Why authors should use Mind Maps

I use Mind Mapping daily to organise, store and expand my thought processes. My current novel exists as a wall sized mind map which I add to as new research and knowledge comes my way.

Mind Map templateSo when I started mentoring authors, it was only natural I used them – both over the Internet using desktop sharing and in the workshop using good old paper and coloured pencils.

It got me thinking though as to why they were so good as tools in the creative process & here’s what came to me.

Mind Maps are about more than just getting your thoughts down on paper in an organic fashion.

The left hemisphere is known as the logical controlling part of the brain – it has it’s uses but can suppress the creative right hemisphere. Perhaps it does this like the devil on the shoulder whispering internally things like, “Don’t be stupid, no-one will want to read your book.” or “When are you going to find time to write?”.

Mind mappingWhen presented with a Mind Map, the left brain can be tricked into thinking that there’s a logical problem to tackle and may say, “I like structure, let me deal with that.”

The right brain can then seize it’s moment and while the left brain is busy analysing the size, shape and detail of the map, it can unleash it’s full creativity – sort of under the radar.

What actually happens is slightly less subversive. The map encourages the two hemispheres to operate in harmony – in ‘whole brain thinking’. When the map is complete, you get even more benefits.

The map itself becomes not only committed to memory but is actually stored in the brain as a neural pathway.

This pathway radiates out to the cosmic mind with it’s full intention and then the coincidences and enlightenments start to happen ….. and where it gets really funky is when you embed your timeline into the map – more on both of these subjects later …

Click here to get a mind map that describes this article diagramatically

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If you are interested in mind mapping and want to do it on computer, I use and recommend iMindmap which is available as a free trial download for both PC, Linux and Mac

Download a trial version here

How to remove writer’s block in two days

The Book InsideBudding authors in Guildford are invited to join a unique workshop which promises to give them the tools to start their book within two days, and help kick-start a new career as a published author.

The innovative workshop, Unleash the Book Inside You, is being delivered for the fifth time in the area by author, poet and mentor Tom Evans on the 20-21st October in Guildford.

Tom created this successful workshop with the aim of helping would-be authors overcome some of the commonest obstacles to launching their career, the difficulty focusing the mind and the dreaded writer’s block.

Tom said, “They say there’s a book in everyone but, for most people, the thought of writing their best seller is so daunting they simply never start. Another reason people don’t pick up their pen is because they think they simply don’t have the time. There is a way though. The human mind is so powerful that your book can virtually write itself without your conscious control.”

He became fascinated with the phenomena of the ‘light bulb moment’ which set him on the creative road to publishing success. As an engineer, he started to research where they came from and how the mind generates them.

With what he then learned, he discovered how he can teach others so they can tap into those precious and magical ‘light bulb moments’.

He said, “The key to getting your book to write itself is to engage in “whole brain thinking”. Tom uses mind maps extensively to help authors synchronise both brain hemispheres. The left hemisphere is great at being logical and saying things like “don’t be stupid, you don’t have time to write a book and who would be interested in reading it anyway?”

“By mind mapping, this logical left hemisphere is kept happy as it has a structure to deal with. The right hemisphere can then unleash its creative juices while the left is kept busy. “

“With both hemispheres working in harmony, authors are then helped even further by introducing them to guided meditations to quieten the conscious mind and give them access to their unconscious.”

With the whole mind working in harmony, Tom then weaves some more magic to get the authors to tap into inspiration.

The whole process, which can sometimes include techniques such as Time Line Therapy and even Past Life Regression, helps authors find their guiding motivation, book title, plot lines and ‘words that write themselves.

The positive feedback to date for the course has been outstanding.

One client summed up the experience thus, “There is no other way to write a book. Tom injects a certain magic to the whole process. From thinking I couldn’t write a book to suddenly finding the words flowing was fantastic. An excellent balance of structure and creativity. Loads of practical info on how to write and get published.”

Details and registration here

Note that the workshop is also available as a correspondence course at the same price – and the course can of course be taken anywhere in the world.

The spirit of collaboration

An increasing number of people are going it alone, leaving the supposed safety of corporate life and setting up shop by themselves.

Either they practice their corporate skill in a private setting or do something completely tangential like setting up a surf shop or feng shui practice for dog’s kennels.

Either way, working for yourself can be a lonely existence. No water cooler at which to bitch about customers, suppliers or fellow employees. No gossip and no shoulder for support in times of strife.
When you are delivering your product or service, you’re not spinning the sales and marketing plate – and vice versa.

When you come up with that “Great Idea”, you may be daunted by the size and scale of the opportunity. It’s better to have 25% of something big than 100% of something small or non-existent.

