The power of cut-and-paste: How a dream board can be more effective than New Year’s resolutions

Writer’s Block Philippines co-founder Niña Terol-Zialcita shares how dreamboarding can be more effective than making New Year’s resolutions. Read the excerpt here below, and read the full blog post in her blog, Little Rich Girl.

Writer’s Block Philippines co-founder Niña Terol-Zialcita shares how dreamboarding can be more effective than making New Year’s resolutions. Read the excerpt here below, and read the full blog post in her blog, Little Rich Girl.

The power of cut-and-paste: How a dream board can be more effective than New Year’s resolutions

 

By now, you might already have made your list of New Year’s resolutions, starting with losing all the holiday weight that you’ve put on, kicking a nasty habit (such as smoking or drinking a wee bit much), spending more time with your family, or saving instead of spending. Whatever your resolutions may be, we all know the drill–you jot them down on a piece of paper, in a journal, or on a blog, and you make a commitment to stick to them. We also know that, unless you are able to successfully form a new habit out of your resolutions (it takes 21 days to form a habit, experts say), they will be just like many of our to-do lists–listed down but not really fully accomplished.

What New Year’s resolutions lack, I’ve seen, is the power to inspire us with positive images of our desired outcome. More often than not, the resolutions that we list are just means to get to an end instead of the desired end itself. For instance, many of us want to go back to the gym, sign up for yoga, lose weight, or stop smoking because, in the end, we want to live healthier, fuller lives. Or we want to save and invest more so that we can use our money and resources on the things that really matter to us–our families, our dream home, our dream vacation, future needs, and so on. For these resolutions to be truly effective, we need to be able to visualize them and map out how they fit into our lives.

This is where dreamboarding (or vision boarding) comes in.

First, what is a dream board?

A dream board, simply put, is a collage of images that help you visualize your dreams, goals, and priorities. It is made by cutting and pasting images from magazines and photographs onto a large sketchbook or illustration board, accompanied by some sort of mental processing. (More on this later.) It can be as all-encompassing as a dream board for your life goals, as medium-term as a dream board for the next year (or three, or five), or as short-term and as specific as a dream board for school or work, or love. There are no right or wrong “answers” for dreamboarding–although there are ideal conditions and processes for it–and you can do them as often as you’d like.

How it has worked for me

My first experience with creative visioning had been with my grades in school. I was a grade-conscious student, I admit, and I used to put on my bedroom wall ideal grade reports that looked almost exactly like the grade reports that were handed out by my school, but with the grades that I wanted to get. I wasn’t unrealistic by putting straight As on my ideal grade report, but I put in there the highest possible grades that I could get considering all the “givens” for that semester–how easy or challenging the professors were, my level of interest in the subjects, the chances of really getting As, and so on. Seeing the “vision grades” every single day motivated me to do my best in each of my subjects, and I ended up with almost the exact same grades that I put on my ideal grade report.

(The downside: I started using this technique only in my senior year in college–imagine if I had started much earlier!)

After having seen the power of creative visioning in my student life, I took visioning to a higher level and soon created a “vision wall”: a HUGE collage–more like a mural, actually–of images all over my bedroom walls, which I used to motivate and inspire me as I embarked on corporate life.

It’s been roughly 13 years since I first started creative visioning and dreamboarding, and it’s something I continue to do whenever I need clarity or inspiration or simply just a positive boost. There’s nothing like seeing your goals, dreams, and priorities laid out before your very eyes to inspire you to move along the right path–YOUR own path.

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Read the full blog post in her blog, Little Rich Girl. Writer’s Block Philippines is also offering a three-hour Dreamboarding workshop on January 10, 2012 (Tuesday), 6-9PM at Quantum Cafe, Bagtikan corner Kamagong Streets, Makati City. To know more about this workshop, read our FAQs HERE. To register, fill out this online registration form. You may also email us at writersblock.ph@gmail.com or call/text (0927) 50 8280.

Happy New Year!

The perfect way to start the year: A Dreamboarding workshop

It’s typical to start another new year with a set of new resolutions, but have you tried creating your own dreamboard?

Dreamboarding is a more creative way to visualize what you want to happen in your life. By making your own dreamboard through crafting a collage of images that resonate with you, you will better understand your goals, priorities, and motivations. Isn’t that a more fun way to begin 2012?

