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VisionBoardI’ve never considered myself especially skilled in the arts and crafts department. Cruising Pinterest makes me break out in a cold sweat of inferiority. I still haven’t started a baby scrapbook for either of my boys, and the oldest one just turned eighteen. So I surprised myself when I accepted a friend’s invitation to commemorate International Women’s Day by making a vision board.

I usually don’t jump at the chance to reveal my lack of craft skills to a table full of strangers, even if they are friendly, like-minded women. But I’ve been feeling a little scattered this year, and I wondered if making a vision board might help me….help me what? Oh, right. Focus.

According to (and if anyone should know, they better), a vision board is “a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal. Literally, a vision board is any sort of board on which you display images that represent whatever you want to be, do, or have in your life.”

Still not convinced? In her Huffington Post article “The Reason Vision Boards Work and How to Make One,” Elizabeth Rider writes, “If you think vision boards are bogus, then the joke’s on you. They work, and there’s actually a really simple explanation of why they work so well. Creating a sacred space that displays what you want actually does bring it to life. What we focus on expands. When you create a vision board and place it in a space where you see it often, you essentially end up doing short visualization exercises throughout the day.”

Okay, I can respect that, and I don’t really want the joke to be on me. So under the kind guidance of Amy at her lovely shop Magpie’s Market, I faced a table brimming with papers, ribbons, scissors, and Modge Podge and tried not to feel intimidated. This is the kind of thing I usually overthink, especially when faced with a plethora of possibilities. Vertical or horizontal? The blue paper or the purple? Should I cut or tear? But we only had an hour, so I knew I couldn’t spend too much time in the immobilizing state of indecision.

And the amazing thing was...

when I removed the overthinking from the equation, I immediately found myself drawn to the elements that really please me. Armadillos and cowboy boots. I’m kidding. Words please me, so I began by leafing through the large dictionary Amy had provided, tearing out the words that resonate with me. (And, yes, tearing out pages from a dictionary felt like a desecration, but many sacrifices are made in the name of art.)

These are the words I chose: dream, creative, fiction, courage, success, novel (both noun and adjective), write, and, last but not least, writer. Because, at the end of the day, these are the words I hope will live on in my mind and heart forever.

With the addition of an inspirational quote, some patterned papers in roughly the same color scheme, and a picture of a gal with a book, my vision board took shape right before my eyes. As you can see, the final product is kind of messy, and not quite perfect. But then my first drafts never are.

JennySundstedtVisionBoard HotChocolatePress

Get an eBook of Jenny's novel, Passing Through, for only $3.99 on Kobo through March 13. 

Jenny SundstedtJenny Author Photo is the author of the novel, Passing Through; the writing resource, Write Away; and the short story, When The Wolf Comes

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