Real Brainstorming

I am reading the last half of A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. In his book, Daniel outlines six senses: design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning. In his section about symphony, or the ability to put together the pieces, he sets guidelines for real brainstorming. He mentions in his book that these rules come from Tom Kelley’s book, The Ten Faces of Innovation. I thought these were very interesting, especially in how they relate to the ways that I taught brainstorming in writing this year with my “Freewriting Rules” and “braindumping”.

1. Go for Quantity
2. Encourage Wild Ideas
3. Be Visual
4. Defer Judgement
5. One Conversation at a Time

I love these rules! Personally, I think I’ve always been a pretty good brainstormer. I tend to braindump in list form with doodles and drawings. Then I like to categorize things. I definitely need to “talk them over”. Applying these free range rules, and drawing upon my own strengths, makes this one of my favorite parts of the writing process to teach.

When he discusses brainstorming, he mentions taking breaks in your brainstorming sessions in order to be more successful. Notice that brainstorming is just one part of the very recursive writing process, and Daniel Pink suggests that even in that one process, there should be breaks. Maybe I just have TAKS on the mind, but I can’t help but go back to the writing TAKS test. Kids are expected to complete the entire writing process, not just brainstorming, in one sitting, at one time, with zero inspiration, and be successful. Makes me cringe!

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