Writing Activity

Now itís your turn to play. Put a circle in the top third of a sheet of paper. Into it, write the word AFRAID. Now cluster for a minute or so, letting your Design mind make whatever connections it wants to. Simply be curious to see what turns up. Donít worry if your associations make little sense to your Sign mind. Your Design mind has its own logic. Draw lines with arrows from the center outward in any direction they want to flow. Youíre tapping into your mute Design mind to discover patterns you didnít know were there until you experience a sense of direction. This direction may be gradual, or it may be a sudden ďAha!Ē Thatís when you start writing. Write quickly without stopping to correct. Trust your Design mindís search for meaningful pattern. Let the writing flow. Taking no more than four or five minutes, let it take any shape it wants to. You donít have to write it; it will write you. Come full circle, as if this piece can stand on its own, just the way it is, for now.

After Writing

Youíve just clustered and written, allowing yourself to experience the collaboration of your Design and Sign minds. Now, read what youíve written aloud. Here is the time to make changes, to delete or add or re-word. Read it again.

Finish the following:

I was surprised. . .

I discovered. . .

I wonder. . .

Your response may be similar to the responses of many first-time clusterers, such as ďI was so absorbed, it was as though I wasnít doing the writing.Ē

Now share your vignette with a friend. Even better is to do this writing activity with someone you know. It will help you see how divergent your experiences are, despite the fact that the triggering nucleus is the same for both of you. It will show you some threads of similarity as well. When a wordóor any stimulusóis filtered through your unique experiential sieve, you canít help but make your own connections. These connections are the beginning of all natural writing. By its very nature, the circle centers, focuses. A circle is beginning and birth, womb and egg. Your circled words contain the seeds of a whole thought. Enjoy the discovery process.

You canít beat, pummel, and thrash an idea into existence. Under such treatment, of course, any decent idea folds up its paws, fixes its eyes on eternity, and dies. ĖRay Bradbury

 
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