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

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  1,490 ratings  ·  149 reviews
Have better ideas, faster, without the stress and burnout.
It isn't enough to just do your job anymore. In order to thrive in today's marketplace, all of us-even the accountants-have to be ready to generate brilliant ideas on demand.
Business creativity expert Todd Henry explains how to establish effective practices that unleash your creative potential. Born out of his c
ebook, 240 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Portfolio
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A few years ago I started getting asked to give talks to business & creative professionals about my Skull-A-Day project; specifically to share the things I learned about generating creative energy through daily practice. What I didn’t realize is that I had entered a world of business creativity consultation that was populated with many other folks who were all coming at the same things I had discovered, but from slightly different perspectives. Along the way I’ve encountered several folks wh ...more
Aaron Goldfarb
"Anyone can improve his ability to generate good ideas consistently, if willing to be a little more purposeful in how to approach the creative process."

More and more jobs nowadays call for the use of serious brain power and creativity. Even, the seemingly non-creative fields. Yet, so few workers seem to have "time" for just sitting down and having a good think. Todd Henry, author of "The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice," thinks this needs to change.

He tells the stor
André Gomes
Very nice book, with lots of tipos for creative workers.

Here are some points I found interesting:

- Effective creativity needs clarity around objectives, separating the urgent from the important.
- Use technology in a way that increases your capacity to do what matters to you.
- You must get comfortable with eliminating things in your life that are getting in the way of clarity and focus.
- “No matter what you say about your priorities, where you spend money and your time will prove them out
This book changed my daily life. The Accidental Creative is full of strategies to help creatives in all fields weed out distractions and fears that staunch the creative flow. Henry discusses not only strategies to cultivate the ability to be inspired at a moment's notice, he also examines what keeps creatives in a rut.

The two types of fear holding creatives back are Fear of Failure and Fear of Success. As a fledgling writer, I know both of these fears. However, it is the fear of success that way
Vincent Russo
Book of productivity systems for individuals engaged in "creative" based jobs. I read this in the context of a scientist, but the book's advice is general enough to be applied the a wide array of job titles where creativity serves as the primary ingredient in successful output. The content reminded me heavily of David Allen's "Getting Things Done", which the author also cites and recommends periodically throughout the text.

I extracted quite a bit of value from Henry's methodology of focusing on
This book is a must-read for two groups of people: Those who create (write, design, film, craft, etc.) and those who lead teams of people who do creative work. Todd Henry has synthesized the material from his highly popular podcast "The Accidental Creative" and his experience coaching organizations into a powerhouse of a book. We are all striving to produce more while wondering where the "more" is supposed to come from. This book walks you through some revolutionary practices, that if implemente ...more
Tyler Hurst
I've been following Todd Henry's podcast for a while, but stopped listening religiously when the tips turned into more for teams and groups than solo guys like me.

I suspected the book would be more of the same, but I couldn't have been more wrong. This is packed full of useful ideas (weekly goals, Top 3 and enough quotes to start conversations) that anyone can act upon.

The book is SO good that I reference it non-stop in the StorytellersAZ podcast I just started with a few friends.

So, in short, T
Tiffany Young
Many people believe that you're either creative or you're not, but Todd Henry's "The Accidental Creative" will challenge those beliefs.

In this book, not only does Henry argue that one can become more creative, he also says that building more structure in one's life will bring more creativity to those who are already creative.

Those of us who are creative would rather not hear those things as we usually identify ourselves as creative, as in it's a thing you are or aren't (although we really know
Amy Moritz
In searching for interesting things to listen to while toiling away on my bike trainer this winter, I found the podcast for The Accidental Creative. After one segment I was sold, not just on the podcast but on my need to check out the book. So I went ahead and purchased it hoping for some tips, insights, motivation and inspiration. Todd Henry's writing style is engaging and conversational which made it an easy and interesting read. He asked questions at the right times and got me to think. And t ...more
Quick reaction: I love this book. Probably more than is rational. It's just the right mix of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. (I say that as fair warning: if those books didn't float your boat, this may not be the book for you.) Only, it's better than both because I liked the author's voice more.

I forced myself to slow down and go through it no more than a chapter at a time to make sure I digested it properly. Nothing is new. N
Retta Ritchie-Holbrook
This book made me rethink what it means to be a creative. I have always lived by the idea that creatives need less structure and that ideas come from that freedom. That hasn't worked so well for me and eventually led to a lack of inspiration and feeling burnout. The structure that he lays out in the book resonates with me and I'm excited to start practicing it. Being someone that isn't a great planner, I admit I'm feeling a little overwhelmed about where to start with the process. I think the st ...more
Nura Yusof
The author said that this is not a self-help book. Sorry, Todd but it is. Aside from very useful tips (I consider them suggestions, really), he does pepper the book with "rah rah, you can do it" messages. In many other self-help books spouting such tripe (and I've read a lot of those), this one at the very least is practical. Because I actually use some of his tips already. So it's nice to know that I'm going about it the right way. Plus, there are new tips that I may try.

