This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Mind Mapping BenefitsMind Mapping Benefits (Photo credit: Emilie Ogez)

          One of my favorite activities with a group of friends--or alone for that matter-- is bantering ideas back and forth.  It's fun to come up with ideas as they hit you and take them as far as you can.

          The primary concept of my blog is to toss out ideas to readers and see what they can toss back to me.  That's why the blog is called Tossing It Out.

        We are all filled with ideas that are waiting to burst free of the confinement of our heads, but sometimes we're afraid to say them out loud.   We might be afraid that someone will think that our idea is stupid.  I assure you that many great ideas were first thought of as being stupid by some.

         Marketing is all about ideas.  Don't be afraid of bringing ideas out into the open and working through them.  If you don't have a group to brainstorm with, try things like making lists of ideas as they come to you.  There are visual idea development aids such as mind maps or fishbone diagrams.  Do an internet search for idea development aids and you can find a wealth of things you can do on your own.  There are even software programs for those who want to get technical about it.

        In marketing, ingenuity helps. Ideas don't even have to be original.  You can use ideas that have worked for others--that's probably a wise idea.  Think.  And then think some more.  One idea usually leads to another and sometimes when you get on a roll it's hard to stop.

          Do you have a book to sell?   Would you like to open your own business?   Are you searching for that perfect life partner?   Start making lists.  Pros and cons.   Hows and wheres.   Whys and why nots.  If you come up with enough ideas you will find some workable methods to use.   You may even think of ideas that may surprise you.

For the letter "I":

Susan Flett Swederski is full of ideas at her blog I Think; Therefore, I Yam.  In her profile she says, " if, at my (ahem) "advanced age", I DO find success, I'm telling you right now ... SO CAN YOU! Never, never, ever ... NEVER give up! It's never too late to reach for the stars. Isn't it worth the effort? I sure think so."  I think she's got the right idea.

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  1. Bantering ideas back and forth in your own brain. I so understand Lee! Great post, as usual!

    Alana @

  2. I too get ideas especially when it come to selling my latest book.
    I really enjoyed your I word and post made absorbing reading.

    Have a good day Lee.

  3. I hear the voices in my head, my problem is sometimes those voices won't hush... and I crumble to the chatter and never succeed.

    Impressive, Most Impressive... to the challenge "I" is for Interesting!
    Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
    A to Z Co-Host
    My New Book:
    Retro-Zombie: Art and Words

  4. Inspirational post Arlee...

  5. Love the post - thing mind maps are great!, I started writing out all my ideas and it seems the more I write the more that come, having to see what ideas can be put together or can be farmed out so that I can spend time on the more productive ones. Blessings, Amanda

  6. I have an ebook to sell and I'm struggling. I have a publisher, but... Anyway, yes, struggling, no ideas, no one to bounce non-existent ideas off, all alone...

    Erm, I'm not quite as hopeless as that sounds, by the way. It's just today's mood - if I day was tomorrow I'd probably say something different.

  7. Great post Al, I'm seriously learning so much of this blog buddy.

  8. Hi Lee:
    The fault lay in my internet connection with being unable to see the list. I am now on my netbook in a coffee shop and wow the list popped. I will now proceed to visit as many as I can today!!
    Great post btw.

  9. I use mind maps quite a bit. I'm not very artistic with them, but they work. I've written a few posts on them on my blog, too.

  10. I just noticed something - I put the linky list on my site, and had signed up (was #1925) before it closed. The whole list did display, when I first added it. Now it only displays up to #1820. Is it something on my end or on the linky list end?

    You realize, this is going to eventually get like NaNoWriMo - with hundreds of thousands of participants worldwide?

  11. My Dad used to say the words he most dreaded hearing from his (8) children were, "Dad, what do you think would happen if...?"

    They always meant a bright idea was hatching.

  12. I am always bouncing ideas off my husband for topic's and ideas on my blog. For some reason when it comes out of my head and I say it out loud, talk it out, it evolves becomes something more { or not!} Great post as always.

  13. This is my problem, I get great ideas and then do nothing because I second guess myself!
    Great post
    Blessings, Joanne

  14. Ideas are the basis for everything our modern world has seen, great post on getting the creative juices flowing. Love the last thought, don't let your age stop you--this goes for young as well as old.

  15. I continue to sell paintings sporadically. I can never figure out what it is that I am doing that works. Facebook?

    who knows.

    Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors

  16. I love the synergy that comes from "tossing out" ideas. I think that's why I've learned to enjoy blogging because it allows me to test and grow my ideas on such a large scale.

    I'm really enjoying your posts on marketing.

  17. When it comes to book marketing, I'm not afraid of trying a new idea!

  18. Can you have too many ideas? This is what keeps a writer up at night! LOL. That notebook by the bed helps.

  19. I always love sharing ideas with all of you and then hearing what you have to say in return. Thanks for being a part of this discussion.


  20. IDEAS - Ideal I-Day post!

    Visiting as an A to Z blogger.

