journey

Author Insights: Barbara Jacksha on Journeying With Our Writing (+ an Autographed Book Giveaway)

It’s time for another installment of our “Author Insights” series. In this series, I’m introducing you to writers who’ve taken their writing all the way to the finish line of publication, and they share their “lessons learned” with you. There’s nothing quite like learning from a writer who has made to the other side.

Plus, if you leave a comment at the end of this post before Sunday, August 6th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time, you’ll be entered to win an autographed copy of the author’s book in a random drawing. Please note that you must be located in the United States to win.

Meet Barbara Jacksha, author of Vision Pages: a vision journal for imagining your dreams to life

I’m thrilled to introduce you to Barbara Jacksha. Barbara has been a member of my online Called to Write Coaching Circle since 2014, and is a literary fiction writer. She came to the idea for creating her vision pages journal through writing daily morning pages, and shared her vision pages ideas with the rest of us on our Circle forum. Her idea then took on a life of its own, becoming a tool she could share with other writers.

I asked Barbara to share her insights about writing and self-publishing this book with us. 

Barbara Jacksha on Journeying With Our Writing

Barbara JackshaMost of us have a sense of our writing dreams. We think we know where they will take us. But often, our writing dreams will pull us in unexpected, remarkable directions.

For years I wrote morning pages, filled journal after journal with wonderful observations, silly ramblings, and I must admit, a lot of complaining. One morning while writing about something that had gone wrong, I stopped. Why was I giving so much attention to what I didn’t want? Why energize that? What would happen if I only wrote about what I did want? That’s when my daily practice shifted to writing what I call vision pages: writing about what I want to have, do, be, and experience.

I loved it. I found the writing energizing, empowering, effective, and just plain fun. I told a few people what I was doing and got great feedback. That gave me the idea to create journals that would teach people how to write vision pages and give them space to play with their own dreams and visions. 

I’d never created a journal before, so this was brand new territory. I felt intimidated, uncertain, a bit terrified, but also insanely curious and eager to take off on this unexpected journey. As I wrote and designed the journals, I learned a lot about myself and about following my writing dreams.

Here are some of the insights I came to on my journey to creating the journal:

#1 Value what YOU have to say.

When I first realized that people were interested in vision pages, I was surprised. Apparently, a part of me believed that my ideas couldn’t be valuable to others. That belief is simply not true–for me or anyone else. We all have much to contribute, as people, as writers, and to share what only we can say is one of our biggest gifts to the world. Our dreams and inner visions tell us what we need to share. We just need to listen!

#2 Be open to the fresh and unexpected.

I never thought I’d create a journal. I never thought I’d create YouTube videos of my work, but that’s also on my to-do list. Following our writing dreams often means venturing into new territory, in what we write about and how we get our work out to the world. There are many fresh and interesting possibilities available to us now, and they seem to be expanding daily. Don’t hesitate to open a new door. Once you do, you may find that many others open to you as well.

#3 Keep learning new things.

To create these journals, I polished rusty Photoshop skills and learned Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign from scratch. Climbing that steep learning curve took patience and time, but now I have new skills I can apply any way I choose. Don’t let the need to learn something new stop you. Learning is always worth what you invest in it.

#4 Mine the wealth of your own experiences and let it support your writing.

Sometimes the idea of heading off in a new direction feels like you’re starting from scratch. But are you? In creating these journals, I called on skills I developed many years ago when I was a freelance business writer. What skills do you have in other areas of your life that can and do support your writing? Organization? Time management? Presenting to others? If we recognize the wealth of our own experiences, it can take the pressure off and help us see just how capable and prepared we already are.

#5 Relax and have fun.

Trying new things can be frustrating. We can get impatient or discouraged. One of the assignments I gave myself while creating these journals was to keep the process as relaxed and light as I could. When we relax, it’s easier to let our inner visions and knowing guide us. We’re also better able to let things in: new ideas, perceptions, information, solutions, you name it. As often as you can, let your writing be playful and relaxed. Let it be an exploration and adventure. I was amazed at the difference this makes, and I’m sure you will be too.

