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Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content Paperback – August 9, 2010
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“I’ve been a fanboy of Accidental Genius and the genius of Mark Levy for five years now, and I couldn’t work without these ideas.”
—David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR
About the Author
Mark Levy is the founder of the marketing strategy firm Levy Innovation (www.levyinnovation.com). Mark has written for the New York Times, has authored or co-created five books, and has taught writing at Rutgers University. He is also a magic illusion designer—his work has been performed off-Broadway, in Las Vegas, and on all the major television networks.
Top Customer Reviews
People ask me all the time how I can be so prolific. "Where do all your ideas come from?" they ask.
The answer is simple: I put my internal editor on hold for first drafts. This allows me to crank stuff out very quickly. A technique called "Freewriting" that I learned from Mark Levy in his terrific "Accidental Genius" allows me to get ideas down very quickly without seeing if it is "good."
With Freewriting, I write and write and write for ten minutes or thirty minutes without caring about spelling or grammar. Then I look for nuggets of inspiration, which I edit to become blog posts. The better blog posts then become raw materials for books and stories in my speeches.
Accidental Genius is your guide to Freewriting. But it more than that. It is your guide to success.
How did he become a "genius"? Well, I think he's naturally bright, but I also think it's because he practices what he preaches. He regularly uses the freewriting ideas he teaches in this book. These ideas help you to see what other people don't see, and see what you typically don't see. Freewriting is how Mark sees things differently, which is the heart of "genius".
Mark may be a genius, but his approach is completely simple, hands-on, creative, fun, and doable by anyone. Here's how it works...
When we set out to solve a problem, position ourselves or our businesses, come up with interesting new ideas, or anything else that determines a "solution" we face a problem: Our internal editor takes over. It wants to keep things status quo, safe, low-risk. We reproduce the same type of ideas and remain stuck in place. Of course this comes at a cost, which is that we prevent breakthroughs and neglect our own genius.
What we need to do is to quiet this internal editor, but we can't just say, "shhh!" Instead we need an approach that circumvents this editor and silences it. Freewriting is one such way to silence the editor and allow our inner genius to speak.Read more ›
Somebody may look at this book and say, "Well, it's just about freewriting. I don't need a book to tell me to just write a bunch of words on the page." Even I was saying that after the first few chapters. But after completing the book, I realized that the book wasn't "just about freewriting," it was a general technique for getting past your inner critic, truly brainstorm solutions to a problem, and come to a decision that is more correct, because you have considered all the options without censorship. I lock up when it comes to decision making, and the process pushed me to open up on why I get stuck on these decisions, and all too often once those blocks are out of the bag, the solution presents itself in that free flow of ideas. I like to call it unthinking my way out of a problem.
I have used the techniques to dig into some philosophical conflicts I have had recently. They have given me a new clarity about my career and my outside interests, and gotten me a little bit closer to that thing that is the purpose of my life. So yes, it is "just about freewriting," but the technique unlocks so much more if you stick with it.
Levy's insight on freewriting and how to incorporate it is fantastic. It has inspired me to keep a journal and re-evaluate all of my work processes. Chapter 4 titled, "Secret 4: Write the Way You Think" is invaluable. The process that Levy takes the reader through in Chapter 13: Getting A Hundred Ideas is Easier Than Getting One" is spot-on for marketers, writers and idea generators.
This book is a must read!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book. Truly insightful and easy to readPublished 13 days ago by Ricardo PÃ©rez FernÃ¡ndez de Castro
Recommended not only for people who like to express ideas, thoughts through writing but also to those who had like to become great orators!Published 3 months ago by Venkz.IN.US
This book was great. I listened to it 4 times as an audio book and read it once with a high lighter. It is basically free style writing and different applications. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Michael L.F. Slavin
The concept is that your brain is subconsciously working on problems and that if you can tap into that information, you can find solutions to problems that your brain has already... Read morePublished 5 months ago by arcarc_reviews
In my opinion, the only useful concept in this book is the most basic idea of free writing to generate ideas. Read morePublished 13 months ago by daedalus359
This is one of the books that has changed my life both personally & professionally. It taught me how to use free writing to solve problems & move past blockages I encounter. Read morePublished 16 months ago by C. Betty
I found several ideas that were helpful, many that were similar to what I've been doing for decades, and quite a few that, as the saying goes, didn't resonate with me. Read morePublished 17 months ago by tig