Vision Board Your Story

I find that other art forms invigorate and inspire my writing. The other day my 4-year-old nephew asked, “What’s that?” He was pointing to the two vertical vision boards sitting in my wisdom corner in my office.

I told him what they were, explained that each person represented a character in my next book and named them. Instantly, those characters bloomed alive in my mind and I wanted to spend time with them.

The magazine cutouts I had chosen, two women from PC Magazine, both look fierce and ready to kick some butt, just like I like all my heroines. Looking at my board got me thinking just how do I write that book with two strong leading ladies. Ah – the challenge of writing fiction.

So, here’s how to create vision board for your story, whether it is fiction, nonfiction, or somewhere in between. A perfect time to cerate a vision board is at the beginning as the day-dreaming your story; or, when you are stuck in the middle; or at the end, if you feel you still haven’t captured the essence of it.



Magazines like People, GQ, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, or Maxim
Glue sticks
Thick watercolor paper, or poster board

Time needed: 1 hour (more or less)


Step 1. Assemble your materials.

Sept 2: Focus on your story. No need to have a deep idea about it, just mull it over for a moment.

Step 3: Set your timer for 30 minutes, and flip through your magazines cutting or tearing out anything that catches your eye. Notice if you’re drawn more to words or pictures. I encourage you to focus on pictures since this is a visual exercise. When the timer rings go to step 4.

Step 4: Set the timer for 30 minutes. Put your blank page in front of you. Look at it for a moment and focus on your story. Then reach for your images, arranging and gluing them as your hand, heart and eyes lead you. Leave your mind out of it. This is a good time to follow your instincts and creativity flow. When your timer rings, stop.

Step 5: Take a breath and look at your vision board. Look at what you created, taking it in with your mind, heart and imagination. Pick up a pen and write its meaning, or tell a trusted friend. You may be surprised at what you discover about your story, article or book. You may even uncover a hidden theme or premise.

Congratulations. You just created a vision board for your story. May it inspire you at odd hours of the day and night to write!


c. 2008 Beth Barany

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  • XN says:

    I have a vision board online that has really helped me focus my intentions and get in touch with what I really value in life. Never thought about using it for writing inspiration… Great idea!

  • Beth Barany says:

    Thanks for your comment XN! Let us know how it helps your writing.

  • Barbara Millman Cole says:

    Beth, Having a vision board of your writing project posted in plain view is a great way to focus your intention before writing each day. Thanks for the tip.


  • Beth Barany says:

    Hi Barbara,

    You’re welcome! Let us know if you create one of your own.


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