Like any other creative field, the content arena is also fuelled by new ideas. Content writing requires new ideas, creation on the other hand can also not propagate without it.
But new ideas are neither on sale, nor do they grow on trees. Ideas just take birth in your mind. You need to identify, acknowledge and then nurture them further. Simple enough? You wish. Here is where brainstorming comes to perspective. But, what is brainstorming?
Want to try to get something from the name itself ?
Think of brainstorming as an amalgamation of 2 parts: brain and storm. The process means channelling the brain’s energy into a storm for making the ideas flow.
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What is Brainstorming?
Brainstorming means using your mind to curate ideas. It is a process that is performed to channellize all your imaginative, creative and thinking skills on one topic so that you can produce new ideas from them. It can also be allied idea generation but the process happens only after you have got a ground to step onto further building a cluster from it. It involves a lot of cerebral processes like thinking, analysing, reasoning, judgement, learning etc.
The most simple brainstorming definition is, “producing an idea that can be used to solve a problem in a spontaneous group discussion session”. It is rather considered a group activity but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it by yourself. . It is directly related to generating ideas in your mind.
The brainstorming definition goes by everything that the term means. The activity on the contrary is not that complex. If done efficiently, your brainstorming sessions can actually help you come up with new ideas and even give you a different perspective of doing things
What do you basically do while Brainstorming ?
Brainstorming meaning is not just limited to a process you can perform to generate ideas in your mind. It is a method that you can work with everyday in solving your littlest problems with the help of new ideas that come to your mind while doing it.
A session needs to have a topic. Without a topic, you and the group (if any) will not have anything to brainstorm.The topic should be carefully chosen. As you see, An extremely specific topic will not qualify for a group session because there are chances you might run out of the content to think about. Such topics can curb down the thinkers and their thinking process as there is limited information that has surfaced till now. Similarly, if the topic is loose ended and has a plethora of content in it, the discussion might become directionless and there eventually might be no desired result.
The topic that you have to brainstorm should be carefully picked and be something that can lead you and the team to a legitimate destination.
This is why you should Brainstorm.
Brainstorming process is not complex, it might be lengthy but it sure is fun and simple. The easiest meaning of brainstorming could be to think and gather.
Before you start the writing process, having nearly everything planned out beforehand will give you the benefit of clarity and the following steps will become easy to propagate.
Generating ideas produces more ideas. Having a bunch of them ready before you commence writing is a proactive step, which will fasten the process.
The Brainstorming Process
If you’re new to brainstorming, here’s a quick six-step method you can follow to get the best results.
Make the environment conducive for deep thinking. That accounts for no internet, no gadgets and no other digital media.
Have a physical surface where you can easily jot down whatever comes to mind, a paper or a board.
Main focal points
Write down the most important pointers in the subject. The points that hold the most focus, will guide to sub topics.
Refocus on the loopholes
There will be topics that will have a lot of loopholes. Those loopholes will need refocus as they have hidden connotations that are hard to decipher in the initial stages.
This is the first thing to do in the process. Pen down the words that come to your mind when thinking about the topic. For example, “Snow” will make you think of “ Winter” or. “Winter” will take you to “Cold” and “Cold” will remind you of “Mountains”. This will help you understand the relationship between the words that are so closely knit but have such vast meanings and connotations.
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What after Brainstorming ?
The process is just for gathering the ideas, you need to organise them in a manner that makes a structure. Whatever content that you are willing to create, be it a blog,or a video it will need a structure, wherein you will need to place these ideas. These ideas will strengthen your overall result.
A group discussion where the participants are willing to reach a destination that is productive towards the ultimate goal, good content creation is not easy to conduct or propagate. There are a lot of opinions, points of view and perspectives that are actively playing their part in reaching the common goal.
It’s imperative to consider a few things that lead to a good brainstorming session. These are some of the rules to go by:
Encourage idea communication
When a group sits together to work on thinking of an idea for content, there are few people who do not feel comfortable sharing their viewpoints. Idea communication should be encouraged and each and every participant should be a part of the conversation.
Every idea counts. There should be no discouragement or strong disagreement of someone’s ideas. It becomes imperative for the group to listen to the idea and then decide whether to take it to the next level or not. There should be no place for unethical disagreements in a brainstorming session.
Quantity weighs over quality
Unlike others, brainstorming is a process where the quantity matters more than the quality. There is a specific reason for that. The more the idea flows, the more will be for the group to communicate about. And as you know, ideas lead to more and better ideas.
Build on the ideas
This phase is why the quantity of the ideas is more significant than what quality those ideas have. You can build an idea on an existing one. The existing idea will leverage the process of brainstorming and you can actually build ideas on someone else’s making the whole cluster stronger.
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The ideas belong to the group
The main purpose of the group is to work on one goal. That goal is to cultivate the best ideas for content. What goes without saying is that the idea should eventually go to the group’s credit and not to some individual.
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Freewriting is considered as the first step to writing. In the process you write whatever pops up your mind catering to the topic. Freewriting can actually lead to good results because it can train your brain to get acquainted with the topic and work on the naturally flowing content. That content is free from the self critic that sits inside all of us while doing such creative and professional jobs. This brainstorming technique helps the writer to connect to his/her thoughts while penning down the content from the brain.
This brainstorming technique is really fun and interesting. Write the word(s) that easily sums up your subject in the middle. Extend lines and write the next word that your mind has arrived to, at the other end of it. At the end of the session, you will have a bunch of words that sum up your overall subject. This technique gives best results when a big group is involved.
Break down the topic
Allow your brain to focus on something that is not too constrictive nor very wide. Give your thought process a slot to wander. This is the compartmentalisation of the subject. The brainstorming technique is not overtly significant in theory but can be extremely important when it comes to actually performing it. You can easily brainstorm the ideas and move forward swiftly without getting stuck or lost.
This technique gives you a wholesome idea about your content/topic. There are 3 perspectives that help you in seeing things completely.
The 3 perspectives are Describing, Tracing and Mapping your topic.
Run your topic through these 3 strategies to have a more detailed view. You will be easily able to garner information about the subject’s features, nature, history, influence, etc.
The technique of cubing refers to viewing the subject from 6 different angles, like a cube. The topic will go through these 6 phases in this technique:
These sides should be able to provide you with a broader meaning and connotation of your subject.
Ever heard of the big 6 questions. The what, where, when, who, why and how of any particular subject. These are called the journalist’s questions. They might seem simple but have the potential to sum up the whole story. This technique works wonders when brainstorming a subject from scratch.
Thinking out of the box
Brainstorming is the process of extensively searching the ideas that are hidden in your brain. This process will help you bring those ideas on the surface. Pair the process with the technique of thinking outside the box. Regular thoughts will come to your mind again, dedicate this technique in this process to get the best results.
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Using charts or shapes
Use rich media such as charts and shapes instead of plain text to amplify the process. Such engaging media will also catch the participant’s eyes which will increase their productivity during the process.
Brainstorming works wonders for your content. Content creation is a very flexible job and is highly instinctive. It has both advantages and disadvantages. It surely gives you the room to improvise but can often be the reason why you are lost in the process. Brainstorming will help you in making the process much more disciplined.