Why You Need a Clear Creative Vision

A few years ago, I held a vision board workshop for a group of people wanting to discover their vision of what was next for them. One of the participants was an aspiring author; he wanted to write a novel. Although he was skeptical of the process, he was curious and stayed open to the possibility that it could work for him.

And oh boy, did it work! Because making a vision board is a creative process itself, it got his creative juju flowing. He excitedly sifted through magazines, cutting out words and images, arranging them into his creative vision.

Near the end of the workshop, participants held up their vision boards and described their visions. As usually happens, we discovered symbolism and connections between the images and words that they hadn’t seen while they were making them.

When it was the writer’s turn to speak, he described his novel in detail. He knew the characters, their connections, the plot—all laid out on his vision board. Making that vision board took him from a general idea for a novel to enough details to get him started. And just as importantly, it energized him for the journey.

A vision board is a collage with a purpose. It represents your vision or goal, and your big reason behind it. It acts as a lodestar for your next creative journey—to sing in jazz clubs, to photograph horses on the Outer Banks, to paint abstracts in vibrant colors—whatever you long to do!

Here’s why it matters. Without a clear vision, and without tapping into why it’s important to you, you will stray from your creative path. Your life is like a multi-dimensional collage of hopes, surprises, connections, responsibilities, feelings, thoughts, and fears—all competing for your attention.

And whatever captures your attention, captures your time.

It’s too easy to stray from your path, often at the expense of what your soul longs to create. It’s too easy to listen to the negative inner voice that tells you, “you can’t.” Six months or a lifetime can go by while your jewelry sketches lie hidden away in a desk drawer.

Through the process of creating your lodestar, you identify your true creative north. When you put your lodestar where you see it every day, it becomes part of the three-dimensional collage of sights, sounds, smells, feelings, and tastes of your life.

The visual reminder aids you in changing old, entrenched ways of reacting—because when you begin to regularly ask yourself whether an action moves you closer to your creative vision, you begin to create a new path for yourself.

Living your creative life takes courage. That’s why I call it the Creative Heroine’s Path. (And hero’s path.) Life is inherently creative; you’re creating every day. But are you creating what you want to create? Making a lodestar can help.

If it feels like time is passing and you’re getting nowhere, and you want guidance in a fun, supportive, small group setting, come to my Lodestar: Your True Creative North workshop at the magical Two Hands Paperie shop in Boulder, Colorado on February 21, 2020.

For more information, see: http://twohandspaperie.com/lodestar-your-true-creative-north-new-class-feb-21/

If you can’t make it to the workshop, but you want to create your lodestar on your own, my book, The Creative Heroine’s Path, includes an exercise to do just that!

You Can Live a Creative Life

Woman in silhouette typing

At the turn of the new year, you get to wipe the slate clean. The old year—with its joys and sorrows, failures and successes—has been written. Now you have a bright, shiny stretch of time, in which you can create your deepest dreams.

Of course, you have the ability to create something new every single day. But psychologically, the new year feels so fresh with possibility, that this is a great time to reflect on the past and set goals for the future.

This new year is a milestone for me. I published my book, The Creative Heroine’s Path—a labor of love for every soulful creative who fears that living a creative life is out of reach.

Your creative life isn’t out of reach. It shimmers in the world of possibility, waiting for you to bring it into the world.

This year, I will be posting blogs and vlogs about how to live your life to make your creative dream real.

Changing your life to support your dream is not simply about making a list of resolutions and checking them off as you flawlessly complete each one. If it was that easy, everyone would do it. Changing your life takes time. It takes effort.

And it begins with what you believe.

How Do You Want to Feel This Year?

That may seem like an odd question. After all, you will have many experiences that affect you in different ways. But I’m talking about your overall perspective, which colors everything—especially events outside your control.

The biggest challenge you may face as you make your dream real this year is believing you can do it. That’s often not only the first hurdle, but an ongoing one. Whatever your perspective this year, it must support your creative dream.

