It’s easy to have dreams, but its entirely something else to actively go after those dreams. Sometimes you need a little motivation to push through all the obstacles. In my writer’s group we have a tradition of making something called a dream board, which helps everyone connect to their dreams using the basic principle of “seeing is believing.” This is a powerful philosophy that keeps us motivated to not only write, but to live the life we’ve always imagined.
I keep my dream board tacked to a bulletin board above my writing desk where I am sure to see it every day. Aside from being a highly visible dream monument, it’s also one of my favorite craft projects. I made it using a standard piece of 8½ x 11 card stock, various magazines, rubber stamps, stickers, pages from an old book (I rescued it from a trash pile at work and found it was already missing a number of pages, so I recycled it to my craft closet), leftovers from my scrapbook drawers, and little glue. The result is this collage of dreams, (click on the image for a full-size view):
In the center is a reminder to abide in my philosophy of optimism with the saying “My glass is half full.” I cut the glass out of an advertisement in a magazine, which was also used to cut out all the letters and words. Even though it has a “ransom” look to it, the message is still there!
On the left side is a reference to my love of books to remind me to read as much as I possibly can. Reading isn’t just a hobby, but also an important part of the writing process. Writers feed off one another, published and unpublished alike. Reading is how I learn what makes a novel tick and how I figure out what defines my point of view. Under the books is a string of words that I clipped from a bunch of magazines. They can be linked together in a number of different ways and have multiple meanings. Much of the poetry I write is inspired by this portion of my dream board.
Scattered throughout the board are a number of other phrases that serve as motivators to be bold, creative, and aware. I can be a little timid at times, so I need a little push to act with the same fervor that fires up my imagination. The presence of these words has had an amazing effect. I can honestly say that I feel stronger and truly believe in what I’m doing.
On the right, there’s a reminder that writing is a daily process. I used a TV Guide to create a complete week and then assigned a verb to each day. If I dream, imagine, listen, inspire, create, hope and believe . . . I can do anything. Even write a novel!
Below the days of the week, are references to long-term dreams of traveling and living in London for at least a year at some point in my life. I found a little plane in one of my travel magazines and a London “button” in my scrapbooking supplies. This year I toyed with the latter dream by going on a three week sojourn to London, which has only intensified my goal of staying there for a full year.
To keep my focus I put the word “writer” in large foam sticker letters, along with the phrase “I am.” Sometimes I need to remember I’ve always been a writer and its not up for negotiation. You can’t shake something that’s part of your soul, but its all too easy to let a dream go dormant. My dream board stares me in the face every morning when I wake up and it watches me as I go to sleep. I have little choice, but to let my dreams flourish.
What would you put on your dream board?