Instead of making another list of resolutions, sign-up for the “Dreamboarding” session of Writer’s Block Philippines (WBP) on January 10, 2012 (Tuesday), 6:00-9:00pm in Quantum Café, Makati City. This event is open to writers and non-writers alike, both young and old. Even teenagers may join in on the fun.

Ana Santos, one of the founders of WBP says, “Some people like creating digital versions of their dreamboards, but we recommend the “analog” cut-and-paste version to allow serendipity to fully work its magic into the process.”

Participants will be given enough time to produce their own dreamboards during the event. “Although the dreamboard is something personal since you’ll be pouring your hopes and dreams there, nobody will be forced to share details that they wish to keep to themselves,” reveals Nikka Sarthou, another WBP co-founder.  Aside from visualizing your goals, the regular practice of dreamboarding can help you better understand your priorities and motivations, as well as inspire you to take charge of your own future.

According to WBP co-founder, Niña Terol-Zialcita, “Like any other workshop that you may have already attended, the Dreamboarding workshop will only be as effective as you make it. You get what you put into it. That said, the main ingredients for “success” in this workshop are: an open mind and an attitude of genuine learning and sharing.”

Start the year right in 2012 and register early, as slots are limited. The fee is P1,200, inclusive of food and workshop materials. (Regular discounts apply for WBP members.)

For inquiries and reservations, email writersblock.ph@gmail.com or contact (0927) 850 8280.

Sign-up for our Dreamboarding Workshop in January!

Start the year right by signing up for our first-ever event in 2012–Dreamboarding!

 

What is a dreamboard?

A dreamboard, also called a “vision board”, is a collage of images that are meant to creatively visualize and connect you to your life goals. Some people like creating digital versions of their dreamboards, but we recommend the “analog” cut-and-paste version to allow serendipity to fully work its magic into the process.

 

What exactly is a “Dreamboarding” workshop?

“Dreamboarding” is a three-hour creativity session where participants will be asked to take part in a visualization exercise, make their own dreamboards, and process the contents of their dreamboards to better understand their goals, priorities, and motivations. There are no right or wrong answers, and nobody will be forced to share details that they wish to keep to themselves.

 

What are the general details of the dreamboarding workshop?

When: January 10, 2012 (Tuesday)

Where: Quantum Café, FERON Building 9590 Kamagong corner Bagtikan Sts,. Makati City

Time: 6:00-9:00pm

 

Is the “Dreamboarding” workshop only for writers?

The “Dreamboarding” workshop is open to writers and non-writers alike, both young and old. Even teenagers may attend the event!

 

How many are the expected participants?

We can only accommodate a maximum of 20 participants for this event.

 

How I can benefit from the activity?

At the very least, making a dreamboard can help you visualize your goals. (And what you can visualize, you can more easily achieve!) On a deeper level, the regular practice of dreamboarding can help you better see underlying patterns in your life, understand your priorities and motivations, and be more inspired to take charge of your own future.

 

How much is the registration fee? And what does it cover?

The fee is P1,200, inclusive of food and workshop materials. (Regular discounts apply for WBP members. Please include your membership card number when emailing us your deposit slip and details.)

 

How can I pay for my slot?

To secure your slot to the workshop, you may pay the fee via deposit to our bank account. Details are as follows:

Bank: BPI

Bank account name: Writer’s Block Training Services

Account number: Savings account 1759-0377-11

Once you have made the deposit, please send us a scanned image of the deposit slip to our email address, writersblock.ph@gmail.com. Please also include your full name and mobile number so we can get in touch with you for any urgent communication.

Deadline for registration is NOON of Monday, January 9, 2012.

 

Will you be accepting walk-ins for this class?

Since we will need to prepare materials and food before this workshop, we’re afraid that we cannot accept walk-ins. Also, we will have only 20 slots for this workshop, so we encourage you to reserve and make your payments early.

 

Is there anything else that I will need to do or bring before the workshop?

Like any other workshop that you may have already attended, the Dreamboarding workshop will only be as effective as you make it. You get what you put into it. That said, the main ingredients for “success” in this workshop are: an open mind and an attitude of genuine learning and sharing. We shall provide the materials that you will use for this exercise, but if you’d like to bring your own magazines and art supplies, feel free to do so.

