Whether you blog for your own business or write for clients, efficient writing leads to more income. And if you think that writing efficiently will stifle your creativity, think again. Both are possible with the right tool, and Rico Clusters might fit the bill.
Developed by Gabriele Rico, Ph.D., and presented in her book Writing the Natural Way, Rico Clusters are somewhat similar to mind mapping but much easier to use, in my opinion, and a great way to free yourself from writer’s block.
A recent article on Lifehack.com defines Rico Clusters as “a brainstorming tool that emphasizes the connection between left-brain openness and connection-making and right-brain verbalization and ordering.”
Here’s a summary from the article of how it works.
- Write a word (ideally the topic of your article) in the middle of a blank sheet of paper and circle it.
- Next, write down and circle the first word or phrase that pops into your head about your initial word.
- Connect the two circles with a line.
- Keep writing down new words and phrases and draw lines from these back to the first word, the most recent word, or other words that make connections. The Lifehack article states, “Don’t worry about how they’re connected — the goal is to let your right-brain do its thing, which is to see patterns; later, the left-brain will take over and put the nature of those relationships into words.”
- Stop when you’ve filled the page or you just have a sense that you’re done.
- Review the page and cross out anything that seems unconnected to your topic, and then try numbering the circles or putting them in some order that makes sense to you. “Here is where your right-brain is working in tandem with your left-brain, producing what is essentially an outline,” according to Lifehack.
One tip is to simply let your thoughts go and keep writing until you’re done. As I tell myself, “Don’t think, just write.” You’ll be amazed at what ends up on the paper and how easily this will get you writing your first draft. And sometimes getting started is the biggest hurdle to overcome in writing.
If you’re someone who tends to resist outlining and finds mind mapping a bit tedious (which describes me perfectly), try Rico Clusters as a brainstorming technique to beat writer’s block. Like me, you may find that it helps you to write both efficiently and creatively—and to generate more income in the long run.
Feel free to leave me comments on how this worked for you!