Everyone is writing their Women’s March stories–Facebook posts and emails are coming in from friends, David Brooks is being his gassy annoying self, women like Elizabeth Word Gutting are rebutting. Men too. Here’s Ben Mathis-Lilley on Slate: David Brooks’ Column About the Women’s Marches Should Be Dumped in Acid and Set on Fire.
Frankly, all this is making it hard to find my own voice on my Women’s March experience.
I’m one of those people who “write to find out what I think” (to quote James Thurber.) I frequently start with a cluster map like this one. It helps me not only know what the ingredients for a piece will be, but organize in what order to bring them in.
I’m not there yet on writing about my Women’s March–for now, this will have to do.
A review of mind-mapping software tools (which allow you to do this “clustering” at a keyboard) appeared in the NYTimes today–here’s a link.
Personally, I have no use for software for this part of the writing process–for me, it needs to be done by hand. Software just moves you from the flow of that writerly voice in your head to that querulous editor’s voice that questions everything and leaves the writer unsure whether she has anything to say or any talent at all for finding the words to say it. So please, eschew these tools and keep using that pencil on paper–even blank paper would be better than these lined legal pads!