Connecting ideas by writing them on paper and drawing lines and circles between them will help you “see” your subject.
When you think, sometimes one idea will trigger another idea, and that one in turn will make you think of another idea. This process can be transferred to paper by writing words and phrases that come to mind as you think about your subject. As you write one word or phrase, let it suggest another idea. Then write that one near it, circle both, and draw a connecting line between them.
The process starts with a central idea or subject word, such as cartoons. If you were to continue, you would think of ideas about cartoons that you associate with the word. Each of these associations is written and connected to the central word.
Soon each word in your cluster of words will suggest even further ideas, which are written and connected too. As you go through the process, let your mind wander over the subject freely, as you do in brainstorming.
Original ideas and new ways to express them fill your mind much more often than you realize. But concern about writing correctly can stop you from getting your words and thoughts down on paper. Free writing is a way to avoid this problem. To free write, set a time limit—five minutes is usually enough— and write continuously during that time. As you write, do not worry about correctness or even about making sense; just write whatever comes into your mind. Do not read what you have written until after the time is up. Then, as you read, underline the parts of your free writing that are good ideas or that seem especially vivid and original. Later, during the writing stage, you can form your free writing material into sentences and paragraphs.