To get where we want to be in life, we need to consider what our destination might be. And when we’ve worked that out, we could probably use some kind of roadmap for the journey.
This isn’t as difficult as it might at first seem. I’ve found that sketching out or writing down some details can help. All you’ve got to do is take a pen or pencil and a notebook or piece of paper, and list some of the things you’d like to see happen. Do this in stages. For starters, just think about the next year, and keep the list fairly short – three is a good, achievable number, but if you’ve just got one special thing, that’s fine.
You could list personal things, local, global, or any mix. Just write whatever comes into your head. Maybe you’d like to see an end to COVID-19, and a return to “normality” – whatever that is. Or perhaps lockdown suits you, and you don’t want things to go back to their pre-pandemic state. Perhaps you’d like to go on a holiday to somewhere hot, or find a new and fulfilling job.
You don’t have to write things you’d like for yourself – you can also write with agency, listing the things you like to see happen for other people, whether family, friends, or society as a whole.
let yourself roam free in the words
You can stop right there. But it you want to go further, think of what you’ve written so far as a list of headings or starting points. Then you could expand upon each of them. Go into as much detail as you like. Explore the possibilities, be adventurous, let yourself roam free in the words.
When you’ve done that, try to identify ways in which you might achieve some of the things you’ve written about. Some may be easier to expand upon than others. It doesn’t matter. Don’t force the writing, and don’t think too hard. Just allow your subconscious to do its work.
the very act of bringing these things to mind has beneficial effects for mental health and well-being
This is an exercise in positivity. You’re visualising the things you like to see happen. And while this doesn’t necessarily mean that these things will happen, the very act of bringing these things to mind has beneficial effects for mental health and well-being. And who knows, you might even find ways to make these wishes reality. Note the sense of optimism you feel as a result.
So now all you’ve got to do is pack yourself a picnic basket for the journey. And don’t forget to enjoy the view along the way…
I’m a novelist and scriptwriter, Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow and Advisory Fellow, workshop lead and creative coach. Click here to get the lowdown on updates, insight into projects, and a look behind the scenes on creative stuff. You can also follow TFW on Twitter, or like the Facebook page.