"The Accidental Creative" is an inspiring and practical guide for staying fresh and doing brilliant work. If you regularly need great ideas, this book will help you find them."
-Tony Schwartz, Author of "Be Excellent at Anything"
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book will help you bring a thoughtful structure to your every day creative work. It's work in the best way; Todd teaches you how to examine your life as a whole to make sure that you have the key elements necessary to support your creating over the long term.
So often I find myself exhausted from a long day at work, with little energy left to give to my own personal art. After reading the book I've made some small, intentional changes to my daily habits and I've been excited to find I have so much more left in the tank for my writing and creating sessions. I even find myself waking up early, filled with new ideas. That's in the short term; I'm excited for the long term change to my production.
This book stands on its own (no knowledge of the podcast necessary), but fans of the podcast will especially love this book! It's definitely money well spent and I even find that it is helping me to synthesize the ideas from other creative revolution books like Daniel Pink's "A Whole New Mind." The book has earned a spot on my desk, not on my bookshelf.
The good points for me:
**Ideas how to maintain a creative rhythm. It's perfectly normal to not be in creative mode all of the time. Recognize the down times and make the most of them.
**The concept of focus. Todd suggests that you group like tasks together so you can maintain rhythm and focus. Try not to constantly check your email while trying to do something else. You end up half concentrating on each task.
**Tips on how to manage your energy. Okay, this is common sense, but it's helpful to have it repeated. I'm most definitely a morning person, so that's when I should be doing my tough tasks that require lots of thinking.
**Suggestion to aside time to just think. This is very hard to do in our overly-scheduled, 24/7 connected world, but it will pay off. Start with just one hour a week.
**Learn how to identify and cut your time sinks. Recognize that surfing the Internet is not productive. Sure it may relax you, but it is a big time sink.
What missed the mark for me:
**The book seemed to ramble. Todd goes from defining creativity and its components, to talking about team work, to giving some concrete steps on how to set up your Big 3, those most important loops in your life.
**I'm still not sure how all the chapters fit together. They seem piecemeal.
This book is best enjoyed if you skim and see if a few of Todd's suggestions resonate with you.
A few years ago, I stumbled upon Todd Henry and his podcast. Instantly I was drawn in by his accessible manner, as he painted the picture of what creative burn-out looked like..and it was my self portrait. His emphasis on "filling your tank" with artistic input before you even begin expelling your creative output, changed my entire perspective of the process.
This book, How To Be Brilliant At A Moment's Notice is not only the compilation of the Accidental Creative's brilliant, prolific and healthy golden nuggets but reveals to you what's at the core of your blocked and frustrating creative moments. And then helps you create workable resolutions. I am thrilled to say that it exceeded all expectations that I had. It is the essential user's manual for any creative! If your creative outlook was impacted by Steven Pressfield's "The War of Art" then this book will blow you away.
And now here is "why" of I love this book ....
I think this book is great if you are a creative in the commercial world (ie writer, artist, etc). I don't think it would be as helpful if you have what would be considered traditionally a non-creative job. It's really geared for those trying to avoid burn out and how to maintain the creative "flow" or always being on with some sort of consistency. These are pretty universal problems to most people in these types of jobs AND the book gives some practical everyday advice on how to manage/find creativity when you need to depend on it.
Read the book to see how it applies to you (but only if you are in a creative field.)
Naturally, I was drawn to Henry's book and wanted to get ideas on how to improve my creativity. The book is divided into 2 main parts:
1. Dynamics of Creativity - working with others, being careful of people and things that hijack creativity.
2. Establishing a Creative Rhythm in Your Life - focus, energy, stimuli, hours, relationships, etc.
Among the many topics covered include:
1. Working with other people can enhance your creativity - of course, I should clarify that working with the RIGHT kind of people can help! Other types of people can be energy and creative draining vampires!
2. Focus - try to stay on one topic for a reasonably prolonged period of time to allow for deep thinking. Some mindless employers expect you to constantly multitask, resulting in short and long-term adverse effects.
3. Stimuli - focus on events, surroundings, etc. that can enhance your productivity. Hint - different people respond to different stimuli.
4. Hours - use the time (morning, afternoon, night) when you are strongest and most likely to think creatively.
5. Energy - get enough rest, eat healthy, and do other things that are good for you and can help enhance your creativity.
I enjoyed reading the book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Todd's questions that arise throughout the book, if taken seriously, will guide you through a process that should help you be very clear of exactly who you are and what your... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Christine K Foster
An insightful look at the process of creativity in every day life, not simply for the "artist", but for the entrepreneur, the manager, the salesman -- for everyone. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ajit G.
Parts of this doesn't directly apply to the solo creative--in fact gets old to me--because he talks about those creatives who have to go to work & create for a company and a... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Linda Bell