Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ideas aka Brain Dumping (A to Z Blogging Challenge)

I've been plagued with ideas my entire life. I say plagued because sometimes it is difficult to function in daily life with so many ideas swirling around in my mind. I daydream and have constant ideas running through my mind like the ticker tape at the bottom of CNN news. 
Yesterday I wrote about riding motorcycles. One of the things that happens when I'm out there on the road is my mind will switch to idea overload. I am conscious of this and have to reel myself in constantly when I'm driving. Same thing can happen in the car.
There are times, too, when I feel stuck for ideas. That's when I pull out some tools I've learned along the way. Mind mapping, for example.
According to Wikipedia, Tony Buzman coined the term mind map. I learned it while in high school English class for writing stories.  It can be used for any word or idea that you have where you feel stuck. 
It's easy and free! I recommend that you get a blank piece of paper and sit down at a table that has been freed from any clutter. Write a word in the middle and place a circle around it. Now here comes the hard part. You must resist thinking that any idea you have is a bad one. Whatever comes to your mind, WRITE IT. Use lines to branch off that idea and keep writing. When you feel like you've had a complete brain dump, you're done. Now, wasn't that easy?
I used a mind map to write this post. So from my map, you can see that I was trying to think about where my ideas come from.  In linear form (which is kind of boring, in my book) my ideas look like this:
  • photowalking, scavenger hunts
  • talk to strangers, talk to neighbors
  • coffee w/friends, drive down a different street, try new recipes, visit library, do SOMETHING
  • motorcycling, riding in the car, walking the dogs, in the shower
  • life experiences

How about you, where do your ideas come from? I'd love to know! Leave me a comment if you feel inclined.

love, susan


  1. Now that is food for thought...I am still on the fifteen minutes..

  2. the mind map is very useful. I don't use it near enough. You have the most gorgeous handwriting!!! Isn't it sad that they're going to stop teaching handwriting in schools? Such a source of uniqueness and it's going to be stripped away...

  3. Every time I'm driving or running or about to fall asleep, the ideas start to flow! I keep a small notebook with me at all times or use my phone to "write" things down:)

  4. Most of my ideas come from music. A theme, a sound, an atmosphere, sometimes a single line can inspire a lot. Then it snowballs from there...


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