And that's it. I may t
It was nice to see my exact thoughts about brain and creativity drain written inside this book. What was even nicer was seeing solutions to those issues also written inside the book.

The idea that structure will help you be more creative is counter-intuitive, but I'm eager to try it. His practices to help you focus, energize, and organize in order to free up your mind for thinking are simple and make sense.
As is usual with books like these, the diagnosis of the issues is much better/more interesting than the prescriptions. Henry keenly dissects those things that keep creatives from having the energy they need to produce creative work. That being said, some of the specific suggestions do seem pretty good -- both more doable and more sensible than what usually gets suggested.
I read this book in a weekend however I will certainly let the contents sink in a bit and then go back and review it. The discussion about how creative minds work is well done, and it gives people in several types of fields some insight into how to harness the mind, but at one point it became a little cryptic for me to understand exactly what it meant. I'm still trying to figure out about the Big 3 challenges and what they really should look like, and the book does tend to lean toward companies ...more
Allison Arthur
If you're struggling creatively, you need to pick up this book and read it cover to cover. Don't borrow it from the library. Buy a copy, grab post-it flags, a notebook and a highlighter. While you're at it, get a few colorful pens for margin annotations. You're probably going to take a lot of notes.

I spent many moments during my journey through this book pumping my fist in the air, letting out little exclamations of recognition and mostly, feeling overwhelmingly relieved that I am not the only
More like 2.5 stars, but I'll give this book some credit for giving me enough things to think about that I did a lot of highlighting on my Kindle. Even though my industry is software for community banks (something where the word "creative" would not immediately come to mind like it would for advertising or novel-writing), I often have to problem-solve, and sometimes quickly. This book offered some good tips for focusing and identifying problems in projects especially when they require "of of box ...more
Siobhan Burns
A pretty cool look at work habits, inspiration, structure, goals, and other helpful topics for those of us who need to motivate ourselves to sit down and get things done, goddammit. I'm looking forward to trying out some of his suggestions.
Alan Kercinik
While this book's title might lead you to believe it is only for 'creatives', it is really a practical guide to getting about doing your life's work. Inspiring, insightful and invaluable. Required reading.
Emily Easter
I read this for work. I found it very inspiring. It has some great advice about easy practices to implement to help boost creativity, and I plan to try a few of them out and see what happens!
Mary Louise
This book is so helpful. With so many tender bits inside it, you'll want to return to it again and again. Henry truly cares about helping others find the best way to do their creative work.
Kirby Ingram
Great book and has a lot of helpful tips about how to own your creativity and not force it.

To really understand and take in what the author is discussing you have to take your time with reading this book. Once you finish it and process all of it's greatness, you'll think differently about your creative process and doubt and fears.

I think this is one of those books you reread to remind yourself you're not alone in being afraid of your creative abilities and thinking that you've run out of creat
Allan Kent
Great read, great practical advice. Already had some of these practices in place thanks to the AC blog and podcasts, but was good to have it all consolidated in one place.
i will write full review about this book after i apply the methods he mentioned

سأعطي رأيي في هذا الكتاب بعد ان اطبق كل الطرق والاساليب التي ذكرها
Bo White

strikes the right balance from feeding creative people encouragement as well as ideas on how to be practical....keep on the shelf for future reference.
A must read for any creative pro (and anyone who wants to be one). Great insights and practical advice on how to do your best creative work.
Irene McHugh
I read the summary of The Accidental Creative and this thought stuck out: "It isn't enough to just do your job anymore. In order to thrive in today's marketplace, all of us-even the accountants-have to be ready to generate brilliant ideas on demand."

The summary goes on to identify Todd Henry as a business creativity expert, and he definitely writes with the business creative audience member in mind. However, as a teacher, I was nodding, taking notes, and agreeing with just about every point he m
Raises some good points on keeping good practices to keep your creative processes sharp but much of the material focuses on implementing behaviors that would fill up a not insignificant amount of working time. Looking at the sample weekly timeline that appears in the latter portion of the book prompted me to wonder who has that level of control over their working schedule. Great ideas, but such behaviors require an uncommon control over your own schedule that many working professionals simply do ...more
Catherine Gillespie
The Accidental Creative is geared primarily to “creative workers”–that is, people who are paid not just to perform tasks for a certain number of hours, but who are paid by the value of what they create. This perfectly describes my work, so I appreciated that the book spoke to particular issues of scheduling, managing energy, focus, and keeping creativity sharp when you’re working in a creative field.

{Read my full review here}
Great book, especially if you're in a rut creatively.

Some take-aways:

* If you want to deliver the right idea at the right moment, you must begin the process far upstream from where you need that idea.
* You own your growth.
* Working harder and staring more intently at the problem to achieve better ideas is like trying to control the weather by staring at the clouds.
* Prolific + Brilliant + Healthy = producing great work consistently and in a sustainable way.
* You need to be diligent about a
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Wow, exciting read! 1 3 Sep 18, 2013 12:50PM  
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“If you want to thrive, you need to systematically engage with other people, in part to be reminded that life is bigger than your immediate problems.” 4 likes
“No matter what you say about your priorities, where you spend money and your time will prove them out.” 3 likes
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