Books Magazine

Guest Blogger: Pam Johnson: Mind Maps for Writers: Get Inspired and Get Organized

By Dplylemd

Whether you are a person new to the field of writing or someone who has an intense love for the discipline, you might need some help with getting inspired and getting organized. How can mind maps help you to complete both of these tasks?

Bright Idea


The Definition

Before we can properly explain how you might use a mind map to better your writing skills, it’s important that you understand what this type of tool actually is. Basically, you will take a starting word or concept and place it in the middle of the paper. From that, you will stem off into different directions. For example, let’s say that the word in the middle of the paper is “archaeology.” One branch leading from it may say “dig,” and another might say “ancient civilizations.” “Dig” could lead to lines with places where famous digs have been done for example.

Using Some Colors

At first read-through, the description of a mind map might sound rather confusing. After all, you are going to be connected all of these different words and ideas. However, it is possible to accomplish, and it’s wise to look up pictures of one before you get started. You could choose to use a particular color for each main branch you are making, so you can easily follow along with your thought process. You could also use different colored labels to create this type of organizer.

Why It Works

One of the major problems that a lot of people have with writing is getting started. They have no idea what they are going to talk about when it comes to the main topic, so they need to spend a lot of time brainstorming. This type of mind map helps because it lets the writer get his or her ideas down on paper. Instead of wondering what should be said next when typing or writing, the words are neatly laid out in this type of organizer. Of course, not every word has to be used, but it helps the writer to gather his or her thoughts.

Creating an Outline

Making an outline on a piece of paper can also come from this type of mind mapping. If you are familiar with the traditional outline made of Roman numerals and letters, this might help. Consider the word in the middle as the main idea of the entire paper, and you can place this word on the type of your blank sheet. Then, the first offshoots from that word are the Roman numerals. The second offshoots that come from each of those words then act as the capital letters. Once you get the hang of it, you can have a beautiful and helpful outline created in just a few minutes.

Knowing what to write about is one of the hardest parts of crafting a paper or document. People know the main topic that they want to include, but it’s often difficult to fully express those ideas. Using a mind map is one of the most useful tools out there.


Author Pam Johnson is an author of sociology who spends a lot of time evaluating her own writing skills. She obtained her degree from one of the Best Top 10 Online Bachelor’s in Sociology Programs in the country.


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