Archives for June 2012

How to Use the Tarot and Mind Mapping to Plan Your Writing

Today June 19 I have a guest post on Danny Iny’s Firepole Marketing Blog. I always plan blog posts on paper first so that I don’t miss any key points out and also because I use mind mapping for planning and prefer to do that with old fashioned paper and pen!

I mention in the post, which you can read here, that I used an additional and less conventional technique to assist me with planning – the Tarot. I often do this if I need some extra insight for an article or blogpost, I even use it to help me plan my workload.

I thought you would like to see both parts of this planning method so you can use it, if it appeals, for your own writing.

The Plan

First of all I’ll share Danny’s suggestion for planning an effective blogpost which includes the following stages:

  • a good hook
  • stating the problem
  • the root of the problem
  • discussing solutions
  • an engagement building question.

For my plan I first picked a Tarot card for each of the stages above and then used those to write my mind map.

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You can see my actual notes and mind map in the photos above. I was going to rewrite them to make it clearer but then I thought, no – be authentic! So here are the actual notes, dodgy handwriting, coffee stains and all, so you can see that it’s quite genuine! Because the content isn’t really important, it’s to show you the technique.

The Cards I Chose 

I did think it might be helpful to discuss the cards I pulled for each of the stages though, so here they are:

Hook: Six of Coins. – This card shows a man handing out money to lots of different people so everyone gets their share. He has more than enough to hand out.

For my Renaissance Genius or Jack of All Trades post it gives me my hook. If you have lots of different ideas to offer people can you give everyone what they want? What happens to the others if you decide to give to just one? (Or laser focus?)

Problem: Two of Swords. This card shows a woman sitting on a rock with her back to the ocean. She has a sword across each shoulder and is blindfolded and unable to move. It indicates analysis paralysis, an inability to choose one thing over another. It also indicates a choice between two things.

For my post, here is the problem – the dilemma between going laser niche or multi niche and how not doing so can lead to inaction.

Root of the Problem: Hierophant. This card is also known as the Pope and shows a religious leader in all his regalia. It typifies conventional beliefs and behaviour, following rules and regulations.

In my post the root of the problem is that the Internet in marketing terms is quite conventional an has its own rules. (Add a list of the “rules”.)

Solution: Five of Coins. This card shows someone in difficult circumstances who has called on for help. Money is not the solution here, the help needs to go deeper than that. There is more than one person in need in the picture.

For my post the solution lies in not focussing on financial rewards and also in asking unashamedly for help (from the readers of the blog.) Maybe there are others in the same boat?

Implementing the Solution: King of Wands. The king of communication, this card shows someone who takes effective action and maybe stirs things up a bit.

For my post, I am implementing the solution and taking action by writing about the problem, asking for help and seeing what happens.

Engagement Building Question: Queen of Swords. In this card a solitary woman is holding a sword in one hand while the other hand is almost being held out for help. The Queen is strong and fearless but she does feel isolated at times.

In the engagement building question ask for help and also mention the feeling of being alone.

Once I had made my notes based on the cards, I then quickly wrote the article. It was very easy and seemed to write itself!

You can easily use this technique for any article that you have to write. Leave a comment below about what you think of these techniques and how you get on.