Great idea
These are situations where collaboration comes into its own. Collaboration allows small, medium and micro businesses to think and act big.
One such collaboration was a book called BusinessWise that shot to the number 2 position for business books on Amazon when it came out. In itself, it’s a collaboration too – with one chapter each written by 20 authors.
The brain child of Andy Coote and Mindy Gibbins-Klein of Ecademy Press – again a collaborative business that in itself sprang from a rich resource of potential collaborators – the Ecademy social business network.
Here’s what one reader said about it:

“It’s great to get a perspective from so many contributors who write such “easy to understand” yet “extremely informative” words. My favourite chapter is “The Spirit of Collaboration” by Tom Evans. His words of wisdom make so much sense to me . . it almost feels like he knows my own thoughts really well. This is definitely a “MUST BUY” book for anyone with a small business and BIG ambitions. “Karen Maskall, Ecademy


Read this sample chapter and introduction to the book to find out how you can work smart by collaborating.
Download your complimentary copy of The Spirit of Collaboration here

And if you like it and want to read loads more gems of wisdom, buy a copy of the book here

Embedding Personal Timelines in Mind Maps

Each of us operates in a three dimensional world. Our sense of up and down, backwards and forwards and left and right is embedded deep in our neurology and something we share with most of the animal kingdom. In evolutionary terms.

This sense must have evolved millions of years ago, probably in sea life that had more need for a 3-D map of the world than us land based creatures.

With the appearance of our conscious minds and our self awareness, a sense of time emerged that was not just linked to the diurnal rising of the Sun and Moon or the seasons. It’s probable that this facility is just a million or so years old. The fact that ancient astronomers could make amazing forward predictions like predicting the precession of the equinoxes means that is must have been fairly advanced by the time we came down from the trees. It’s possible that homo sapiens is alone in having this facility but perhaps a sense of the future, and the past, is something we share with elephants and cetaceans. This is a sense of time not to be confused with your dog simply wanting to go for a walk.

TimelinesWe not only have this sense of time but it appears we map it into our spatial dimensions. If you close your eyes and imagine where your past is, you are likely to say either behind or to the left of you. Or somewhere between, perhaps pointing downwards or upwards too or even in a three dimensional cone. Likewise, most people say that their future is to the front or right of them. Note that other strange spiral or reversed timelines also crop up.

Several therapeutic techniques, such as Timeline Therapy®, make use of this phenomenon. You can take a person back into their past to help clear current emotional issues relating to past experiences. Psychological trauma also occurs while in the womb. If the therapist is so trained, this doesn’t even have to be limited solely to this lifetime.

Likewise, you can take a client into the future, get them to anchor the feeling of achieving a goal or success and then bring them back to the present. This seems to somehow entangle the present with the future and help people reach said goal. Amazing transformations can be made by a skilled practitioner using these techniques.

In our writing workshop and home study course, we make use of the tendency of the brain to encode time into our spatial awareness when constructing any time-based mind maps.

For example, when an author needs to change their schedule to generate time (or is it space?) to write, we find it useful to put the goals and change in behaviour into the position on the map corresponding with their future and past as seen in their personal timeline.

Using our visualisation techniques, the resulting map seems to embed itself into not only the memory, as all maps do, but into the neurology actually encouraging the behavioural change necessary to generate quality writing time.

yourtimeline_450

Other map layouts suit other time based activities. For example, if you are project planning a sequence of milestones, where there is no real emotional context, a clock face map seems easy to commit to memory.

For details of our writing workshops and home study courses, click here

Stairway to Publishing Heaven

9 Steps to Publishing HeavenPublishing a book is journey. Much like climbing Everest .. or simply going on holiday.

With some planning, the right mind set and the wind behind you and not against you, the journey to publishing heaven can become an enjoyable and calculated process.

Step 1: become lucky
Getting a book in print, publicised and read by the right people needs a considerable amount of good luck. As Gary Player, the golfer said, “The more I practice, the luckier I get.” And you can practice being more lucky and getting good fortune to shine on you.

If you haven’t read it already, get a copy of The Celestine Prophecy to gen up on the subject or get Psycademy’s free Simple Guide for Having a Good day (and how to remember your dreams).

Step 2: why are you writing?
Before you start writing properly, you need to establish what you are going to write, why are you writing it and when are you going to write it. And, from day, it is really worth thinking about how you are going to sell it and what is going to do for you or your business.

Step 3: what are you writing?
Research what you plan to write. Who else has done something similar? What sources are you going to draw on? What will be different about your book and what new angle do you plan to take? Do you need to hone a writing style and learn the craft? There are many good books on the subject.

Step 4: what does your book look like?
Next define your book structure. What exactly are you going to write about? How will it be structured? What assets do you need like images, graphics, exercises and quotes? At this stage, it is also worth thinking about intellectual property rights and ensuring you have permission to use all the components you are thinking about in your book.

Step 5: how will you write your book?
There are probably billions of books in the world but I guess there are even more unfinished manuscripts. In order not to augment the latter list, you need to create the space to write. It might involve taking a writing holiday or break, just stopping watching your favourite soaps or getting up an hour early. My personal approach is to pack all work into a 4 day a week, leaving an indulgent Friday for writing.
You need to do this for the duration of writing the first draft. Let’s say you want to write a 12 chapter book. You should budget for between 8 -12 days of writing. If you learn how to channel the process can be much quicker.

