(The following blog is actually from December 1st – I didn’t publish it on WordPress at that time).
It’s Week 6 since my first novel was released in Canada by Pajama Press. But it took six years to make that happen. Originally, I had the idea that it would take ten years for things to happen. So how did I skip four years?
I think it was my scarily effective vision board.
Six years ago, I started to dabble with the idea of The Stowaways. At the time, I envisioned it as a life-long project, complete with a series of books and toys and a movie and this and that and… I am grateful to be on that road, though I laugh at myself when I realize how naïve I was back then, am probably still am.
However, the one thing I know I did right was building a vision board. I look at it now as it hangs over my writing desk and I think: the power of suggestion is very strong. Nearly all the images I tacked on there were alien to me – a book spine with my name on it, me in my own house, garden, and studio, part of a writing community – I had not even a whiff of those things when I made that vision board, not even a paragraph written!
But somehow, it all began to happen.
I can’t tell you how it happens, it just does. Maybe when I looked at that board every day before, during and after I wrote, its images became part of my DNA – “Do Not Avoid”. Because you can’t avoid your dreams, when they stare you in the face dozens of times a day.
Now it’s time for a new vision board. The old one is stale, the magazine cut-outs have yellowed and curled, and my goals have grown claws and begun to crawl on their own. I need to catch up, re-align, then slow down, and begin again. Writing book two is going to be just as hard as book one, if not harder.
The images I tack on my new vision board will reflect new goals, but the underlying theme will always be the same, and I won’t change the core image. It’s a photo taken through a studio window, looking in on a woman who is painting, surrounded by walls of her own artwork. I’ve altered the woman in the picture to look like me – brown hair, pulled back – so when I look at that woman, I see myself: focused, peaceful, concerned only with the art itself.
They say be careful what you wish for, because you never truly know where the road will take you. But if your vision includes that centrepiece, that image that grounds you, you will know that whatever happens, you are still you, your work is your work, and you are a limitless creature, regardless of the world outside.