Darren Rowse, writing on the ProBlogger website, has come up with a marvelous technique that uses mind mapping to help you to generate fresh ideas for your writing. His article deals specifically with brainstorming topics for a blog, but this tactic can be used for almost any kind of writing. Here's how it works:
- Take the last five topics you have written about and place them within five circles.
- Spend time brainstorming on ways that the topic can be extended. How can you cover different aspects of it more deeply? Think laterally, too: What topics are closely related to the one you're considering? What do your readers need to know about that topic?
- Map any ideas you generate as subtopics to the existing topic.
- You may also want to consider each of the new ideas you've generated and brainstorm ways that they, in turn, can be extended.
- Evaluate your ideas. Not all of them will be worthy of an article or a blog post. But at the end of this exercise, you will end up with a fresh stock of top-notch ideas for your writing efforts.
This is a terrific use of mind mapping, and one that I plan to use in 2008!