Step 6: commission your first edit or critical review
This can be a scary step when you get someone else to look at your work.w. This could be done by a friend or outsourced to one of the many third party companies who specialise in this service. You are not necessarily looking for someone to correct typos and grammar. More for a holistic viewpoint on structure and whether you are achieving your goals for the book.

Step 7: honing your book
Incorporate feedback from the first edit and prepare a second draft for more detailed review. This phase naturally will vary time-wise depending on how much work is to be done.

Step 8: iteration to your final draft
Your second edit is submitted for more detailed copy writing and proof reading. Some people do this together and sometimes you may have to loop around Step 8 a few times.

Step 9: designing your book
When you have your final draft it’s time to submit it to the typography, pagination and design process. This is something you should have set up and thought about while the first edit was being carried out so that, by the time you are ready to move, you have found a designer and a route for publication.

More information on these latter two crucial steps coming soon …. and the many options open to you to get in print nowadays.

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Useful Links

The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

Get your free Simple Guide to Having a Good Day

Books on developing your writing style

Unleash the Book Inside Workshop

Unleash the Book Inside Correspondence Course

The perfect title for your book …

I believe that having the perfect title for your book from the outset is really important. Visitors either enter a web site or go elsewhere within 10 seconds.
In the same way, readers decide if they want to know more about a book based on the title, in a similar amount of time.

An evocative title will resonate with the reader and make it easier to remember, share and recommend.

Jerzy Kosinski, the author of Being There said, “I always start a novel by starting its first page and last page, which seem to survive almost intact through all the following drafts and changes.”

Once you get that perfect title and those opening and closing words, the rest just seems to flow.

I have been able to channel for my own writing for some time now. Recently though, I have started to do this for my clients and some amazing stuff is happening.

If you are interested in experiencing how this is done, I am now offering this as a service over the phone anywhere in the world.

Once you get going in this way, a chain of quantum entanglement is set up that leads to a sequence of coincidences that get your book written, published and just in the hands of the right readers ….

… note that I can use the same technique for product naming and company naming AND I channel names that are available as dot.com’s without having to necessarily use WHOIS lookups.

Just get in touch and kick start your book today – http://thebookwright.com/contact-tom/

Want to know the art & science behind light bulb moments?

It’s somewhat ironic that Edison, who invented the light bulb by trying 10,000 or so possible filaments, probably didn’t know this particular secret. If he did, he could have saved himself a lot of time.

Have you ever woken up one day and had a light bulb moment – perhaps with a brilliant idea for a book you’d like to write? Have you then been daunted by the thought of the prospect you’d actually have to write it?

Imagine then if you knew how to continually tap into even more light bulb moments on demand such that the ideas you have for the book and the words in it are just right first time. Couldn’t you save yourself loads of time, sweat and tears?

Well, you can learn the secrets behind how to do this on my one day workshop and my 1-2-1 correspondence course to Unleash the Book Inside.

I have been swamped with ideas since I was a child and recently have tapped into the source of all ideas AND how I can teach others to do just the same – doing this for others was even one of my own light bulb moments !

So, if you want to write a book and you are faced with the challenge of not knowing where to start and with the fear that your inspirational flow might dry up, then the Unleash the Book Inside workshop and correspondence course is for you.

Details and registration to the next workshop here
http://www.psycademy.co.uk/thebookinside.htm

and details on the 1-2-1 correspondence course that you can take anywhere on the planet, with a ‘phone line here
http://www.psycademy.co.uk/downloads/utbi_correspondenceCourse.pdf

Note, if you’ve started a book already and are stuck, give me a call too … I can definitely help you


Here’s what previous clients and attendees said :
“I attended Tom’s workshop today expecting a course about the mechanics of writing. What I got was even better which was the mechanics of inspiration! Tom showed us how to think about writing but also how to stop thinking about it and start doing it! It has inspired me to action! If you want to write a book or even just write regular articles then I thoroughly recommend it.” – Richard White

“There is no other way to write a book. Tom injects a certain magic to the whole process.”

“Tom is able to communicate complex ideas and theories in an extremely engaging fashion. Budding authors will find Tom inspiring.”

“This is cutting edge thinking about how our minds work but presented in an easily digestible manner.”

“Really thought provoking, reinforcing the importance of meditation.”

“His insights, intuition and inspiration are invaluable – from thinking I couldn’t write a book to suddenly finding the words flowing was fantastic. Tom has an amazing way of seeing the things that you don’t see during the writing process, which helps unblock those ‘writers block’ moments.” – Jo Simpson, Dubai

“He mentors you in assembling your material in the best way possible, leading to the addition of dimensions that you had not even thought of yet. I now have restored belief in my writing ability and creativity.”