Maybe it’s time to have a cup of tea with your writing dreams and see where they’d love to take you next!

About Vision Pages

Vision PagesManifest your dreams using the power of imagination! Vision Pages takes journaling to the next level. When you write vision pages, you focus on what you desire to have, feel, be, and experience. It’s like creating a vision board, but instead of relying on other people’s words and images, you create with your own hand, using your own words, and write from your own inner wisdom and heart. Writing vision pages is both an immersive experience and a fun, empowering process that can bring about wonderful changes in you and your life. The Vision Pages journal briefly describes the four key steps to writing vision pages and imagining your dreams to life. The rest of the book is yours to fill with your life-changing visions.

Pick up your copy of Vision Pages on Amazon here (affiliate links*):

About Barbara

Barbara JackshaBarbara Jacksha is a writer and spiritual explorer. Her work centers around liberating and living our inner truth and bringing more magic into our lives. Barbara’s short work has appeared in a variety of publications including the W.W. Norton anthology Flash Fiction Forward. She was an editor at flashquake and an editor and co-founder of the spiritual literary journal Cezanne’s Carrot. Barbara lives in the wilds near Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her husband, three dogs, and several neighborhood coyotes. To see what else she’s up to, you can visit her website: www.barbarajacksha.com

Enter to Win an Autographed Copy of Vision Pages

Barbara has graciously offered to give away three autographed copies of her book to my readers. Leave a comment on the blog about one of your own writing lessons or something you learned from Barbara’s insights before Sunday, August 6th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time and you’ll be entered in the random drawing. Please note, you must be located in the United States to win.

 

* This is an affiliate link, which means my Called to Write business receives a small commission from any purchases you make using this link, and which I deeply appreciate.
Photo by Amy Treasure on Unsplash

 

Comments

  1. Arlene Mantek says:

    I really like comparing the journal to a vision board; I have always wanted to make a vision board, but right now, I don’t have a home of my own (I’m couch surfing at a friend’s) so I’m not able to put up a vision board. A journal is exactly what I gravitate toward.

  2. Arnie Grot says:

    For me, #5 is big. If the hard work isn’t fun, burn out will steal the joy in writing. We do more in moments of enjoyment. And relaxing helps our muse to be creative. Just as in a movie, the big picture is in each frame.

  3. What an inspiring article and journey.
    And, what a lovely finished product.
    I’m looking forward to trying the process.
    Congratulation on that sweet website, too!!

  4. I do something similar called Art Pages; they are similar to morning pages, but I usually focus on a topic I want to explore or think about more. I have gotten many great insights this way. This article was intriguing because it is similar to what I do, but also a little different. I would be interested to see what advice and prompts she gives to get people focusing on their big ideas. Thank you for sharing this article.

    • I love your Art Pages, Cindy! I’ve been writing Vision Pages about a nonfiction book I’m writing. I’ve written about future events like book signings and how great they feel, about the future book in my hand, and even more often, the beautiful ease and flow of the writing and editing process. It’s all great fun and so helpful!

    • Cindy, how neat! Art pages sound like a wonderful way of exploring too. Thanks for commenting!

  5. What an inspirational story of your writing journey! I am working on humor in my writing, and read a suggestion to focus morning pages on things that are funny. I haven’t seen the impact yet, but the hope is that this will eventually develop my funny-bone. Sounds like vision pages can work much the same way!

  6. The idea of giving energy to complaining in morning pages really resonates with me. Why AM I doing that? I’m curious to see what such a simple but powerful shift would mean for my mood, my writing, and my sense of forward progress.

