Archive for the ‘Brainstorming’ Category

Ah, how to begin

Writing is not easy for me and, I dare say, for most people. I live in a world full of journalist; tortured souls every one.  But they do talk and they talk a lot; about their stories and of course, themselves. It’s this meandering conversation through the news of the day, the office gossip, the […]

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I write, write, and write again.

For me, brainstorming is a recursive process. I always begin with a list, but the list needs to evolve and grow, each point increasing in size and depth, before I am ready to draft. Essentially, it’s a list mutation…bullet points on steroids if you will. I start by writing the main point or concept at […]

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Free Writing and Avoiding Commitment

How do I brainstorm? When I first started thinking about this question, the answer was simple: I don’t. End of blog post. Great work, me! Just kidding. But it is true  that I very rarely sit down with the explicit task of brainstorming or planning in mind. I like to start composing right from the […]

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Its All in the Annotation

Most of my brainstorming happens through annotation while reading. When I read any article, I mark it up like crazy. I underline salient points and put complex sentences in my own words. I compile lists of concepts. I compare the concepts in the article and then link them to ideas from outside reading or from […]

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Brainstorming on everyone’s parade.

As I’ve written before, I’m a procrastinator. A procrastinator who hates to pre-write.  This comic pretty accurately depicts almost every rough draft I’ve ever written:What this comic doesn’t show is my “brainstorming process,” which is basically just me spraying that word vomit on all my friends and relatives.  I begin this usually about a month […]

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A storm in your brain

When I was an undergrad, I would read every essay assignment with a slow, settling horror. At first I’d feel totally overwhelmed and rant to everyone who would listen about how much work I had to do. Then I’d forget about the essay entirely–for a few days, or even weeks. All of a sudden, it […]

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Cooking Up Ideas, Cleaning Up Thoughts: Brainstorming Techniques to Get You Started on a Paper

While working in writing centers and as a student at the undergraduate and graduate levels, I’ve been exposed to a number of different brainstorming techniques. Freewriting. Clustering. Looping. Outlining. And so on. Sometimes in school I was forced to brainstorm using one particular style. Although this did help me to better understand each individual method, […]

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