Treasure Mapping

Treasure Mapping

Especially for writers

At the birth of any writing project, the writer must confront the blank page. The emptiness of this page can be daunting, but some writers including the writer, teacher and comic artist, Lynda Barry, argue it is also a place full of possibility and potential experience. Regardless of what I am writing, for me the relationship to the blank page is about my creativity and creative practice. How do I find the words to put on the page, what helps me, what thwarts me? What strategies work in response? As a writer and Creative Writing teacher, I am not alone in asking such questions. Many creative writers seek to understand creativity in relation to their writing process and its intended outcomes. We want to develop the overall craft of writing and to deepen knowledge of how we create. Understanding our creative process is a powerful aid to creative production.

Treasure Mapping is a unique, visual method for exploring creativity and moving toward your creative goals. The process helps you answer the questions about what is effective, what are inhibitors and what you can do to enhance and reduce these. While writing processes may vary from writer to writer, one thing is common—when we sit to write, we want to come away satisfied with where we’ve arrived in our writing.

Unfortunately, the road to completing our work is fraught with potholes, obstacles and diversions. We sometimes feel we’re on the right path, only to find that life gets in the way. Doubts creep in. We avoid the page. Soon we're experiencing a new level of discomfort and frustration. We torture ourselves about why we can't come up with anything new, why a character is driving us to distraction, why our plot seems hopelessly lost. We sit by the side of our writing road, stuck fast, trying to work out which way to move, but one thing is for sure—it’s harder to be lost when we have our map. And a treasure map, made by ourselves and for our use, is a great place to start, because deep inside we do know where we’re trying to get to.

Ready to get into Treasure Mapping?

Treasure Mapping involves making a collage from images found in magazines and advertising material. It is a simple cut and paste process, there are no special or prerequisite skills required. After making the collage, you have the opportunity to explore what its images mean to you.

While it is mainly used by individuals, it is also a unique tool for groups and corporate environments. In addition to creative exploration, Treasure Mapping can be used for personal planning and problem solving. It can also be used for specific fiction elements— character, plot, place, and setting. If you need to reorient yourself, want a change of direction or want to find your way again then Treasure Mapping is a place to start.

You can take the Treasure Mapping journey in several ways:

Group: explore Treasure Mapping in a fun and innovative workshop that helps you explore, discern and focus on the issues in your creativity, writing or life that are important to you. Minimum group size is four.

Individual: create and explore Treasure Mapping in one-to-one sessions. This can be a one-off or a planned series of sessions tailored to your requirement. In these sessions you are personally mentored through the process.