I (Tom) use Mind Mapping daily to organise, store and expand my thought processes. My current novel exists as a wall sized mind map which I add to as new research and knowledge comes my way.
So when I started mentoring authors, it was only natural I used them – both over the Internet using desktop sharing and in the workshop using good old paper and coloured pencils.
It got me thinking though as to why they were so good as tools in the creative process & here’s what came to me.
Mind Maps are about more than just getting your thoughts down on paper in an organic fashion.
The left hemisphere is known as the logical controlling part of the brain – it has it’s uses but can suppress the creative right hemisphere. Perhaps it does this like the devil on the shoulder whispering internally things like, “Don’t be stupid, no-one will want to read your book.” or “When are you going to find time to write?”.
When presented with a Mind Map, the left brain can be tricked into thinking that there’s a logical problem to tackle and may say, “I like structure, let me deal with that.”
The right brain can then seize it’s moment and while the left brain is busy analysing the size, shape and detail of the map, it can unleash it’s full creativity – sort of under the radar.
What actually happens is slightly less subversive. The map encourages the two hemispheres to operate in harmony – in ‘whole brain thinking’. When the map is complete, you get even more benefits.
The map itself becomes not only committed to memory but is actually stored in the brain as a neural pathway.
This pathway radiates out to the cosmic mind with it’s full intention and then the coincidences and enlightenments start to happen ….. and where it gets really funky is when you embed your timeline into the map – more on both of these subjects later …
Click here to get a mind map that describes this article diagramatically
If you are interested in mind mapping and want to do it on computer, I use and recommend MindJet’s MindManager which is available as a free trial download for both PC and Mac
Source: The BookWright