If that sounds daunting, remember you have a clean slate, or a blank piece of paper in front of you. This year is yours to write. You are the author of your life. What do you want to make of it?

Here is an example of a perspective I played with a great deal this past year: “Life is creative and abundant.”

There were times when I saw it clearly, and other times I didn’t believe it at all.

You see, life wasn’t conspiring against me to keep me from writing a book for all the years I didn’t do it. It was my own beliefs about life—how it really works, what I believed was possible, even what I thought I deserved.

I faced external challenges, to be sure. But when I began to see those challenges as opportunities, for me to push against to build my spiritual resilience, they shifted from roadblocks to bumps on the path.

When I looked at obstacles as life’s way of simply asking, “Do you mean it?” I began to realize that life is abundantly creative; I just had to answer that question with a “Yes!”

Dealing with difficulty is a necessary part of the process of life, and of living a creative life. The challenges you must work with are part of the material you use to co-create with the universe—like wet clay you mold with your fingers.

You have everything you need at this moment to begin to create a life that supports you.

What You Believe, You Create

Here’s another perspective that I experienced, profoundly, this past year. It could easily be rephrased as, “What you fear, you create.”

Beliefs are powerful. Recently, I had a big A-ha! moment while I was telling someone about why I left my creative path in my twenties. I told her that I compromised my gifts to make a living because I was afraid that if I followed my creative calling, I would become a “starving artist.”

Those words caught in my throat. Tears filled my eyes. I realized that I had become a starving artist anyway—the very thing I was afraid of becoming. For years, I made a living, but not a life. My soul was starving.

If your soul is starving, this is your year to nourish it.

Pick A Big, Bold Theme

This is the perfect time to look at the beliefs you take for granted. You may not even notice them, because they are the water you swim in. But a perspective such as “I cannot create the life I want” will hold you back. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

What perspective do you want to look through in the coming year?

It could simply be, “The world wants my gifts.”

Get your rational mind out of this; let your soul pick your theme. Remember, this is about creating the life you want. This is big. This is wonderfully, incandescently real. Let your deepest wisdom speak to you.

Write it down. Keep it close to your consciousness. Put it somewhere you will see it every day, because there will be days you won’t believe it.

And remember, when you can’t see your theme, it’s still there, like a morning star, guiding you.

May the new year bring you the blessings of a more consciously creative life!

Conversation with My Dragon

I’m sure you are aware of your own “inner dragon” voice—that negative, bullying voice that speaks to you sometimes, when you want to take a risk, or when you experience a roadblock or a setback.

It can even come up when you experience success, when that’s outside your comfort zone.

Yesterday, I was struggling to re-organize and clarify some concepts in my book, The Creative Heroine’s Path. I was getting nowhere, and I felt lost and discouraged.

Here’s a sample of the “conversation” I had with my inner dragon last night—it’s more like a monologue, because we hear our inner dragons’ voices as our own:

“I’m a 2-bit, talentless hack who has nothing worthwhile to say.” (That kind of exaggeration was a clue that I was in the grips of my inner dragon.)

Woman with dragon shadow

“I can’t do this. I’ll never finish this book. And then everyone will know what a fraud I am.”

“My mind isn’t good enough. I have too many connected thoughts that lead to nowhere.”

“I’m going to let everyone else down. I’m going to let myself down.”

“I should just give up. I want to give up.”

So, I decided to reach out.

I told my husband that I was struggling, and he reminded me not to “abuse” my creativity. (Don’t you love it when others quote your own advice to you—advice that you are clearly not following?) He told me to stop pushing it and let it go until tomorrow. It was good advice, to give myself permission to take a break.

I also contacted a dear friend, a painter who reminded me that she attended my retreat and my 10-week workshop last year—and she left both of them feeling inspired, with new connections, visions, and artistic endeavors. She asked what I was struggling with, and she offered to meet for coffee, to lend me support.

Sometimes, you need your “champions” to remind you that you really are talented and worthy, and that you have something valuable to say.

So, don’t wallow in the muck with your inner dragon.

Reach out. And give yourself a break.

