Create Your Writing Year with a Vision Board or Map

Happy New Year! Each year I spend time either on New Year’s Eve or on January first visualizing my year. In this way I “create” it. I firmly believe that by getting clear about what I want to create in the coming 12 months, focusing attention on it regularly and then taking inspired and purposeful action related to bringing my goals and dreams into reality I can manifest much of what I want.

I use a variety of tools, such as writing goals, writing a vision and making vision boards or vision maps. I thought I’d use this week to describe some of these tools for you. It’s not to late to for you to implement them.

Just yesterday I mentioned on Twitter that I was making a vision board, and someone said they’d always wanted to make one but never had. I thought, therefore, that I’d start with vision boards. My friends and I used to call them vision maps, because they map out where you want to go during the year or end up by year’s end.

Basically, a vision board is a visual representation of what you want to create during the year or during any period of time. The pictures are supposed to elicit a thought of what you want to create accompanied by a feeling of having it. The fact that the picture shows someone having what you desire or the state of having it gets you to that feeling place. You imagine yourself in that picture. The picture basically represents you.

When completed, a vision map looks like a collage of all the pictures you’ve pasted onto a piece of sturdy paper or poster board that represent what you want to create–a published book, an income from your writing, a career as a speaker and writer, a balance between personal life and professional life, a trimmer body, time for your family, more friends. Yes–you can include all aspects of your life, or you can make a vision map of just your writing life. I’ve done it both ways.

Here’s a vision board I created a few years ago on a full poster board. It revolves primarily around writing and publishing . It has one corner devoted to my personal goals (the bottom right).

Here’s a one I created on a small piece of construction paper that I devoted solely to writing and publishing.

When I create a vision map, I tend to include not just pictures but word as well. I like inspirational sayings. So, you’ll find words like “published author,” “get paid for your writing,” best year yet,” and spiritual sayings as well on my boards. Here’s my latest one for 2012. It has some room at the bottom for more photos; I actually couldn’t find all the photos I wanted to include. It’s a work in progress.

This year I am focused on balance. For years my boards have been overwhelmingly focused on my professional life, and I feel totally out of balance now. I don’t pursue my other passions. (My work is one of my passions and definitely my purpose.) As they say, though, all work and no play makes Nina a dull woman and not a very happy one. So, this vision board has a smaller section for writing and publishing on the left side (here it’s shown on the right as the largest section), a large section on the right for personal and spiritual pursuits (here shown in the left corner) and the major theme is in the middle–more joy and fun and a general feeling of flow, ease and celebration!

To create a vision board, gather all your old magazines and start looking through them for photos and sayings that strike your fancy–ones that depict what you want to create or make you feel the way you want to feel. Cut them out. When you have a big pile of them, start arranging them on your poster board. I usually group my pictures by subject area–books, essays, making money, getting published, etc. If my map includes all areas of my life, then one corner might be relationships, another might be writing and publishing, and the other two might be free time and spirituality. In the middle I place a photo that represents my theme for the year. Once you’ve  designed the board, get some glue and start pasting it all down. Viola! You’ve created your vision map.

Now place it somewhere you will see it often. That’s the point…look at it every day. Feel what it would be like to have what you want. Imagine it! Enjoy the thought of having what you want. Then go take action toward creating it.

The more you do this, the higher the likelihood of you actually bringing your goals into reality.  There are people who have put a photo of a dream house on a vision map years earlier–just as a symbol of the house of their dreams–and then one day brought the old vision map out of a box they’d packed away only to discover they actually had purchased that exact house. This can be a very powerful exercise if you use it daily or at least regularly.


  1. […] a written vision that details what success looks like for you—actually achieved. Or create a vision map, a visual depiction of your goal or dream; this is a bit like a […]

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