Make a Vision Board for Your Writing

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Last week, I was visiting a friend and noticed a large collage on a poster above her desk. She was excited to tell me about her "vision board" which contained images and words she had clipped from magazines. She told me she uses the board as a daily reminder and inspiration to pursue her dreams.

I thought it was great idea and immediately began thinking of what I would choose for my own vision board.

Today, while I was thinking about what to post on the blog, I was poking around in a pile of papers on my desk. I came across a hastily jotted note to set up another Girl's Day Event with my writer friends. We try to get together once a month to get out from behind the computer and pretend we have a life. So far, we've had a painting day, a park picnic, lunch and art walk in Laguna Beach, Chinatown excursion, Garment District shopping day, and pilates day. I thought a Vision Board Day would be fun. So, I Googled "vision board" to give me some ideas on how to set it up.

That's when I came across a great blog ( and found an article I wanted to share with our Muffin readers. After you finish reading this article, be sure to stop by her blog. She has tons of great articles about finding ways to be creative.

How to Make a Vision Board
by Christine Kane

What is a Vision Board?

A vision board (also called a Treasure Map or a Visual Explorer or Creativity Collage) is typically a poster board on which you paste or collage images that you’ve torn out from various magazines. It’s simple.

The idea behind this is that when you surround yourself with images of who you want to become, what you want to have, where you want to live, or where you want to vacation, your life changes to match those images and those desires.

For instance, before I ever started performing music and I had no idea how I’d ever get a gig, write enough songs, or assemble a press kit, I drew a picture of myself in a bar with people watching me perform (I’m a terrible visual artist, so I actually had to label the people “people!”). And though it wasn’t the only factor in making it happen, I had a calendar full of bar and coffeehouse gigs by the next year.

My drawing was a kind of a vision board. Vision boards do the same thing as my drawing did. They add clarity to your desires, and feeling to your visions. For instance, at the time I did my drawing, I knew I wanted to play in bars and coffeehouses. (I have since left the that circuit, and I’m performing in theatres and at conferences. But in my early twenties, I wanted to play in bars and coffeehouses. I was pretty clear about that!) Taking the time to draw it out, even poorly, made it indelible in my mind.

There are several methods you can use for creating your vision board. I’ve written about each one below. You can choose which one works best for you, depending on where you find yourself on this path of creating your life.

Supplies you’ll need for creating a Vision Board:

- Poster board. (Target sells a really nice matte finish board. I highly recommend it.)

- A big stack of different magazines. (You can get them at libraries, hair salons, dentist offices, the YMCA.) Make sure you find lots of different types. If you limit your options, you’ll lose interest after a while. When I facilitate my women’s retreats, I always make sure we have plenty of Oprah, Real Simple, Natural Home, Yoga Journal, Dwell, Ode, Parenting, Money, Utne, and an assortment of nature magazines.

- Glue. Not Elmers. (It makes the pages ripple.) I like using Yes! Glue or Rubber cement. Glue sticks are my second choice because they don’t last.

Before you begin your vision board:

No matter which method you’re choosing, have a little ritual before you begin your vision board. Sit quietly and set the intent. With lots of kindness and openness, ask yourself what it is you want. Maybe one word will be the answer. Maybe images will come into your head. Just take a moment to be with that. This process makes it a deeper experience. It gives a chance for your ego to step aside just a little, so that you can more clearly create your vision.

Put on soft music. My favorite music for activities like this is Anugama Shamanic Dream I and Shamanic Dream II. I love these CD’s for massage or any activity where you want to keep your mind quiet.

The Five Steps of Creating a Vision Board:

Step 1: Go through your magazines and tear the images from them. No gluing yet! Just let yourself have lots of fun looking through magazines and pulling out pictures or words or headlines that strike your fancy. Have fun with it. Make a big pile of images and phrases and words.

Step 2: Go through the images and begin to lay your favorites on the board. Eliminate any images that no longer feel right. This step is where your intuition comes in. As you lay the pictures on the board, you’ll get a sense how the board should be laid out. For instance, you might assign a theme to each corner of the board. Health, Job, Spirituality, Relationships, for instance. Or it may just be that the images want to go all over the place. Or you might want to fold the board into a book that tells a story. At my retreats, I’ve seen women come up with wildly creative ways to present a vision board.

Step 3: Glue everything onto the board. Add writing if you want. You can paint on it, or write words with markers.

Step 4: (optional, but powerful) Leave space in the very center of the vision board for a fantastic photo of yourself where you look radiant and happy. Paste yourself in the center of your board.

Step 5: Hang your vision board in a place where you will see it often.

Three Types of Vision Boards:

1 - The “I Know Exactly What I Want” Vision Board

Do this vision board if:

- You’re very clear about your desires.
- You want to change your environment or surroundings.
- There is a specific thing you want to manifest in your life. (i.e. a new home, or starting a business.)

How to create this vision board:

With your clear desire in mind, set out looking for the exact pictures which portray your vision. If you want a house by the water, then get out the Dwell magazine and start there. If you want to start your own business, find images that capture that idea for you. If you want to learn guitar, then find that picture. I remember at the last retreat, one woman yelled out, “If anyone finds a picture of a little girl with red hair who looks happy, give it to me!” And someone else yelled out, “I’m looking for a Cadillac!” Pretty soon, a lively trading session began. Following the five steps above, create your vision board out of these images.

