Expression through words is one of the most beautiful forms of art. But, humans by nature are undoubtedly visual creatures. Even while reading a piece of literature, poetry, any report or description, there is an image that our brain tends to associate with the text. Sometimes, one of the highest praises that a classic literature gets is on how it paints a ‘vivid picture’. Which is why, a mind-map is most successful in translating thoughts on paper.
We all know what is a mind-map, even if some of us may not call it that. It could more or less be described as a pictorially graphical layout of ideas, concepts, and their sequences branching from a central, core thematic approach. It is literally mapping what's in the mind in respect of a chosen theme or subject.
Before I write anything, I usually have a mind-map. From my academic research to casual essays, there is always a theme, and I brainstorm ideas around all aspects of the central theme using a mind-map. But, why should you use a mind-map?
1. You get a clear picture of the content you are going to translate into writing.
2. You immediately get to know if you have a lack of content on a subject, which would leave you with unanswered question areas on which you can hypothesize your perspectives.
3. It gives you further insight into which questions need more research on.
4. You get to roughly know how much emphasis and words to allocate to every aspect. This is very useful when there is a word limit, and ensures that you don’t harp long on a trivial aspect and write only two lines on an important one.
5. You brainstorm each aspect, and it is easy to spot what you have missed.
6. You successfully avoid repetition.
A writing translated from a mind-map clearly shows high on planning, and also results in a coherent and easily comprehensible work. This is true even for creative writing as an art, and I have personal experience with that. A mind-map doesn’t have to be in a rigid format- it is more like a rough sketch for you to get an overall feel of ‘I know what I’m doing’.
So, try it out, experiment, and find your own formula as to how to organize what you write!