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How to write a book using mind maps: Part 1

Over the coming months, we will be publishing a 5-part series, written by Sean Mitton, detailing how he used mind maps to plan, write, publish and promote his book “The Goal That United Canada”. If you’re a hockey fan, then you likely already know the story of the 1972 Summit Series. If you’re not, then you’re about to hear a story about how sports helped bring together an entire country in a moment of national pride, told using the power of mind mapping.

As a fan of both hockey and mind maps, I couldn’t be more excited!


Guest Blogger: Sean Mitton

Like many readers of this blog, I’m a passionate mind mapper. I came across mind mapping over 15 years ago when I was looking for a tool and process to better help prepare for my sales meetings and create strategic account plans. Being a strong visual learner, MindManager was a perfect tool for the job and I extended that to many other applications both personally and professionally. My only regret about mind mapping is that I didn’t know about it when I was a student!

When it came time to take on one of my personal goals – writing a book – mind mapping was naturally the tool I gravitated towards to help get me started. This post and series will elaborate on the role that MindManager played in completing this project.

The ’72 Summit Series (Canada-USSR Hockey Series)

Any Canadian alive in 1972 will remember the infamous Summit Series. It was the first competition between the Soviet National Team and a Canadian team represented by NHL players known as “Team Canada”. The series, played during the Cold War, showed a strong sense of nationalism during the eight game series, with the first four being played in Canada and the final four in Moscow. There were 3,000 Canadians who travelled to Moscow for the final games.

Team Canada was the heavy favourite, but the Soviets surprised them with three wins and a tie during the first five games. Canada won the next two games leading to an epic 8th and final game to decide the Series.

The majority of Canada put life on hold for that game. Schools brought TV’s into classrooms, workers stopped their jobs to watch or listen. Canada’s Paul Henderson, who scored the winning goal in game six and seven, scored again with less than one minute in the deciding game to win the Series. The country erupted and a new hero was born. It was one of those rare times in a country’s history that they have a positive collective memory – one that has been ingrained in Canada’s national identify ever since.

The Book Project: “The Goal That United Canada”

The Goal That United CanadaOver the years I had become friends with Henderson, a wonderful man, and was sad to hear he was diagnosed with cancer in 2010. I was concerned that the stories of where people were during this historic event might not be passed on to future generations. I met with him to share my ideas about a book project and ultimately gained his support. My goal was to catch peoples’ stories about that moment in time for the 40th Anniversary of the famous Canadian goal, which was September 28th, 2012.

My initial thought was that if I could collect around 200 stories from people across Canada, I could find 72 compelling stories that would be suitable for the book, capturing the feeling and sentiment of that historic day. I had never authored a book before, but I felt that if I was able to create a strong plan using mind maps, I could bring it all together in about 14 months. This series will share with you how I leveraged mind mapping through this adventurous journey.

My “Mind Mapping Journey”

One of the things that I really like about mind mapping is that it helps organize thoughts and ideas, and that I can see how it relates to the big picture. In doing so, I can be more creative and focused. Even though this was a big project, I was confident that if I could visualize it, I could achieve it.

Over the next few blog posts, I will share my mind mapping journey for creating this book. I will focus on:

  • Strategy : I’ll share ideas ranging from story collection and book design to book launch and everything in between using mind maps.
  • Project Management : How I reverse engineered tasks to meet the “40th Anniversary” deadline.
  • Marketing, Organization & Creativity : How I mind mapped strategies to capture 200 stories, and creatively organized the content of the book in a different way.
  • Media Tour & Book Launch at the Hockey Hall of Fame : How I used mind maps to prepare interview questions and presentation at the Hockey Hall of Fame. I have a good story to share on how mind maps help recall!

If you’re thinking about writing a book, I highly recommend mapping it out with MindManager. If you haven’t gotten your hands on it yet, then you may be interested in a free 30-day trial.

Stay tuned, more to follow!


 About Sean Mitton

In the past 15 years, Sean Mitton has created over 700 mind maps as an Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, Reporter, Web designer and Coach. He Founded the Canadian Expat Network, co-authored the book “The Goal That United Canada”, has been interviewed by over 30 media outlets and has interviewed notable athletes, entertainers, politicians and business leaders. He’s spoken at universities, community college conference, libraries and the Hockey Hall of Fame. In 2010, he organized the first Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research in North Carolina. Every step of the way, he’s created mind maps to keep organized, be more creative, strategic and simplify ideas. Throughout this process, he has found that by asking better questions through mind mapping, you can achieve better results!

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