Mind Maps

A mind map is a brainstorming tool based on free association. Write down a word, set a timer, then write down all the words you associate with that first word. You can go on from there, by changing your focus to another word. It might give you a messy response, but it can  help. It is especially helpful in a group setting as your mind map responses might not match your neighbors. Comparisons can help show the way forward. That’s often all you need.

There are software packages that can help you to create a mind map, but all you really need is a piece of paper, a pencil or pen and a timer. Write down the initial word, circle it, then set the timer for however long you want, fifteen minutes is usually long enough. Then just start writing the words that come to you based on the initial word. Draw lines between your secondary words and the initial word. When you can’t think of any more secondary words, start doing the same with the second group of words – pick one, circle it and run with it. Do that until the timer rings and you should have large number of words. Drawing circles around the starter words and lines between all of them will give you the associations, or the path your mind took in the words. Often you will get a topic, if that was your aim, or a solution, if you started with a problem.

The mind is a wonderful thing. We don’t always understand it completely, but we can learn how to use it and get the most we can from it. Mind mapping is one way to use it to get what you might need.
I’m not saying a mind map will solve all your problems, but for some of them, you can’t beat it. All you need is a piece of paper, a pen or pencil, a timer, and a quiet place to create your mind map. The software is nice, make no mistake, but it isn’t really needed. Just sit down and do it. You really can’t do a mind map wrong.

It can show you what you want to do with your life. It can point the way to resolve a problem. It can even help with writer’s block. Just remember a mind map is only a tool. It may not always be the right tool, but keep it in your mental tool box anyway. Sometimes it can help. Especially in those groups where people don’t seem to have anything in common. Mind maps can show commonality, which can lead to a breakthrough. Give it a try and see how well it works for whatever you need.


I am not one who is comfortable talking about myself but here goes. I enjoy writing, family history, and reading. I decided to do this blog because I wanted to try something new. I decided to make it a weekly blog because I wasn't sure that I could keep up with a daily one, and monthly seemed like I was writing a magazine. I think I did ok with my choices. You'll notice that there are not a lot of graphics on my site. That's because there are graphics plastered everywhere on the Internet and those sites sometimes take forever to load. This blog is a place where you can kick back, relax and be ready to be amused. At least I hope I willbamuse you. This blog is on a variety of subjects from my ficitional cat agency, the FFL, which is monthly, to instructional blogs to editorials, which are my opinions only. I admit that I don't know everything and could be wrong -- I frequently am. Now, stop reading about me and read what I have to say!

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Posted in Writing Techniques

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© Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den, 2010-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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