A word association occurs when you identify the first word that comes to mind when you hear or read a word.
Basically, our mind makes a connection to the word depending on our past experiences and learning. We could think of nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs or even synonyms and antonyms. We can also make connections to phrases, events, and pictures. We might even connect using our senses (for example, a word that relates to a phrase that triggers a smell that reminds us of a memory from our childhood).
1) Choose a word or topic and record your thoughts using a web, clusters or list form.
2) Then use a Thesaurus or www.thesaurus.com to find other synonyms and antonyms or related words.
3) Or try Word Associations Network – Provides several definitions, pictures and associations of the word in form of nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs
4) Use Wordle – Create word clouds (such as the two presented here) using your own words and change the fonts, layouts, and colours before printing for your own use as creative inspiration
Free association is identifying whatever comes to mind whether it is ideas, emotions or feelings.
This can occur in an undirected situation. For example, as I was sitting in my rocking chair, drinking my coffee and listening to the cars drive by my house, I looked around my living room peacefully and soon found myself staring at the fire through my woodstove window. As I stared at it, I found myself watching the flicker of the flame and my mind started to wander through past memories of fires; starting fires and relighting fires. When I was ready I picked up my pen and started to write. Other writers have written or used the computer and immediately recorded whatever word, collection of words, ramblings, or thoughts that came to mind – even separated them by periods, spaces or new paragraphs – and then followed a related train of thought until it ran out, then picked up with a new thought and continued writing for a certain amount of time.
How to Jump Start Writing with Clustering (www.ehow.com)
Finding Ideas for Writing (rbigausk.disted.camosun.bc.ca)
Prewriting Strategies (writing.ku.edu)
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