2 - The “Opening and Allowing” Vision Board

Do this vision board if:

- You’re not sure what exactly you want
- You’ve been in a period of depression or grief
- You have a vision of what you want, but are uncertain about it in some way.
- You know you want change but don’t know how it’s possible.

How to create this vision board:

Go through each magazine. Tear out images that delight you. Don’t ask why. Just keep going through the magazines. If it’s a picture of a teddy bear that makes you smile, then pull it out. If it’s a cottage in a misty countryside, then rip it out. Just have fun and be open to whatever calls to you. Then, as you go through Step 2 above, hold that same openness, but ask yourself what this picture might mean. What is it telling you about you? Does it mean you need to take more naps? Does it mean you want to get a dog, or stop hanging out with a particular person who drains you? Most likely you’ll know the answer. If you don’t, but you still love the image, then put it on your vision board anyway. It will have an answer for you soon enough. Some women at my retreats had NO idea what their board was about, and it wasn’t until two months later that they understood. The Opening and Allowing Vision Board can be a powerful guide for you. I like it better than the first model because sometimes our egos think they know what we want, and lots of times those desires aren’t in alignment with who we really are. This goes deeper than just getting what you want. It can speak to you and teach you a little bit about yourself and your passion.

3 - The “Theme” Vision Board

Do this vision board if:

- It’s your birthday or New Years Eve or some significant event that starts a new cycle.
- If you are working with one particular area of your life. For instance, Work & Career.

How to create this vision board:

The only difference between this vision board and the others is that this one has clear parameters and intent. Before you begin the vision board, take a moment to hold the intent and the theme in mind. When you choose pictures, they will be in alignment with the theme. You can do the Theme Vision Board on smaller pages, like a page in your journal.

Some things to remember about vision boards:

- You can use a combination of all three types of vision boards as you create. Sometimes you might start out doing one kind, and then your intuition takes over and shifts into a whole different mode. That’s called creativity. Just roll with it.

- Your vision board might change as you are making it. I was just talking with a friend of mine who said that she had been making a vision board for the new year. The theme was all about what she wanted in this year. Then, as she pulled pictures and began to lay them out, the theme changed into a simpler one about her everyday life and the moments in each day. It surprised and delighted her to experience that evolution. You might find that you have little epiphanies from making a vision board.

Make a Vision Journal

Another option is to use these same principles in a big sketch book. Get a large sketch book and keep an on-going vision journal. This is especially effective if you’re going through many transitions in your life.

I welcome anyone who has created a vision board to write your own experience in the comments…

Reprinted from Christine Kane's Blog: Be Creative. Be Conscious. Be Courageous. first published February 1st, 2007


LuAnn Schindler said...

Great idea! I used to do something similar when I was still in the classroom. Students would create a collage showing their goals for the year. I'd post them around the classroom for awhile, and eventually, they were placed in their writing portfolios. If they were stuck finding a writing topic, they were to turn to the collage and draw from it. Also used it as a measurement tool to see what their goals were/have they achieved their goals.

I hadn't thought about using it for writing, but what a great idea.

Thanks, Annette

Marcia Peterson said...

I love making vision boards/collages. Often I do smaller ones--it doesn't always have to be a giant production! Good things seem to come of it, whenever I do it.

Christine Kane's blog has been a favorite for awhile. Glad to see her featured. :)

Joanne said...

It's always nice to try a new way to organize ideas. I like the visuals, giving writing thoughts a new twist, inspiring in different ways.

Lolita Flowers said...

Sheer bliss....

Unknown said...

I used to get frustrated when I traveled as it disrupted my routine, since I could not carry around vision boards on the plane. That inspired me to create an online vision board. If anyone is interested in trying it, you can find it at:
Vision Board

Anonymous said...

I have a picture of my vision board as my cell phone wallpaper to see it more often.

Catherine Franz said...

Here's my article on how I create my computerized vision boards:

Megan McCormick said...

Vision boards are great sources of encouragment and inspiration. Thanks for sharing. If you get the chance, feel free to hit me back on my site.

Anonymous said...

To whom it may concern regarding this great article I have one question regarding vision boards….

how long did this do these visions or “intentions” take to manifest??? I read these miraculous stories where said person’s intentions manifest almost in mere days or hours and I know that’s just too coincedental in my honest opinion…

I’ve tried these boards religiously with NO LUCK and nothing for almost a year and I worked my fingers off to the bone & have done everything humanly possibly to find FT job and still 1 year no job…can anyone explain that to me please??? is the universe telling me I am NOT deserving of FT job???

if I was asking for a frivolous trip to say california someplace I have never been too would I get that "cause" its a vision.... compared to what I need which is FT job to pay for and fuel my vision to get to see California...

can anyone help answer my questions here, many thanks.

Unknown said...

Thanks for this detailed vision board post. It looks like a very simple thing to do and it is, but the hard part for most of us is that we have to look at it and 100% believe that we can achieve our dreams and goals, so if one wants to manifest a job: you see yourself, getting the job, being in the job as detailed as possible,see yourself getting a paycheck from your desired employer, see yourself go to work, open the door to your office with your name of it. The key is as many details as possible and if you can put all these images on your vision board it will be very effective.

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top