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.
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.