Using images to figure out what to write

I often get stuck when I am coming up with ideas to write about. I stare at the blank screen and wonder what I should say. Using visuals I can get clear and come up with things to write about. This is how I do it.

Why do you want to write?

Think about why you want to write. In the example I will share here, I’ll focus on identifying important things to share about the work we do with images. We need these ideas for this blog, and for our biweekly newsletter.

Once you know what you are trying to achieve, craft a question that starts where you are and moves you toward what you are trying to do. I’m always looking to get clearer about what’s important to say about the work we do. I ask:

What is important to communicate about our work?

Select images that say something about the question

What is important to communicate about our work?

 

Go through your collection of images and select ones that spark something for you. It could be something that reminds you of what someone else said, or it can be something that sparks an idea. The possibilities are endless. Just allow your mind to wander, but work quickly. You don’t want to think too much.

Once you have selected your pictures arrange them on a table or desk in any way that makes sense to you. This is your collective image in answer to the question you asked.

You can use any of the VisualsSpeak tools for this exercise. I set up a session on the online ImageCenter to explore my question, and chose the Developing Great Leaders Deck.

 

Reflecting on what you see

There is information in the stories of the individual pictures as well as in how the images relate to one another. For this question, I used virtual sticky notes and wrote notes about what the images said to me in relationship to the question I asked.

 

What else do you see?

Look back over your image to see what else you notice. I started to think about how our tools and processes form a spine of techniques, that can branch off in many directions to achieve different outcomes. There are core processes that have been tested, but they remain flexible and able to respond to whatever you encounter with your participants. Any content can be explored or deepened with visual methods.

My conclusion: Visual tools are as versatile as you are.

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