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  • Writer's pictureNina Lane

Vision Boards - Part 3

While Pinterest is the most popular online board site, one of the fun things about making a physical vision board is that it can allow you to be tactile -- you get to flip through physical magazines and newspapers, use scissors, paper, glue tape, paint, markers, stickers, and whatever other crafty items you'd like.

Many people enjoy the ease and convenience of Pinterest for vision board creation, there's definitely something to be said for getting away from the screen and using tactile, crafty items to create your vision board. Where to start with a physical vision board? Channel your elementary school love for hands-on crafts and plunge right in.

Grab a corkboard or poster board, craft supplies like scissors, glue sticks, thumbtacks, ribbons, beads, bits of fabric, and stacks of magazines and newspapers. Print out pictures of your family, ideal characters, and settings. Cut out images and words that inspire you, then glue or tape them to your board in any way that appeals to you. Remember there is no right way, no wrong way, and no rules! Keep the board in a place where you'll see it every day as motivation.

When author Kathy Steffen has a solid sense of her characters and settings, she moves from her Pinterest boards to a physical board. "I get a standing foam core board with two scores, so I can stand it up," she says. "It’s a presentation board, I think. I use a black board. That feels more like a canvas to me (not sure why that is). I simply use a glue stick and start.

"I don’t plan it. It sort of evolves organically, and many times when it starts coming together, ideas begin and I search for more stuff to print out... I look for quotes too. Or phrases and words. I use google images A LOT! Sometimes a phrase pops into my head and I search images for the main word in it. Here’s an example: search “broken” for images on google. See all the different types? Then “I am broken” came to me from one of the images I saw. Now google image that. One of those became part of my recent WIP board."

Unlike many authors who refer to their vision boards throughout the course of writing a book, Steffen uses hers primarily when starting a book. "Once the story takes hold I add as I go, but probably 80 percent of the board is at the beginning as my story is developing," she says. "Usually, by page 50-100, changing the board becomes irrelevant as the story becomes as real to me as my life."

Steffen's vision boards are more than images and fuel her creativity in areas beyond writing. "I have used fabric swatches, and recently I’ve taken some mixed media art classes, so I have expanded what I learned by doing the WIP vision board," she says. "For my mixed media creations I have a theme and story in my head. But these have nothing to do with writing. Well, maybe they do—I’m taking one at Shake Rag Alley this summer with a bird house as a base, and I’m thinking about making it a “Creativity Beacon” sort of house, like try to show my writing and creativity through the visuals I choose."

In addition to writing and creative pursuits, Steffen creates a vision board for her life goals. Join us for Part 4 of the Vision Board series to learn about how authors connect their writing inspiration to their lives!

Do you create vision or mood boards for your life and work? Tell us about them in the comments below!


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