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Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight and Content | [Mark Levy]

Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight and Content

When it comes to creating ideas, we hold ourselves back. Thats because inside each of us is an internal editor whose job is to forever polish our thoughts, so we sound smart and in control, and so that we fit into society. But what happens when we encounter problems for which such conventional thinking fails us? How do we get unstuck? For Mark Levy, the answer is freewriting....
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Publisher's Summary

When it comes to creating ideas, we hold ourselves back. That's because inside each of us is an internal editor whose job is to forever polish our thoughts, so we sound smart and in control, and so that we fit into society. But what happens when we encounter problems for which such conventional thinking fails us? How can we get unstuck?

For Mark Levy, the answer is freewriting, a technique he's used for years to solve all types of business problems and generate ideas for books, articles, and blog posts.

Freewriting is deceptively simple: Start writing as fast as you can, for as long as you can, about a subject you care deeply about, while ignoring the standard rules of grammar and spelling. Your internal editor won't be able to keep up with your output, and will be temporarily shunted into the background. You'll now be able to think more honestly and resourcefully than before, and will generate breakthrough ideas and solutions that you couldn't have created any other way.

Levy shares six freewriting secrets designed to knock out your editor and let your genius run free. He also includes 15 problem-solving and creativity-stimulating principles you can use if you need more firepower - seven of which are new to this edition - and stories of problems he and others have solved through freewriting.

Also new to this edition: an extensive section on how to refine your freewriting into something you can share with the world. Although Levy originally taught freewriting as a private brainstorming technique, over the years he and his clients have found that, with some tweaking, it's a great way to generate content for books, articles, and other thought-leadership pieces.

©2010 Mark Andrew Levy (P)2010 Audible, Inc

What the Critics Say

"I’ve been a fanboy of Accidental Genius and the genius of Mark Levy for five years now, and I couldn’t work without these ideas." (David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (414 )
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  •  
    Sherry Calgary, Canada 03-27-12
    Sherry Calgary, Canada 03-27-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Writing to right your way"

    I have been a fan of Julia Cameron's morning pages since 1992, Mark Levy's taken this concept another step by embellishing the practicality and effectiveness of this technique.

    The exercises he offered in the book made it impractical for me to listen while commuting as I was perpetually drawn to want to pause and give myself the ten minutes. However having listened through once, I will start again, this time with hands poised over the keyboard or with pen in hand.

    For those who are drawn to writing as a hobby or profession, this book is loaded with great sources to create prompts to get the words flowing. For those who are drawn to writing as a means of releasing the jumble within your mind, I stand behind my title of this review in that this technique can help you to use "Writing to Right your Way".

    For those who are neither drawn to nor use writing as a tool, I feel this would be an effective approach to stimulate your communication technique of choice and add value.

    The narrator was brilliant, the one addendum is that I felt at times he spoke to quickly and I gratefully employed the 30sec rewind button numerous times.

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FOOK Kardinya, Australia 11-23-11
    FOOK Kardinya, Australia 11-23-11 Member Since 2011

    The YOLO Man

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Suffering from writer's block? You NEED this!"

    I'm a writer, public speaker, Toast Master and business person. My daily activity involves creating a lot of written content for speeches, blogs, article writing and product reviews. Many times I've been STUCK while trying to figure out what to write. The dreaded 'writers block' is a big problem for people like myself especially on those days when there just isn't enough inspiration to write. Accidental Genius OBLITERATES these road blocks and I've discovered an entire new world of writing that has truly changed my life! The narrator's voice isn't exactly the best BUT the CONTENT is what's important! No fluff, I HIGHLY recommend this audio book!!

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Strathroy, ON, Canada 12-31-10
    Jeff Strathroy, ON, Canada 12-31-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Great Ideas"

    I loved this book. It has a great many ideas that will help in all walks of life. It helps you think about things and organize your thoughts and ideas.
    It is great for writers, poets, song writers etc. but just as useful for inventors, business owners and people who need to figure things out or make plans.

    31 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Tate. Barcelona 06-13-11
    Anthony Tate. Barcelona 06-13-11 Member Since 2010
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    "I would buy it again!"

    Great book that as Mark Levy says, will cause a chain reaction of ideas in your mind. After reading this book my mind became like a volcano, sometimes I feel like I am going to have a brain seizure for having so many ideas when writing. It helped me get rid of a 7 year writer's block, now I am writing 2 blogs and ready to write a book!

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gerardo Austin, TX, United States 12-07-12
    Gerardo Austin, TX, United States 12-07-12 Member Since 2011

    Businessman, Technologist, Marketer. Loves to learn and enjoys books. Mostly nonfiction plus historic novels.

