The Power of Brain Dumping

When you were learning to write, your teachers probably shared information on how to brainstorm. I know, because I used them when I was a teacher. I had my students draw a cloud in the middle of the paper for the topic and lightning bolts coming from the cloud for possible main ideas. The raindrops represented the additional subtopics and details. Clever right? I thought so too. 😊 But here’s the thing sometimes my students would get so caught up in drawing perfection that they’d miss the mark on their brainstorming. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a great graphic organizer as a writing tool. However, I have found much more freedom and flexibility in “brain dumping”. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Brain dumping is just that, dumping everything that is in your mind onto paper. It doesn’t have to be organized in a specific way. It doesn’t even have to make sense. The only rules – 1) dump it all, and 2) don’t stop until you feel empty (or until the timer goes off)! After you’ve dumped all of your ideas around a topic, you can begin to look for themes and connection points. Use the recurring themes and related content to craft your writing. Don’t trash the unused ideas. They may be fruitful in other efforts.

In short, brain dumping is powerful because:

1)      It is not just for writing. Brain dumping can be used to bring clarity in many areas of life (career, decision making, event planning, etc.).

2)      1 brain dump = many options. Brain dumping often yields inspiration for new efforts and next endeavors.

How have you embraced the power of brain dumping?