The other day my 8th graders and I were brainstorming emotions for possible memoir stories. We were coming up with ideas like "incredibly excited--when my team won the soccer tournament." The idea was to jot down just a few words to jog our memory, so later, we could write some rough drafts and then even later, we could decide which story we wanted to invest some time in as we revised and edited and shared.
I was sharing my memoir ideas because in my class, I write right alongside my students. To get them started, I went through each emotion as we took notes, and wrote down the experience I would write about.
One student asked, "Could a story be about a dream?" After ascertaining they did not mean the story itself would not be a fantasy, I said certainly.
"If you had a dream--and you either struggled with it and it never came true or it did come true, that would make an awesome story."
Another student stopped me dead in my tracks. He's the class barometer. When the students need some levity (which according to him, is every 15.7 seconds) he provides it. However, there are other times when he adds a serious/poignant/mind-blowing moment. This was one of them.
"What's your dream, Mrs. R?" He was sitting in the front row, less than four feet away as I danced and cajoled and tried to keep all of them engaged.
That's when I came to screeching halt. Quickly I recovered (you don't want to slow down around 8th graders, or they'll either make a break for it or attack).
"Getting my book published was my dream."
He came right back at me. "Well, you've already done that. What's next?"
I thought for just a few seconds. Then it came to me. "I want my book to become a movie."
"There you go," he replied. For him, it was just that simple. One dream's been realized. Work on a new one.
Vision boards... Could one of those help me achieve my next dream?
Don't tell my publisher--because she really believes in the power of vision boards--but I've always thought theey were a bunch of hooey. They might work for some people, but for me? That abra cadabra stuff is not for me.
However, my publisher has had some pretty incredible dreams come true. And my dream of seeing my novel become a movie/Netflix short series/small-town puppet show is a fantastical dream.
Maybe it's time for me to create a vision board...
Here's an article that tells a bit about why vision boards work, and how to do them.
Here's another article that gives some tips on how to make a vision board (or action board) work more effectively. I read this and learned that Katy Perry (in 4th grade!) created one, and Oprah Winfrey made one when she dreamed that Obama would be elected president... and she included a picture of the dress she'd wear to his inauguration.
How about you? Have you created a vision board?
Sioux Roslawski is a middle school teacher, a dog rescuer and the proud author of Greenwood Gone: Henry's Story