name of the publisher you hope will publish your textbook
  • Concept for your textbook cover

What you include is up to you. Just remember, the purpose of your vision board is to bring all of those items to reality by helping you stay focused and motivated, and most importantly, help you to visualize yourself attaining your goal(s).

Once you’ve created your vision board, keep it next to where you write in a location that is clearly visible. Then, before every time you begin to write, look at the board. Visualize, affirm, and believe that you reached the goals the images on your board represent. Feel the emotion of realizing those goals. On days when you need motivation to start writing, look at the motivational quotes and positive messages you included on your board and all that you hope to achieve. This will encourage you and motivate you to write.

Creating a vision board for your goals is both fun and creative, and, an easy way to stay focused, accountable, and motivated toward achieving your writing goals.

Happy visualizing and, of course, happy writing!