Let us start with a simple definition of what a mind map is. Simply put it is a picture based on a central idea. It is made up of a series of lines, keywords, images, and colors. The elements of the map are used to represent ideas and tasks.
Mind maps are used to take a core idea and enable the writer to clarify and structure that main idea.
Using the central idea the elements of the mind map are organized into branches from the central theme.
Mind maps are an ideal tool to use when you are writing blog posts, articles, ebooks, etc. They are a great way to start planning anything but they are especially good for authors.
Here are some steps that can be followed to create a mind map:
- Start in the middle of the map with an image of the core topic.
- As progress through the process try to use images, pictures, and colors throughout the mind map.
- As you are brainstorming your ideas you should record keywords and thoughts.
- Each key idea should be put on its own line
- Starting at the central idea the lines radiate outward. As an idea is expanded new lines are connected to the parent line and so on. As they move outwards the lines themselves should get thinner.
- Each line should be the same length as the word/image they support.
- It is essential to use color throughout the mind map as color is better for the mind to remember the content of the map.
- As you develop your mind map you should link the ideas together by grouping ideas and sub-ideas together.
- Don’t make the map too complex – if an idea looks like it will develop into a major concept you should look at creating a new map for that idea and link the maps together.
So, now we know the mind map is created around the central idea you should see that this main concept can be the topic of your writing. As you think about the topic you can put your ideas into the mind map by adding to the nodes as appropriate. This means you are building the outline of your article without worrying about the hierarchical nature of other methods. It is also a method that allows you to work on a topic by freely developing ideas without thinking about how the end piece will be structured.
The use of color, images, words, lines, links, etc is useful in balancing the left and right sides of the brain. There is some theory that by using both sides of the brain your creative capabilities are enhanced and you will write better.
There are a large number of products on the market to help you create your mind maps – just do a Google search on mind mapping.
The use of mind maps is a method to help you brainstorm more creative and more valuable writing so that your readers will want more and keep coming back.
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