One of the most impressive online writing courses today is Ship 30 for 30. The brainchild of Dickie Bush and Nicolas Cole, this cohort-based course has taught over 7,000 students the fundamentals of writing on the internet.
Its goal is to have you produce 30 pieces of published content in 30 days. One of the challenges of doing this, of course, is coming up with ideas to power your writing. One simple framework that Dickie and Nicolas teaches is a set of 10 key topics that you can use as a catalyst to help you brainstorm content ideas.
As an idea person and a prolific creator, I was naturally intrigued by this list – and thought it would be perfectly suited to a mind map. Simply array the 10 key topics around a central theme and let your muse take over!
In the mind map below, which I created using MindMeister, I added several generalized ideas to inspire you with what’s possible. Imagine how much more creative you could be using a visual map like this than simply copying and pasting these 10 topics into a digital note and brutethinking your way to a list of so-so ideas.
(use the controls below the interactive map to center it and zoom. Drag to reposition the map as needed. Click on the branches to expand and contract them)
The mind map makes full use of your mind’s powerful and mysterious associative capabilities. The linear list in your digital note? Not so much. You can continue adding as many ideas as you want, and expand them to any level of detail that makes sense. You can capture extended detail in topic notes, and classify ideas using icons and symbols.
Want to keep track of what inspired an idea? Link to it. You can also use hyperlinks to document the URL where you published an idea.
In addition, this visual format makes it easy to see patterns in your ideas, helping you take advantage of serendipity to enhance and expand them.
The bottom line? For creators, a mind map is a powerful, flexible ideation tool. A set of prompts like the guys from Ship 30 for 30 is the perfect catalyst to get your brain thinking in new directions.
Happy idea hunting!