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    "A simple idea that can help you write more"

    This is one of those books that would work better as a two-page magazine article. The entire book is about a single idea: if you need to write something and don't know where to start, just start writing whatever comes to mind, there will be time for filtering, editing and fine tuning later.

    The rest o f the book is an elaboration on this idea. I am not a professional, full-time writer so take my comment with that in mind.

    There are other books about writing that I found to be much, much richer

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adult Reader in Calgary Calgary, Canada 05-27-12
    Adult Reader in Calgary Calgary, Canada 05-27-12 Member Since 2005
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    "Useful book, excellent narration"

    This was a really good book and I have now listened to it three times and intend to listen to it again in a few months to refresh the concepts.

    Bronson Pinchot's reading is *perfect* so I disagree strongly with the previous reviewer who said the narration was off and should have been done by someone with more "experience". First of all, Pinchot has 81 narration credits to his name so he's a total pro. Also, the cadence and tone was right on throughout. I checked the list of books he narrated to see if anything else caught my fancy, he was that good. To each his own.

    The book itself is excellent. Levy describes the use of "freewriting" (where you write as fast as you can for so many minutes without stopping and without editing or correcting yourself) for idea generation. I understand freewriting is an old technique, and Levy cites Peter Elbow's "Writing with Power" as a source. Being my first real intro to the idea I learned a lot and have been using freewriting as Levy describes and frankly I think it's a life-changer though perhaps that's overstating just slightly. It is extremely useful and he supplements the basic freewriting idea with a number of concepts for idea generation and using your freewriting for more finished and public work.

    If I were to criticize something in the book I'd just say a few of the exercises are of questionable value, but there's plenty here to hold your interest.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary North Billerica, MA, United States 03-12-12
    Mary North Billerica, MA, United States 03-12-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Downloaded out of curiosity"
    Would you listen to Accidental Genius again? Why?

    I have to listen to Accidental Genious again and again to process all the information given!


    Any additional comments?

    Tons and tons of great ideas and exercises to help yo get started writing

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha Humphreys Montana, USA 07-14-11
    Martha Humphreys Montana, USA 07-14-11 Member Since 2009

    coachwrite

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    "Thought provoking and informative.."

    As a professional writer for four decades in many, many genres I believe there's always something new one can learn. Listening to this while doing "grunt" work around the ranch made the time pass quickly and made me year to buy a paper copy in order to make notes and/or do the short exercises...very helpful and entertaining.
    martha humphreys

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt Parkdale, Australia 09-28-12
    Matt Parkdale, Australia 09-28-12 Member Since 2004
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    "Very Classy Book, Great Ideas, Easy to Implement"

    Wow! Really, wow! What a pleasant surprise. Don't be fooled by this book's average looking cover.

    Firstly, it does exactly what it says on the tin- It tells you where you can find your best ideas and how to capture and build on them.

    But it's much more than that. It's also about finding 'flow' , about silencing your inner critic and other demons for long enough to let your higher self shine It's exciting, motivating and offers some of the very best techniques for overcoming writer's block I've ever come heard.

    If you need some inspiration and motivation to tackle major problems in your life, whether work related or life issues, I strongly recommend you have a listen. You don't need to be a writer to use the techniques. But if you are a writer like me, then you'll find them doubly valuable.

    As you listen you'll find yourself itching to try stuff out. It really is that good.

    I've ordered a hard copy to serve as a permanent writing companion. I know it's going to be a book I keep with me for a long time.

    It's broken down into lots of short chapters. Each one describes a technique and has various exercises to follow. You'll need to stop the program to do the exercises. If you listen straight through without stopping you must then go back to listen again, otherwise you'll miss out.

    As you listen you won't doubt the power of the techniques covered. He's a really good writer and he puts it all down to the techniques he's describing.

    Also, it's been very well recorded and read. The narrator has done a great job. His voice is easy on the ear, well suited to the material and he keeps you listening.

    Do yourself a favour - get this book!


    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dean 10-26-12
    Dean 10-26-12

    a Tech Exec who loves the stories about what could be and what should have been. Mixed with histories told from an outside perspective.

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    "Six Sigma for the mind."

    Using brainstorming methods to get enough ideas to paper that you can make a book out of them...an interesting survey of done methods various authors and reporters have used.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
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    Barry, United Kingdom
    12/24/12
    Overall
    "Not quite Genius..."

    The whole book centres around free writing. Thats about it really. Pick a topic and just write about it and if another topic pops in your head while writing go with that as well as that may solve a problem in your life along the way. Pretty decent listen, genius? Not to sure about that

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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