People who are visual thinkers have a unique way of looking at the world.
They also approach their writing in a different manner. Because they think through visual processing and use parts of their brains that are more emotional and creative, they often have trouble putting words to their thoughts.
Instead of thinking in words, they think in pictures.
Maybe you are an artist or a designer, and you find writing to be a difficult and challenging task. If that is the case, the following strategies will help you unlock your writing potential and master your muse.
1. Mind Mapping
The three most common problems associated with visual thinkers are lack of words, problems of writing in sequence and problems of context. To deal with problems associated with sequencing, it is better to mind map first and then sequence your ideas.
A mind map is a visual form or diagram used to generate and record ideas around a central theme. It is visual, non-linear and similar to how your brain naturally generates ideas.
As a typical visual thinker, you might be so engrossed in the story told by pictures in your head, that you find it hard to organize information in a logical manner. Once you have a clear mind map, it would be much easier for you to come up with a start, middle and an end for your piece.
Freewriting is an excellent way to improve your writing. And, it works for everyone.
The main idea behind freewriting is that it is timed, and it is done without any revision or editing. You write for a set period of time without worry about grammar, spelling, punctuation, or sentence structure.
Usually you write for 5 -10 minutes, and you write quickly, without stopping. The purpose? To get into the flow and get everything out on the paper. Because you are not thinking and judging your writing, it promotes discovery of words. It is a process to relax your mind and reveal hidden ideas.
You have to be a little patient though; visual thinkers are often late bloomers and take lots of time and practice to develop their written abilities.
3. Wordlists and Outlines
Wordlists are quick and fun to create. You can start by jotting words in individual categories and allow for ideas to bloom, paving way for new words to come to surface.
Creating outlines also helps ideas and new words to emerge, almost without any hard work. One great way of doing this is to use sticky notes to create your lists. This way, you can move your notes around and allow the ideas to flow in a natural and logical manner.
Using both these methods will result in more confident visual thinkers, who are at ease with expressing themselves on paper.
4. Dictionary and Thesaurus
A big issue for visual thinkers is when trying to put words down, you become frustrated because the pictures don’t translate well. You need to learn words and phrases that evoke vivid sensory imagery.
To facilitate this, you need to increase your vocabulary naturally by reading as much as you can. Develop a healthy reading habit and branch out into areas you normally don’t pursue.
A great tool to help you find new words is a thesaurus or a dictionary. After you have finished your brainstorming and mind mapping exercises, you need to develop it further in clear, concise and readable formats. These word resources are great for polishing your writing when you are at the editing stage.
Once you have all the basics, you should get in the habit of writing and possibly publishing your work. An excellent option to achieve this is to start your own blog. You can write on a whole bunch of topics or you can choose one. You may want to make it public or choose to share only with select friends or family. In any case, it is an excellent way of practicing writing on a regular basis.
Thoughts? Any visual thinkers out there?
Patrick and Marya Jan are part of the blogging team for Open Colleges. It is one of Australia’s pioneer and leading providers of Business management courses and Human resources courses.
IMAGE CREDIT: SPFF