Inspiration Pulls You Toward Your Dreams

Woman on bicycle

I remember vividly the day I learned to ride a bike. Of course, I didn’t learn just that day. It involved riding with training wheels for a while, before I was ready to ride without them.

But one summer morning, my dad removed the training wheels from my bike, and held onto me as I slowly pedaled around the cul-de-sac where we lived.

I knew my dad was going to let go at some point, and that he wouldn’t tell me beforehand. It was an effective method for me, because although my sensitivity can make me cautious, I also have a strong, independent spirit, and plenty of imagination.

Training wheel on bicycle

The independent part of me longed to ride on my own, to balance freely, to feel the wind on my face. My desire to master riding the bike gave me the courage to let go of my fear of falling off. It inspired me to try.

Just before I rode on my own for the first time, I heard a subtle change in my dad’s voice. He told me he was going to push the bike to give it a start, but I knew instead of holding on and jogging beside me, he was going to let go.

It was okay; I was ready to try, and it helped me to imagine my dad was still holding on.

When he let go, the bike felt less stable, yet the forward momentum almost gave it wings. I felt the sense of moving through space, unsupported by anything except the bike itself and my own sense of balance. It was perfect.

I rode in a big circle around the court, and back to my dad. He was thrilled and excited, telling me I’d done it on my own. I think I smiled and hid some of my deep feeling, sharing some, but keeping some of it for myself.

It was wonderful and exciting!  And reflecting on that experience reminded me of four important aspects of moving toward our dreams.


Who we are being helps or hinders us. Open or closed, optimistic or pessimistic.

In my case, I was open to listening to my knowing self. It was the spiritual act of trusting that I would be okay, even if I fell off. I didn’t let my mind “psych me out.” I used my excitement to bypass my fear, and give me the courage to let go and glide.

Check in with yourself. If you’re expecting that you can’t do something, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Listen to that still, knowing voice that you can do it, because you can.


Imagination is a wonderful gift. I let myself imagine my dad was still holding me up for the first few pedals after he let go, and it gave me the confidence to do it on my own.

Imagination is powerful. Imagine yourself doing what you love, and let it pull you toward your dream.


To balance on the bike, I had to keep the momentum going. I had to keep pedaling!

You won’t get there without taking action. Take small steps until you are ready to glide!


We all need support now and then. I had someone who believed in me so much, he pushed me to take each scary step, but he didn’t let go before I was ready. (Thanks, Dad!)

Get the support you need. Ask a friend to be your accountability buddy. Join a group of people who do a similar type of creative work, such as a writer’s group, or a potter’s guild. Hire a coach to help you break through inertia, and set up good habits that keep you moving.

As a coach, I help people face their insecurities and fears with courage and faith, so they can focus on taking concrete steps.

This is what I love about being a coach; I’m kind of like the training wheels on my clients’ dreams, helping them move forward. And when they’re ready, when they don’t need my support anymore, I get to see them pedal off in the direction of their true lives.

It’s a beautiful sight.

Let your inspiration pull you toward your dreams. Because the world needs your gifts.

The Value of Appreciation

We’re almost a dozen days into the 30-Day Creativity Challenge on the Inner Guidebook Facebook page, and it’s been a blast!

We have a community of creatives, who have a safe place to share their work publicly, and give and receive appreciation within the group.

Multi-colored markers

There are many multi-talented folks posting photos of their original artwork, essays, photography, poems, tie-dye, fabric screen prints, flower arrangements, delicious meals, and many other creative projects.

It’s been wonderful for me to wake up and know that some sort of a creative project is in store for me that day. And I’m not creating in a void; there’s a group of other creative people who want to see what I’m going to post. It’s motivating!

I have fun checking in throughout the day, to see what others are posting. It’s inspiring to see so many original ideas and talent!

I feel more open and connected when I’m appreciating other people’s creative gifts, and I feel more valued when other people appreciate mine. And I feel grateful and honored that so many people are participating and enjoying the process.

Have a wonderful week, and go forth and create!