Monday, May 07, 2012

Book: Accidental Genius by Mark Levy

I downloaded the Kindle version of the book "Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content" by Mark Levy. I was a short read but it's nice to be reassured that writing for yourself is a great way to strengthen the structure of your ideas, and a great way to generate material for future development.

I remember reading an article suggesting that the chaos and newness of our everyday experiences is something that we crave, and a necessary ingredient to keep our minds active. And if you have a creative mind, this chaos is critical. What most of us face in our daily lives is a lack of creative chaos. The daily routine, and exposure to the same media and similar, predictable situations, is comforting because of its familiarity, but not conducive to creativity. But practical ways of forcing more creative chaos into your life are usually not practical: changing your commute route, scheduling a relaxing activity, meeting new people, experiencing something completely new, or traveling. We try to compensate by doing small activities of small scope: visiting different websites, watching shows on TV, reading the news, going to stores, talking about different subjects with the same people.

But an small activity that delivers a big punch in the area of creative chaos is writing in the way indicated by this book. I won't be afraid of giving away the secret in a way that doesn't describe all of it: write a lot of junk just for yourself, but with guided exercises. And the catch is to write overwhelming quantities of words and phrases, using different approaches, and in a methodical way. The process itself purges your mind of random thoughts, and after several tries, you can detect an idea that may seem truly revolutionary. It is mostly a journey of making your emotions more stable when faced with your own written words.

It makes so much sense to me. I believe that spoken language is our best interface. Unfortunately we haven't invented a better way to express our specific ideas. We are animals that use words. If we learn to uncover their potential, they may hold the key to making us better than ourselves.

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