The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Untapped Potential by Tony Buzan with Barry Buzan. New York: Plume/Penguin, 1996. 320 pp. $17.25. Paper
In my seminars, I have occasionally recommended Tony Buzan’s mind mapping strategy as a means of breaking through writer’s block and generating ideas. Convinced that the mindset of labeling people left—or right-brained is counterproductive, Buzan borrows from the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci and Pablo Picasso to assert that we all have a greater capacity for creativity than we realize. Through mind mapping, Buzan claims, “the more you learn/gather new data in an integrated, radiating organized manner, the easier it is to learn more.”
His technique encourages the use of colors, pictures, and single words to create associations for stimulating focused ideas. In Chapter 2 of my book, The Art of On-the-Job Writing, I mention other techniques that may be useful to writers, such as idea tags and idea lists; however, I know that Buzan’s methodology has worked for me, especially when my emotions run high and I have to work through.
I question whether mind mapping can take a fiction writer through the maze of a complex plot he is establishing in a novel, or whether it can help a proposal writer find the best phrasing for her intended audience. Nevertheless, if reducing writer’s block to become more efficient is your priority, then The Mind Map Book is a worthwhile read.
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