As I ease into the beginning of another writing year, I didn’t want to write the same old goals down. Write every day, finish book, sell book. So instead, I’m having fun with a new way of setting goals based on selecting and playing with words that describe core desired feelings in “The Desire Map” by Danielle LaPorte.
To make goals in “The Desire Map” you first choose how you want to feel in the areas of your life. Experiencing the feeling is the ultimate goal. And the clarity of knowing the feeling helps you pick which smaller goals to pursue.
You come up with words by brainstorming, using dictionaries and thesauruses and just trying them out. If you get a bunch of words that describe how you want your creative life to go, Danielle offers many ways of culling your choices until you end up with just the right word/feeling.
The way the book is structured there is a lot of explanation about goal setting, and supportive ideas around what feelings are and how to feel good first, and then the workbook is put in the back. As a caution, there are a lot of large pull quotes IN CAPS WHICH SEEMS LIKE SHOUTING and other quotes and random word poems that I chose to skim or skip while making my way to the “workbook”.
I really wanted to get to the meat of the book, the “workbook” part, and with each day of the year going by, I greedily started to try out the exercises. As you do the exercises, it then becomes helpful to toggle back to the explanation part of the book to get more examples of how your goals can change and grow with your life.
The Desire Map approach is like a little tickle in my mind, a fun game I want to play, and I want to play it out this year. I’m rolling a few different words around in my mind to become my core feeling for my creative year. Danielle provides a gigantic list of feeling words to choose from or spark other ideas. It strikes me that I can use the list as a tool describe characters in my novel as well. Words like immersed, energized and boundless, vibrant and refreshed are quite nice, don’t you think?