Mind Mapping for Your Creative Thinking

Exploring thoughts.

You get a thought and I believe it can have so much energy to it that it would be a waste to not pursue it and find out all of what it can do for you in your chosen form of creative expression.

When I want to write, create content or just plan out a family trip – I LOVE to Mind Map. It just helps me to see the bigger picture of my thoughts on paper that is much moe beneficial to me than a list or just writing out on paper sentences of what I am in considering or in thought about.

Years before knowing what Mind Maps were – I was doing my own version of them in my journals or on paper.

I have only one book on Mind Maps and it is by Tony Buzan and I actually enjoy the exercises and examples that are in the book – you can also do a search on YouTube and see Tony and others teaching elaborate mind map techniques – so, I will keep this as a simple introduction here for you to consider as you explore your own thinking for with topics of writing and creating.

Tony calls the main word you start with “Radiant Thinking” – which is to write out the word you are focusing on in the center of the page for now.

Next up are words that are freely associated with that word. Tony gives a cool example of the word “Happiness” and then just write words that are associated with Happiness all around the center word. It is different for everyone with what words you come up with and a fun exercise to do as a couple or for a team building exercise as well – then to share what you came up with – as many will think it will be very similar – but in reality most words are all unique and different, which means we can learn a lot about what makes each of us happy – as by doing this we realize there is not much sameness but more difference with how we process or think about happiness.

You can do this with pen, markers or pencil – but what I like to do is use colored pens and whatever word I write down has a color that is associated with it – so as I write out my Map I can see it forming a rainbow of thoughts.

From the center word you wrote down – you have some other words that radiate around this thought and then you can extend the first grouping with other thoughts, ideas or actions that form a second group of radiating thoughts – you can keep going on and on or keep it simple as I have here in this example – yes, there are Apps for doing this.

Here ia a Mind Map example using the previous article on The Passion Circle and this shows you the first outer grouping of Radiant Thoughts.

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Each thought can now be expanded on.

What is cool is what I came up with – if you want to take notes on a separate piece of paper or use software like the one here using an App (for Mac) called Scrapple (I actually prefer paper and color pens) – (iThoughtsHDis another great App for iPad) – I use the color that each topic is in as a form of ‘coding’ and this makes it fun and also purposeful in my mind for remembering things that I have in each topic with a color that I like it to be related to.
For example I can write in a purple pen that I get from Office Max – the above mind map section on “Techniques” (is purple) and come up with more ideas and transfer them on to an index card. I can use a green pen for “Life Style” (in green) and put those ideas on an index card and when I finish all of them I can put them on a table and move them around or pick one card, turn it over and further expand my thoughts to come up with actions to take, ideas to explore or topics to write about.
Seeing the white index cards spread out on a table – with the variety of ink colors – brings a sense of joy to creating something with this process.

Using cards and one ink is boring and uninspiring – so – I use white cards with different color inks to make the colors pop out,
No – I do not like colored index cards – but you might like that as an option….but I do like different colored Post It Notes!

I use Scrivener for writing and they have an index card option that allows you to manually move them around – and I hardly ever see anyone mention that they do this – do a search on it as that would make for another blog by itself (maybe I will do one, as I have other ideas and Apps that work with using Index Cards for thought processes).

You can get the Mind Map book by Tony if you want to explore it more, as these can turn into pieces of art – and read his thinking, but doing a search on YouTube will be just as beneficial – and this article really is all you need to know to actually do it because it is so simple and doesn’t really need to be compacted and studied – as what we want to use it for is stimulating thoughts to do what we do best and stay focused more about our passion for writing.

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Discover Inspiration with 4 areas of Passion.

The Passion Circle

How I create, write and offer help to my Tribe of readers comes from a few things I have learned about and put together to form new ideas and to get a flow of creativity going that can be used to inspire, offer solutions and in some cases contribute to transformation of my readers needs, desires and wants.