    All on and all in the A to Z Challenge:

    Heart of a Ready Writer – Bible & Devotional
    Meme Express – Daily Blog Prompts (A to Z)
    Nickers and Ink – Featuring favorite classic poems from A to Z
    Practically at Home – See what fellow writers are cited – with article links!
    The Mane Point –Profiling special horses from A to Z
    Working in Words – Writing How-to’s

    Click my name/icon for links to all these blogs! Happy A-to-Z!

  21. Great advice, Lee. This is something I do - the pros/cons evaulation. I've used that throughout my life.

    It's a good way to look at things objectively, with less emotion.

  22. Ideas are never a problem, spelling punctuation and making any logical sense certainly are.

  23. Neat mind-map graphic. You're right - bouncing ideas around is one of the most fun aspects of writing!

  24. I am slowly learning to trust my ideas. Working on collaborative projects has helped me tremendously. When brainstorming, I would stay silent, and hoped to be ignored, which didn't happen. I had no choice but to contribute something, and was shocked to learn so of the ideas I brought to the table were turned into creative projects that got to see the light of day.

  25. A phrase Hayley Mills used in an old Disney flick has always resonated with me. She didn't just have "good ideas"; oh no, she had "scathingly brilliant ideas." Why settle for the mundane when we can stretch our imaginations to the limit? Have fun with them? Few things are more enjoyable than kicking ideas around with a bunch of friends. It was true and more commonplace when we were in high school and college, and it's still true, and that much more precious because of its relative rarity now. (The wine is purely optional.)

    Thanks so much for the shout-out on my blog. I really appreciate it, dear sir.

  26. I did not realize that that was the meaning of your blog. Wow

  27. Back 30 years or so before there was such a thing as a jet ski, I had that IDEA. I was enamored with motorcycles at the time, and I told my dad (who could design, build, and operate anything with an engine) that he should build me a one-person boat. His eyes glazed over, as if he was seriously considering the concept. But, alas, he did not invent the jet ski

  28. i tend to go all alone with my ideas

  29. ideas in my head are few and fae bewtween

  30. Hey Lee,
    Good to know that you toss out ideas to readers so they can toss back at you. That's what positive interaction within the great blogging community is all about. And that's why I sacrifice my posting time and spend several hours just be proactive and trying to be involved with the exchange of ideas.
    Of course, in my satirical posting on this alphabet challenge from last year, not only did I put in a link back to your shy and humble self, I also noted that "toss" or "tossing" is a bit of a British euphemism for um...well you know...
    Seriously dude, much fun and positive idea exchange with your growing legion of adoring fans.
    Kind wishes, Gary aka 'The official anti-A to Z spokesman' :)

  31. I love coming up with new ideas, especially for marketing.

    Once I get started, the marketing ideas just seem to keep coming.

    But I think some people have a difficult time when it comes to ideas for marketing.

    They may not have trouble getting ideas for stories or other things, but they just can't get in a "marketing" frame of mind. I wonder if there are any specific "tools" or aids that would help them?

  32. I love brainstorming! The giddier the crowd and the sillier the ideas, the better it all turns out in the end :)

  33. I'm a big list maker. I've attended mind-mapping workshops.

  34. I had something like this happen at work lately. The company asked a broad question to every employee: "How can we improve the [health insurance] claims process?" I don't know a damn thing about claims, but I do know what it's like to have breast cancer -- and have the company you work for deny your claim for a wig. Anyway, I submitted my idea -- and did it very sheepishly I might add -- and lo and behold, it's gaining some momentum and support. Shocks the heck outta me, but it's like you say: you just gotta turn off the little "I am not worthy" voice and speak up. :-)

  35. I keep a notebook in my purse at all times. I have a tendency to be driving down the road and get a great idea for a plot or book. I wait of course till I'm parked to write it down.

  36. I have to write down my ideas as soon as I get them or I forget them for a while (I think it's an age thing). I carry a notebook everywhere...just in case. I haven't figured out how to do it when I'm on the back of my husband Harley....I get lots of ideas when we ride, but forget about half of them until the next time we ride.

  37. Hi Lee,

    Finally clicked on your blog. I just started writing in February(2012). When I heard about the AtoZ Blog, I decided to bite the bullet and do it.

    I challenged myself to write a 500-1000 piece of flash fiction every day. It has been hard so far, but very rewarding. I have so many ideas upon which to grow. I have found a way to practice the craft of story telling and I owe this in part to you. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Von L Cid
    The Growing Writer

  38. Yes, very much agreed Lee. As an entrepreneur, we live or die by the ideas we come up with. But not just forming ideas, but then turning them into successful ventures. I'll get cracking on those lists!

    This is me, Duncan D. Horne, visiting you from the A-Z challenge, wishing you all the best throughout April and beyond.

    Duncan In Kuantan

  39. I love having those conversations where you just throw a bunch of ideas out there and talk them through. I've solved world hunger and figured out how to rig the lottery that way.

  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

  41. I write too many lists. I even have lists of lists. I think mind maps may be the way to go.

    Fellow A-Z Buddy
    Doing a monumental blog catch-up
    Mithril Wisdom


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