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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Brainstorming Techniques

What do you do before you set out on your morning jog or that afternoon bike ride through the city? You stretch, right? What happens when you don't stretch? Exactly, cramps, pulled muscles you name it. Well, think of brainstorming as the stretch before you write.

Brainstorming has no rules except one: there are no rules. Therefore, just write or type whatever thoughts run through your mind. Forget grammar, spelling and punctuation. You can always grab a dictionary, grammar check or spell check; that part is easy. Coming up with that can be difficult. Free yourself from the stress of having to produce a "perfectly" written and "perfectly" developed piece. Instead focus on allowing your ideas to flow and encourage creativity. Set no limits and avoid listening to the negative whispers in your ears, for they serve to hinder any chances you have of producing something that truly displays who you really are and what you really believe. Dare to be different, unusual but not necessarily weird.

(My son took this picture at an aquarium in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Even though I suggested it was a bad idea because it was too dark in the room, he did it anyway. Ironically, it became one of our favorite photos of that trip. )

What would you rather read? Predictable, safe and unemotional rhetoric? Or truthful, direct and sometimes unconventional writing? Brainstorming may, and I do say may, allow you to find that inner voice, the real voice inside you that has not had a chance to speak because it is too worried about sounding right and looking right. If you get a chance, just try writing, nothing else but writing. Don't think about "how" to write, just write.

  1. free writing (looks like a paragraph)
  2. listing (a to do list of words or phrases)
  3. questioning (who, what, where, when , why and how)
  4. clustering or mapping (draw a circle...attach lines or legs, that's what I call them... write your main idea in the circle and on the legs whatever comes to mind)


  1. Great suggestions! I find myself more and more 'blocked' these days..(I like to blame it on the nice weather!)
    I like the cluster suggestion..I'm going to try it!
    Thanks for sharing...(great photo by the way!)

  2. I like the way you brok the techniques down and gave an explantion on brainstorming and that it can help us be better creative. Good post. :)

  3. I've used Mindjet's MindMap for all my brainstorming work. I recently used it on a collaborative web session with the sales and implementation team at my company. It was such a powerful experience for all, the CEO decided to standardize around this tool.

  4. Hello, you got it to the point, very personal and well written post about barinstorming.

  5. I'll have to try 'clustering' ... great post :) thank you!

  6. This is a great resource. You've got some really helful tools here.

  7. I love your son's photograph. It is amazing.
    The only way I can write is sit down and type whatever comes out. I usually think no one but myself will understand it. Most of the time I am surprised when others "get it" too.

  8. Mme Fearless, your son has "the eye". His picture is flawless. He really captured the spirit - Nards

  9. Thank you all for your feedback and for stopping by. :)

  10. Namaste' fearless, wow, you know I had never thought of it like that, I am an avid worker outer (I know not a word!) so of course I stretch before and after...but till you wrote somthing like this out, I never would have thought of relating the two, awesome!


  11. BTW, tell your son this is an amazing photograph!!!!!!!!!

  12. Perfect explanation. You are a superb teacher.Thank you to remind me about brainstorm.



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