Dream Board 2.0

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After setting multiple writing goals, I figured it was time to create a new dream board to help me stay focused and motivated.  The last time I made a dream board was on the eve of 2010 and though I still love everything that board represents, (see Can You See Your Dreams?), a lot has changed in the last two years.  My dreams are still the same, but I’m a little further down the path than I was in late 2009.

Once again, I relied on my paper crafting skills to help me construct the perfect visual reminder of my dreams and the mindset I need to reach those dreams.  I’m a huge fan of collages so I pulled out my stack of magazines, printed paper scraps, stickers, and hardware.  It’s amazing what can fit on an 8½ x 11 piece of card stock!

I started by layering various printed papers with script and print to cover up the ugly color of the card stock and to represent my love of the printed word.  That’s why I write in the first place – I love words, stories, and the idea that anything is possible when I have a pen in my hand.

I wrote all seven of my 2012 writing goals on a series of tickets.  The way I see it, each goal is a ticket towards my dream.  I attached them by creating a paper “hinge,” so I could flip them for quick reminders on the goals I’ve set.  To keep them from flapping, I added metal photo tabs that rotate.  Each one is held in place by brads that spell out the initials of my pen name.  I cut out the phrase “The Must List” and put it above my goals so I have a constant kick in the butt to stay focused.

Next to my last goal of making final adjustments to my first novel, I pasted a bookshelf full of published books.  Like any aspiring novelist, I want my work on the shelf of a reader.  In addition, I attached the phrase, “The Final Cut.”  Part of the aforementioned goal is learning when to stop and leave well enough alone.

It seems the theme of tickets was meant to be, because as I was paging through a magazine, I came across a ticket image for Journey.  While last year was all about finding the courage to believe in myself as a writer, this year is all about my journey of breaking free of the fear.  Fate seems to agree, because three pages after the Journey ticket, I found the phrase “break free.”  Naturally, the two found a spot on my dream board and they hang out together.

Next, I added two phrases that reflect my deeply held belief that the scenic route is always best as is slowing down long enough to appreciate the small wonders of life.  That space between me and the sun is where my muse resides and the long way is what allows me to listen to her whispers.

The concept of my journey is again represented with a paper disc and a little butterfly.  I wish I had a better reason for adding the butterfly other than I think they are beautiful, but I don’t.  Sometimes dream boards need a little whimsy!  Underneath it, I added the word “believe,” as a reminder not to lose faith in myself.

When shuffling through my stickers I came across one that has a fantastic quote from Williams College: Climb high, climb far, your aim the sky, your goal the star.  If that’s not motivating I don’t know what is.  I’m hoping to find a little star sticker or embellishment that can add a little sparkle to this great quotation.

I clipped the phrase “reimagine yourself” and completed the sentence by spelling out “as a writer” with Scrabble letter stickers.  By definition, I am a writer because I write, but I want that word to be part of my identity just like wife or teacher.  It’s one of those things that sounds really easy on the surface, but the more I contemplate what it entails the more I realize the depth of what it means to be a writer.  As a way to reinforce this, I pieced together the phrase, “Don’t ignore the truth.”

While most of my dream board relates to writing, I dedicated one section to my love of travel.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve always dreamed of seeing the world.  So far, I’ve been able to cross off a number things on my travel bucket list, but there is so much more I want to see and do.  It’s a big beautiful world out there and I attached a little mini map to keep my curiosity alive.  My dream of living in London is also reflected with a tiny tube map and bus guide.

My new dream board hangs above my writing desk where it can’t be missed. In addition, I took a picture of it and made it into a desktop wallpaper for my laptop.  Dreams have a way of slipping into oblivion if we don’t keep them close at hand.  I intend to keep my mine within reach at all times so they can’t escape.

c.b. 2012

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Can You See Your Dreams?

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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?

c.b. 2011