The Creative Process

What is creativity?  Making something new that matters. 
Moreover, we are all born with the capacity to be very creative, in fact, genius-level creative-beings.  But, slowly, that creative capacity is "educated" out of us.   The thing is, everyone of us needs to be operating at our highest level of creative capacity if we are to successfully address the challenges our society faces in the 21st century -- or produce a disseration that makes a meaningful contribution to our chosen field.
Graham Wallas (1926) in his work, The Art of Thought, outlined four stages in the creative process: 1) Preparation; 2) Incubation; 3) Illumination; and, 4) Verification.
Mindmapping is a tool for accessing all four of the different stages.  Personally, I have found it most helpful in the preparation stage -- focusing my mind on the question at hand and exploring different dimensions of the question.
Mindmapping is a way to get in touch with your creative side, something you will need as you approach a complex project such as a dissertation.
Writing a dissertation can be a very creative process.  In your dissertation, you will prepare by doing a literature review:  reviewing, understanding, synthesizing, and critically examining those who have come before you in your discipline.  But it is through your creative work that you will come up with that illuminating idea that adds life to the dissertation and provides a contributuion to your field.
Working with a creative process, your dissertation will become a "dessert"-ation. 
Here are two videos on the website, Edutopia, that speak to the need for creativity in all walks of life and, especially, in education.  This is just over twenty minutes of viewing and really sets the stage for the importance of the creative process.