I often get stuck when I am coming up with ideas for my blogs. 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 a post?
Think about why you want to write a particular post. In the example I will share here, the charter membership for the VisualsSpeak VizPeeps Community is ending at the end of the week. I want to have a series of posts that talk about why people would want to join us.
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 not clear about all the reasons people want to be VizPeeps, so I ask:
What is the value of being a VizPeep?
Select images that say something about the question
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.
I set up a session on the ImageCenter to explore my question. Here is a 2 minute video showing what I selected.
[flowplayer src=’http://www.visualsspeak.com/videos/ValueVizPeeps.mp4′ width=600 height=361 splash=’http://www.visualsspeak.com/newweb/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/VizPeepsValue2.png’]
Describe the image
Once you have created the image, go back and reflect on what the pictures you selected mean in relationship to the question. You can do this by writing or speaking. I often record what I say, then go back and listen to it. It creates a bit of space, which helps us see things slightly differently.
Here is my description of the image I created. The video is 6 minutes long.
[flowplayer src=’http://www.visualsspeak.com/videos/Describevalue.mp4′ width=600 height=500 splash=’http://www.visualsspeak.com/newweb/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/VizPeepValue.png’]
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. I like to use mindmaps to get an overview of the ideas.
Often times the central image holds particular significance. In my example, as I talked about the picture of the potter, I realized there is something about the ability to collaborate- to create something together with other people, that is important to me and part of the value offered.
Take a break
Next do something else. The best thing for me is to do something physical where someone else is affecting what I do. I go to a yoga class, bike ride with other people, walk with a friend. Second choice is to do one of these things alone, play with my cat, or take a shower.
This is for two reasons. First, you change the way you are engaging from visual and verbal to kinesthetic, so it uses other parts of your brain. Second, it provides some space for other ways of knowing to emerge. Fresh eyes often bring fresh insights.
Revisit the visuals
Using the ImageCenter, I can print out a copy of the image I created and use it for journaling. It’s the process of going from visual to spoken verbal to visual to written that can release new insight. It’s similar to what happens when you work with a coach or a friend to help you see new perspectives.
Look for emerging insights
As I mentioned before, the central image often holds something important. It’s almost like your subconscious puts it there to get your attention. It’s a good place to dig into a bit.
In my example, after going through more of the process, I’m seeing the significance of the central image differently. I have always struggled with making art just for the sake of doing it. I’ve always had an easier time creating things that have purpose or a use. This is one of the reasons I love VisualsSpeak, I finally have a use for all the work I create.
This ability to use visuals to create something for yourself or with clients is a big part of the value of the ImageCenter. It’s a co-creation process where the coach or facilitator brings their best selves, adds them to the images, and offers them to the participant to create something uniquely theirs.
Generate a list of ideas
Look back over your image, your mindmap, recording, or journaling. Make a list of possible ideas you can use as a starting point for blog posts.
Here’s a few of my ideas that came out of this process.
- A visual tool as versatile as you are
- Revitalize your coaching practice with visuals
- Co-creation in coaching conversations
- Deepen your professional practice by adding visuals
- Attract new clients by expanding your capability
- Tangible or digital images, what are the similarities and differences
- Similar tools, different outcomes
Next you just have to write all the posts. When you do, remember to look back at the images you selected to give you ideas for the visuals to illustrate the post.