Reading...Accidental Creative

The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice

A good friend of mine who knows how I struggle with maintaining consistency in my writing recommended The Accidental Creative, by Todd Henry. Henry's definition of a "creative" is pretty broad: anyone who makes a living with their mind. "Every day, you solve problems, innovate, develop systems, design things, write, think, and strategize." As anyone who falls into this broad category of creative can testify to, it's impossible to be excellent and in top form one hundred percent of the time, yet we often put undue stress on ourselves to do just that. Our job is dependent on our ability to produce, and the default is often to just work harder, or longer, or try and muscle our way to success. In The Accidental Creative, Henry seeks to give people an alternative way of working, to help them develop a rhythm to work and life that creates an environment in which creativity can thrive. Henry takes a whole-life approach to this rhythm -- what we do away from work has an incredible impact on our work, and our work has an impact on our ability to enjoy the rest of our non-work life. The book starts out identifying problems inherent in creative work, then lays out the components and method to developing a life rhythm to foster creativity, excellence, innovation, and ultimately creative satisfaction.

Although this book is targeted to people who are creative for a living (which I am not at the moment), there are a lot of principles, tips, and ideas that I think anyone can benefit from. Henry talks about being intentional with our time and relationships, being proactive rather than reactive. He advocates making time to check in with ourselves on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis, evaluating upcoming projects, events, and goals so that we can plan ahead and be prepared.

Bottom line, this is a well-written, thoughtful book about opening up creativity in our lives and going after what you want. Hopefully I can begin to apply a few of the activities and principles he lays out soon.