Clustering, Can it Work for You?

On a clean sheet of paper write a word in the middle. Pick anything that comes to your mind: corn, window, lazy, broom, children… or a topic which you need to write about.

Circle the word in the middle. Now begin writing down other words, phrases which connect to the first word in some way. Write them down circling your original word like a spiderweb pattern. Each new word will have it’s own spin-off word, more than one as you start filling the page with ideas circling around your original word.

I skimmed a book I found in a thrift store where this was called clustering. To me it seems a different pattern to brainstorming.

When you get to the edges of your sheet of paper you could have gone from corn to outer space. You will have a lot of ideas to work with. Whatever your original word/ topic using this clustering plan you will have found connections to ideas you would not have come up with had you just made notes or a quick draft written on the topic. If nothing else, you will feel better connected to the topic and focused on writing about it.

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