 

Who can I contact for more information?

You may reach us at (0927) 850 8280 or email writersblock.ph@gmail.com.

Give the gift of writing!

Give the gift of writing this holiday season!

Present yourself or your loved one with a practical Writer’s Block Philippines gift certificate. This is valid for use in all our workshops and activities, including our upcoming “Dreamboarding” session on January 10.

Watch out for more exciting events from us in 2012!

For inquiries or orders, please contact writersblock.ph@gmail.com or 0927-8508280.

A Writer’s Wish List

BY ELISHA VERA INOCENCIO

 

No writer can write without his tools such as reading books and having a good grasp of grammar.  But the act of writing itself, the discipline, I’m finding out, requires more than crossing off books from Top 100 lists or knowing when to put that often-missed punctuation mark.

To commit to the discipline, I must have a list of things: quirks, rituals, abilities, attitudes, relationships, a certain life to live that can help me (and has already helped me) to write everyday.  Books are given, but since I don’t get them a lot as gifts, more to the point, since people think that there are better gifts than books (like store-bought fruitcake or digital photo frame), they will remain the most coveted things in my wish list.

Here is a list of things that I, or any amateur writer, would appreciate from friends, family, from anyone really, including the creativity god:

1.     A metal refillable ballpoint pen with enough ink to write a narrative.

2.     A fresh stack of Moleskine or non-ruled notebooks.

3.     An ergonomic chair to match a big mahogany desk.

4.     The uninterrupted ritual of having good tasting coffee (or healthy stimulant of choice) every morning.

5.     A window overlooking a garden. A window to stare at when the blank page stares back, not a little impatiently.

6.     A great playlist—opera, romantic adagios, Adele’s beautiful singing voice, that soundtrack from an underrated indie film, whatever music that makes you cry or smile or remember that conversation or image you used to replay in your head. Any music that moves you that you can’t wait to sit and write what it could mean.

7.     A pair of good running or walking shoes to use outdoors, when the need to lose yourself in the busyness of things is great, usually during difficulties thinking on paper.

8.     Anthologies of poems, essays, travel writing, mystery stories, short stories and the like.

9.     Books. Books. Books. New or second-hand. Electronic or conventional.

10.  Memories—good and bad—awakened by a word or a turn of phrase or a scene or character from a movie or a book. Memories that must simply be recalled on paper, giving life to what you already know.

11.  Strangers, friends, or family who see and hear you, but don’t see and hear you because you are suffering from the most acceptable form of schizophrenia and your best thoughts are yet to be written. Always to be written.

12.  The forgiveness of friends whom you don’t see or talk to for weeks or months on end. Because you ENJOY your solitude. You NEED your solitude.

13.  The one who could break your heart (if it’s not already broken) because if he could make you care so deeply, then with passion, you can say, that he will RUE the day he betrayed you. Imagine how he’d make a good character in your story: the hero (or villain) you can torture and kill in the end for fun.

14.  A brave heart to help you submit your work even when you think it’s not good.

15.  The experience of having written an account or story worthy of being read even by the most avid of readers and the most critical of critics: YOU.

Not listed, but always needed are a laptop, a recorder, and a real good digital camera, which should complete my initiation to the writer’s life.  If I’m constantly traveling, having a tablet to do some Internet research on or to send quick emails from, especially during deadlines, could make my life easier (and bags lighter). But if I can already do those on my smart phone, I would ask for an e-reader, not only to store out-of-print, hard-to-find, and volumes of books, but also to do that thing which writers must do: to mark and save well-written sentences or favorite book quotes or passages and retrieve and organize them for later use.

 

Elisha Vera Inocencio is a consummate reader and an aspiring writer. She admires the works of humorist David Sedaris, award-winning travel journalist Andrew McCarthy, and fiction and non-fiction writer Haruki Murakami. As a marketing professional, Elisha has written eye care feature articles published in select lifestyle and health magazines. She typically keeps a mountain of notebooks and always prefers to write with a metal ballpoint pen.

