From My Linear Brain To Yours

Dustin, over at one of my fave new blogs: The Writer’s Technology Companion, posed a contest disguised as a question yesterday…

Where Do You Get Your Ideas? [for writing]

You see the prize for the contest is a free copy of iMindMap software (retailing imindmap at over $200).  And mind-mapping is an incredibly powerful tool for some people.  H-T, my right brained, visual kiddo is a master mind mapper.  I’m not sure if people with dyslexia find it easier to mind-map or not, but he just “gets it”.  He can come up with fifteen solutions to a problem by just mapping things out.

My brain looks at his brain and just shakes its head. 

You know those timelines that teacher’s love so much?  That’s how my brain works.  Left to right.  Beginning to end.  Even the most creative story writing I have ever done has been by starting at the beginning, and writing chronologically right to “THE END”.  I may have a general outline of where the story is going to go, but most of it gets figured out along the journey.

So where do my ideas come from then?  If you don’t brainstorm, or mind-map, or use graphic organizers of any sort, how do you know when you have a creative idea? 

Well, I’ll tell you.  When my actual thinking brain is on, I only think sequentially.  But when I am in “off” mode (loading the dishwasher, taking a shower, running errands) the most wonderful random thoughts just pop in my head.  Sometimes they stick, sometimes they go down the drain with the dishwater.  But when they stick, I jot them down somewhere, and thus begins a blog idea, a story idea, a solution to a problem at work. Recently, I was snapping green beans and got the greatest idea for a new homeschooling article! 

Now, granted, I can’t really take credit for something that randomly pops in my head.  People who mind-map and brainstorm actually work for a living.  I just catch whatever random radio-wave happens to come along on my frequency.  So it’s cheating.  Possibly even plagiarizing if the radio wave came from some guy down the street who was busy mind-mapping and carelessly left his window open. 

timeline1_thumbnail I can live with that.  We left-brained people gotta take our inspiration where we can get it.

If you would rather get your ideas the legal way, head over to TWTC and get in on this great contest…

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4 Responses

  1. Thanks again, Kerry! I posted a comment on his blog and said you were the one who sent me there 🙂

  2. This is very interesting. I’m learning a lot from you. 🙂 I love timelines too, and it’s true, I think sequentially. But half my family is the other way. I’ll have to learn more about this. Thanks!

  3. Thank you for sharing this – I just went and made an entry in his comments myself.

  4. Glad everyone is getting a chance to enter! Hope one of “my” bloggers is the big winner!!

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