Author: Mark Levy
Publisher: Barrett-Koehler Publishers Inc
ISBN: 978-1-60509-525-7

The objective of Mark Levy's Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content is to teach readers how to get at what is inside their heads so as to convert the raw material of their thoughts into something usable and extraordinary. Levy calls this technique freewriting and it has helped him and others solve all kinds of business problems, generate ideas for books, articles and blog posts.

Basically, freewriting is quite simple and can be described as a form of forced creativity, or as some refer to it, automatic writing, as the writing itself generates thought. According to Levy, freewriting, pushes your brain to think longer, deeper, and more unconventionally than under normal circumstances. Consequently, some of its benefits include bringing clarity, focus and perspective to your writing and thoughts, clearing logjams in your mind, becoming more articulate about yourself and your ideas, helping you become a unique and creative thinker, accessing knowledge you have forgotten, and cutting resistance to thinking and writing.

The book divides itself into three sections: the first provides the core concepts that revolve around six secrets: try easy, writing fast and continuously, working against a limit, writing the way you think, going with the thought and redirecting your attention.In the second section of the book Levy refines these principles and explores the methods of using freewriting to ideate and solve problems. In the last section Levy shows you the different ways of using freewriting to generate public works, such as blogs, speeches, and books.

Each of the twenty-eight chapters begins with an enunciation of a principle, followed by an explanation with examples, and ending with points to remember. From time-to-time personal anecdotes are thrown in. There are also suggested exercises to help you reinforce the principles explored in the chapter. In addition, several chapters demonstrate thinking techniques to use while freewriting such as the value of disconnecting where you are taught the importance of collecting and evaluating your thoughts to use as stepping stones to greater answers.

This is a potent little book that challenges you to step back and evaluate the process of your writing or your business decisions, as well as engaging your imagination and creativity. For example, Levy advises us that when you need an idea, don't try for just one. The reason is that when we search for one great idea, we demand perfection from it, depress ourselves, become desperate, and end up latching on to sub-par notions. Thus, it is far better to seek out many ideas, keeping your threshold low, as one idea leads to the next-if you let it. Does this sound like great advice? You bet! Will Levy's principles actually work? I guess to find out you will have to apply and practice them, as reading the book alone won't be of much help.

Mark Levy is the founder the marketing strategy firm Levy Innovation. Levy also coaches people on how to write books that become skyrockets for their businesses. Some of his sage advice has appeared in the New York Times and he has written or co-created five books.

Author's Bio: 

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