Apparently visualisation is the way to put our minds on the right creative track, whether that’s enrolling on a course, starting a screenplay or booking a writing retreat.

If we imagine ourselves in the present doing something then it remains uppermost in our minds and we consciously and subconsciously move towards that creative goal.

This is nothing new as people in sales have been doing it for years, pinning up their dream car to be bought with a bonus. I’m not thinking about that so much as how each one of us can start taking small steps to ensure we keep making progress towards where we want to be creatively.

The word progress can be fraught with difficulties and we all tend to expect far too much in one go. Sometimes it’s enough to look up an article on the internet, which affirms you are on the right course. Maybe it’s enough to check you have sufficient watercolour paper or paints. I suppose all this points to the idea that we should look after what is important to us. Nothing does well being ignored, except perhaps fermenting dough and even then you can’t leave it forever!

A constant watchfulness can ensure we are not side tracked, that we learn to guard our time, learn to say no, retreat so we can enjoy our own thoughts, our own space and our own dreams without commentary from anyone. Visualising your future can be an illuminating exercise and it can really make you focus on what needs to happen first before you imagine yourself as a writer of bestsellers.

As being creative is risky and most parents tend to sigh wearily when their offspring say,’ I want to be a rock drummer, a poet, a fine artist’, we often grow up with the feeling that what we yearn for is somehow unacceptable, inappropriate even. This is very difficult to shake off and we can feel enormous guilt when we want to take time to explore our passion. For years I would always make sure the house was clean before I ever settled down to write. As a consequence all that ever got done was household chores – not good.

So, the exercise today is to imagine that you have everything you need, time, money, situation, opportunity, you choose and that your creative wish can be fulfilled. What would that be I wonder?

The aim is just to write about this wish or dream without reading back, thinking about style, grammar, spelling, just do it until you feel it is finished. Then read it through and see where your mind has taken you.

 If you can, pick out some images and look out for them. If you have the inclination, then set up a pin board where you collect pictures or small items that remind you of that dream. This kind of action seems to alert us to opportunities; we start to see links, synchronicity if you like, as we move towards our goals and it is a very powerful tool.

I completed this same exercise this morning and the most enduring image was a sparkling blue green sea.  I was sitting writing while looking over it from my study window. Strangely the writing retreat in Portugal is surrounded by mountains and I was surprised to be scribbling about this very different place. However, I shall look out for images all the same,  maybe it’s something about the light near the sea, who knows?

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