Todd Henry’s The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice is invaluable for someone constantly required to think and create ideas for a living. This is a book for the dreamer and those who aspire to come up with ideas. Being brilliant is what Todd aspires to be and he brings a realistic viewpoint as he explains clearly and succinctly the basics of how creativity is fueled in every day life and the practices that need to be in place in order to establish productive focus and see it pay off. This is a great addition to ‘Getting Things Done’ which is less inspiring, but just the nuts and bolts of productivity. It builds on that idea of how we can accomplish the tasks that matter most to us. I have read The Accidental Creative twice, the first time having a hard time knowing how to process all of the concepts. He outlines thoroughly and quite beautifully I might add the process of weekly, monthly, and quarterly ‘checkpoints’ and the categories necessary for managing your current and upcoming projects.
After reviewing the book a second time and writing out notes on it I have a better grasp of the concepts and how to implement them or alter them for my own routine. I would recommend his second book ‘Die Empty’ to dive into the why behind this book and it reviews the same concepts in greater detail.
I specifically appreciate the direction of a Stimulus and Project Queue and the priority to write down things and have a system of storage to come back to. Shortly after reading this I was motivated to get Evernote to begin processing the information that I'm taking in and better assimilate my thoughts. I have not been let down and look forward to continual improvements in my capacity to consume and ideally produce better work and grow personally.
The challenge is that this is not going to be figured out at one sitting. This is a few years of processing what works best for you and how to apply the practices that will affect the most inspiration for you.
But, Todd helps me understand the ‘unspoken’ rules of creativity. Some of the things he covers is how to set up habits for being active instead of reactive, brushes the surface of how some people claim ‘that they had never worked a day in their lives’, and wets the appetite for more study into the neurological functions of the brain and how to trigger ‘intuition’. I read another book called Mastery by Robert Greene about 1/2 a year after I first read The Accidental Creative and I recommend it for deeper study on the subject of creativity if you enjoy these books by Todd Henry. But Todd sets a healthy framework moving from just doing an occupation as a creative to your vocation.