Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Brainstorming: Installment #1

By Mariah Bennett-Gillard

It really doesn’t matter if you are a natural born writer, a mathematician, or a political leader; everyone experiences writer’s block. Fortunately there are tactics that can make the writing experience less painful, and even fun, depending on which one works for you. The trick is to find a new path to your creativity.

One way to move beyond writer’s block is to add visual images to your writing process. For example, say your subject for your research paper is the pyramids of Egypt. Try googling your subject and clicking on “images”. Then you can take a tour of the pyramids and their contents without having to leave the room. You can see them in color or black and white; day or night; up close or far away; and you may even be able to locate a virtual tour that will walk you through the pathways. Maybe you will notice something particularly interesting that you want to focus on in your paper, or something that you forgot about completely until seeing it again.

A second way to spark your imagination is to play music. All subjects have music to go along with them. Find that music and listen to it for a while. Consider playing it while you are looking at the images, writing your paper, or while you are taking notes. Different genres of music exist to reflect mood, history, or to tell a story. So, listening to the French national anthem while writing your paper on World War II in France could be extremely inspirational.

Part of this method is combing through other peoples’ perspectives on the subject, figuring out what yours is, adding something to it, and communicating your interpretation effectively. Knowing how you feel and what you think about your subject will help you express your ideas on the topic.

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