Meeting Samantha Sotto

It’s not everyday that we come across a book author–and an international one at that! Last December 10, we had a chance to meet Samantha Sotto, author of Before Ever After, during our meet-and-greet event and book signing in Le Bistro Vert.

We were delighted to hear her story on how she got published for the first time. Not being a writer by profession, she narrated how she began to write the book while she waited for her son in school, and then pursued being a published author by simply following the tips she found in a book. She discovered that you have to find an agent if you want to get published abroad. “You have to give the agent a flavor of how you write,” according to Samantha. After a series of sending out query letters and getting rejections, she finally found someone who believed in her book. Thus, the birth of Before Ever After.

It was inspiring to hear her journey as writer and get tips from her, as she shared her knowledge during the Q&A portion. For aspiring authors out there, she gave a practical piece of advice: “Don’t look at trends… The next big book is going to be what people haven’t thought of yet.”

While guests lined up for the book signing and photo-op, they were treated to drinks from Le Bistro Vert and the early-birds got Nivea gift packs, too.

Confessions of a Reader Wanting to Write

BY ELISHA VERA INOCENCIO

 

The more I read, the more I discover how limited my vocabulary is for an aspiring writer. Not only that, my ability to describe things so that pink is not only pink, but luncheon-meat pink, needs improvement—the observe-everything-like-Sherlock-Holmes kind of improvement.  Then there’s the obvious: figuring out my voice or tone. Am I leaning toward being satirical like Vonnegut (whom I have yet to read) or toward being funny and self-deprecating like my favorite author David Sedaris? I can be either or both, I just don’t know yet which self is brave enough for acceptance or rejection. Maybe I have a third self, undiscovered and more hopeful. If only a sorting hat can tell.

I need to read more to solve the problems of reading enough. Luckily, my thirtysomething brain is not complaining. I love to read. I am born to read. My myopic eyes are constantly assaulted by 12-point characters and are begging for frequent rests. And so I write this to distribute the burden of my difficult but not impossible dream to another body part that needs equal flexing: my right hand.

If I could write with my left hand, I would probably force it into labor too, except that it might exact revenge by producing words that only it can read. It is not born a left hand if it can’t be subversive.  Until I learn how to master it, my left hand will remain pen-free for the time being. Besides, it is not completely useless. It is still responsible in holding the left pages of a book and turning the page as I dig deep into the story. Good or bad writing regardless, it enables me to read on.

Then there’s my backside. It needs a variety of cushions and backrests to give it the illusion of comfort during long hours of sitting, staring into the blank page, writing, staring into space or window, shifting stare into the blank page, and writing. If I’m aiming to write 2,000 words a day, it will be sitting like Rodin for two to three hours. If I brave writing 50,000 words (a novel) to get a badge (NaNoWriMo), it will be sitting for one month until it grows into the backside of the 30-foot seated figure of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial. Forget my backside, my left hand will be sweating, shaking, and bleeding half of the words of the novel after my right hand obliges.

I am staring again into space, particularly into my pocket dictionary. The clock stroke six. Should I stop writing? Because If I stop, then I will have to continue reading under an artificial light. My myopic eyes will love that and so will my eye doctor, if I ever dare to admit the abuses in exchange for an updated contact lens prescription. Speaking of which, are there lenses that prevent the eye from rolling and voluntarily closing when the paragraphs become longer, or when the story or the way it is written loses its appeal? Because if there are, then maybe, just maybe, it will stop me from abandoning some books just because I decide that I’ve read enough.  But then again, who am I kidding? I don’t imagine I’ll be able to write well if I don’t read, read, and read. And it’s not just because Stephen King said it. I know that the only reason why I’m able to write is because I read.  Not just fiction, but essays and news and features and children’s stories and poems, especially poems.

It is almost 9pm. Should I stop writing? Probably not, but I should get back to reading. Then tomorrow I can write more.

 

Elisha Vera Inocencio is a consummate reader and an aspiring writer. She admires the works of humorist David Sedaris, award-winning travel journalist Andrew McCarthy, and fiction and non-fiction writer Haruki Murakami. As a marketing professional, Elisha has written eye care feature articles published in select lifestyle and health magazines. She typically keeps a mountain of notebooks and always prefers to write with a metal ballpoint pen.

 

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