The Passion Circle is used to find inspiration, to process and discover what you can do to help others with based on things you love to do and how you are as a person on fire to achieve a goal. It is not meant to be final or stuck on one thing….it can be flexible and change according to what you want it to be. You can make it permanent but you will miss out on its true purpose of using it to unpack your passion, imagination and help others with what you are designed to Tell the World through your writing or business.

This exercise is simple. All you do is create a circle and divide it into four sections.

It doesn’t matter where you start – but you put your Passion, vision or desire in one of the sections and mark it #1.
This area is what lights your fire, keeps you up and gets you up in the morning.

I will use myself for an example – my Passion Circle for this example is work & business related (you can do this for family, church, health, etc.) and my Work Passion is: Curly Hair. If you are unfamiliar with my work go to www.scottmusgravehair.com and get a glimpse of what I do. My business Facebook page Scott Musgrave Hair is full of tips and my website has a blog called MagiCurl – from this you can see that I love what I do as I have a healthy obsession with helping people with wavy, curly and multi cultural hair to embrace and know how to love their God-given hair (this is my purpose and calling).

Next is LifeStyle – how you incorporate everything you know of your passion into your daily living. Maybe someone has an issue in an area and you can offer suggestions, tips and counsel in their areas as solutions, resolution or transformation.
For me: People of Curl need help with dry hair, frizz & being in the rain or humidity. A question of how to make their hair look good for 2-4 days, etc. This is a matter of care and maintenance = LifeStyle. So I use the Passion Circle in helping clients develop a Routine, amounts of product and sequence of applying products with daily or weekly tips.

Next is Techniques or Methods – a system of solutions and once put into a box you can go out of the box and mix in other ideas and expand. Somethings are intuitive and second nature to some that need to be defined – to define that which is undefined and make it teachable for those that do not have it incorporated into what they do (as in being second nature).

You don’t have to take the best of the best and make something you own, as you can discover what is missing more so and create something new from what is lacking.

For me: I took what was not being taught in my industry and started to bring it back and take it to new levels. I took what was taught visually and defined steps to make it teachable. I created methods of product application that was based on frustration of what people were not getting elsewhere. New cutting methods to form a system that made for a vocabulary to create a way of communicating to other professionals and artists so that we are on the same page and can duplicate work anywhere in the world.

Next up is Tools – and this can be gadgets, objects – for me, I use Products to help and I also like to associate Brands with this area – what it is about brands and how they market like Apple or Starbucks and what they did to succeed. Systems.

The Passion Circle = in this case I wanted to expand my Service Experience (as an example):

Passion = Curly Hair, Waves, Multi Cultural
Products = Deva, Jessicurl, Homemade, Mop Top, Raw Curls
Techniques = MAP, Fabric Scrunching, Power Spray Bottle, Cubist Curl Cutting
LifeStyle = Rainy days, humidity, extending products used to day 2-4, sleeping with curly hair

For this exercise you as a writer may want to try:

Passion = Writer, blogger, Author
Products = Scrivener, Mole Skin Journals (read the insert that come in those), PROCESS
Techniques = mémoire, screen writing, rant, subjective, truth, opinion, self-help, poetry
LifeStyle = where you write, rituals, manifesto, chapter, eBook, observation of humanity, news

This is just an example – you are to create and process your own ideas WITHOUT over thinking the process and what I wrote is not objective truth for YOU – as there is no right or wrong and tomorrow it will have different activities and thoughts on what I will do to create through a process that can change daily to find inspiration FOR ME (as it should for YOU).

You will gain wonderful insights by doing one thing = asking others what they struggle with.
What frustrates you with your hair? – is one that I ask.
What frustrates you with your writing? – is one you can ask yourself or others.
As I ask People of Curl what they struggle with and they say, “Dry hair and frizz” – by using The Passion Circle I can go into products, techniques and methods to help them with a routine to help solve their problem of frizz and dry hair – in person – OR ON LINE in a forum or on a Facebook Post that they can incorporate into their LifeStyle.
Read what others are working on and struggle with and you can find inspiration by using and working through The Passion Circle.