    • I hear you, Cathy, I had the same thought when I was reading Barbara’s comments. On the other hand, I’ve always looked at “complaining” in morning pages as a way of getting the thoughts out of my end, so I’m no longer giving energy to them (once the stuff is on paper it loses it’s power for me). I can see it both ways. My pal Isabel Parlett used to do a spiral drawing thing where she’d write out what she didn’t want and draw a spiral on top of it going out to release it, and for what she did want, a spiral coming in, to bring it in and anchor it. Something like that. I thought it was cool. :)

    • Thanks for commenting, Cathy! It’s funny what we do out of habit, which I think is where a lot of the complaining comes from. I still vent now and again, but I’ve found that the more I focus on what I want, the less I feel I need to vent! I love what Jenna said about the spirals too. It’s wonderful to have a number of tools at our fingertips!

  7. Mary Montanye says:

    Please don’t put me in the drawing, because I already have one of Barbara’s journals (and will be buying more to give to friends). I want someone else to have the fun of winning, and also to experience this beautiful and inspiring journal. I learned so much from you, Barbara, in this post. As I return to a form of writing that is relatively new to me, I know I have a lot of learning to do. You helped me believe I really can learn what I need to learn! Thank you!

  8. Rebecca Lugones says:

    Aside from:Our dreams and inner visions tell us what we need to share. We just need to listen! and, Don’t hesitate to open a new door. Once you do, you may find that many others open to you as well.
    I think number 5 is very important. While I want to create a great product I need to learn to relax so that ideas can flow through me.

    • I’m so glad the ideas resonated with you, Rebecca. You’d think relaxing would be one of the easiest things to do, but I still need to remind myself often to let go and let the ideas flow. Have fun with it!

  9. Lauren Yaffe says:

    I have the good fortune of being in Barbara’s Writers Circle group, and asked her a while back what she meant by Vision Pages. You know how sometimes you have to hear an idea several times before it sinks in? When Barbara explained Vision Pages, it reinforced the ideas of positive visualization I’d read and heard about from others–and occasionally tried. But Barbara’s developing her method out of doing Morning Pages, which I had done myself for a few years, made it immediately feel accessible and do-able. I love the energy and positive direction of Vision Pages. While I reserve the right to kvetch my heart out in my journal, Vision Pages definitely feel much healthier!

  10. Great blog! I read our post with an intense interest. I loved it. Turns out I have been writing vision pages, every few days, for years but didn’t have the description for it… One of my best ways to relax and enjoy the in-pouring of visions, words, images, metaphors and analogies is when I swim in the morning.

    I recently decided not to lose what I get during my swimming relaxed mind zone and made it into a new habit to leap out of the pool to write. Turns out that wet vision writing wasn’t such a good idea, it landed my laptop in the Apple hospital for the past two weeks, so I this morning I resorted to soggy vision pages which I can later transport to a dry desktop.

    I love your point of valuing and mining our wealth of experience. I jotted that reminder on a big green strip and it is now pasted on my (very dry) desktop computer.

    Thank you for your great work and sharing your insights. Very powerful.

    • Thanks for your comments, Dorit. I used to swim regularly and know that beautiful receptive mind space you’re talking about. Now when I write my vision pages, I’ll be thinking of swimming on paper — love it! I hope your laptop gets home soon.

  11. Barbara, Thank your for stepping up and stepping out by following the Visionary insight and Calling so strong inside you. (I can sense and feel it through your writing ~ my first time meeting you.)

    I’ve been writing morning pages for many years and relate to your experiences as well.

    I Love the concept of Vision Pages. Your explanation of your process and how to deepen my own personal experience are what I call…Sacred Synchronicity. I’ve been feeling that something was missing for me with my morning page practice. Reading your post was the first opportunity to clearly identify what that something is.

    I’ll be sure to spread the word about your Visionary Journals to my Artist’s Way group and others.

    All the best as your continue honoring your visions and inner guidance.

  12. Thank you so much for your comments, Antoinette, and for your help in spreading the word! I’m so glad you got greater clarity about your own process from my post. I love your Sacred Synchronicity, thanks for sharing that!

  13. And our winners are… #4, 9, and 11 — Cindy, Lauren, and Antoinette! We will be in touch via email to collect your mailing addresses. Thank you so much for entering!

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