Accidental Genius Summary


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Originally published at: https://blog.12min.com/accidental-genius-summary/

Revolutionize Your Thinking Through Private Writing


Human thoughts are restless and countless. Writing your thoughts down clears up your head and allows you to direct your attention towards them, consequently enabling you to get aware of them and explore them.

Who Should Read "Accidental Genius"? And Why?

This exercise book can boost your creativity, brainstorming and hence – problem-solving. Levy presents his ideas and recommendations straightforwardly, pairing them with numerous examples. He has a background in publishing, especially in sales.

This works in his favor – he sells you his ideas. We recommend “Accidental Genius” to readers who would like to find a structured way to generate ideas for whatever issue or doubt they face in their lives.

About Mark Levy

Mark Levy works as a Director of Special Projects at the worldwide book distributor, Bookazine. He has had three nominations for the lofty Publishers Weekly "Sales Rep of the Year" award.

Levy has also worked as a writer for numerous daily papers and magazines, including The New York Times.

Furthermore, he is a magician, a co-creator of Magic for Dummies, and the co-writer of Mac King’s Tricks with Your Head.

"Accidental Genius Summary"

Seeing your thoughts on paper gives you something substantial to work with, instead just a vague idea of a momentary image. Your writing shows you where you are, where you have been, and where you can go.

Having this in mind, two prominent writing teachers Pat Balanoff and Peter Welbow invented the concept of “private writing.” Private writing is self-explanatory – it means that you are writing for yourself. You can write about anything: from personal to professional concerns, from vague to concrete concepts.

You do not have to be an excellent writer to achieve results with it because everything your high school teacher taught you – grammar, style and sentence structure, don’t matter. The only thing that matters is an idea, and ideas are precisely what you are aiming for.

The ideas that fill up your head are the most valuable thing you possess. They can change your life, your company, and even the whole world. However, they are useless unless you add some real value to them, by developing them and making them practical.

Private writing will help you achieve that. It can make you realize exactly what you are thinking and where that thinking can lead you. Not only it will help you by allowing you to play with your ideas and develop them to their real potential, but this method will also show you a side of yourself you were not aware of before.

On paper, you can become anyone. You can play God and do whatever you please to do. There are no limitations, and since you do it just for yourself, you will not be scared to go to extremes. Think of all the scenarios that can play out.

You can practice this by working with some present situation as well: try to alter the reality by changing some detail of the case you chose. You can also try to start a conversation with just about anyone and get into their head. That will make you expand your perspective and look at particular situations from another angle.

The good thing about this method is that there are no rules. You are allowed to do whatever you choose to do, write however long, and often you would like to write, and pick any situation you would want to explore.

You can just put down thoughts that lead nowhere, or you can do some real brainstorming sessions.

The point of it all is to empty your mind and create a channel where creativity can flow. Usually, somewhere between the lines of thoughts that may seem useless and pointless, you will find a gemstone, a bright idea.

However, even if you do not, don’t worry; no matter the concrete result, you will grow.

Key Lessons from “Accidental Genius”

1. Write Fast and the Way You Think 2. Work against a Time Limit and Go with your Thoughts 3. Redirect Your Mind with Focus-Changers

Write Fast and the Way You Think

Don’t try too hard. Trying too hard will lead you only to disappointment. You know what they say: “one must never fear perfection since one will never find it.” So, stop searching for it and put down the words without any expectations.

Instead of focusing on faultlessness, concentrate on speed. Write fast and don’t stop, so you pour down all of your thoughts.

When you write slowly, you allow your mind to filter the results, and that is limiting your ideas.

Work against a Time Limit and Go with your Thoughts

Time limits and deadlines are the ultimate motivators. The same is true for personal writing as well. Give yourself a time limit – set a timer for ten, twenty minutes, or half an hour (it depends on you). When the timer rings, stop.

This will push you to think profoundly for a particular time and will make you write faster. Some days you may have a block, but other days ideas will flow like crazy.

It is essential that you go with your thoughts. What this means is that you should approach a though by assuming it is real and exploring the series of steps that this idea stipulates.

Redirect Your Mind with Focus-Changers

Focus-changers are questions you ask yourself in your writing, which require your comment on a particular part of your writing. An example of a focus-changer is a question such as “How can I make this more detailed?”

These issues will make you expand your thinking. Focus-changer questions can be as specific or as general as you see fit.

What is important is that they will take you to unexplored areas of your thoughts.

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“Accidental Genius” Quotes

[bctt tweet="I ask why they picked that particular failing strategy. A common answer: They say that they heard that it was a perfect strategy, an A-strategy, for getting the word out about a company. Everyone is using it. What they haven’t taken into account, though, is their own disposition, talents, and resources. Their own readiness. Businesses are like individuals. What’s perfect for one is awful for another. There is no such thing as an objective A-strategy. An A-strategy is only an A-strategy if you’ll execute on it. If you don’t have the desire, talent, or resources to fully execute, then your B- or C-strategy should be elevated to A-strategy status. Execute on the strategy you’ll perform with gusto. Gusto matters. Excitement matters. Follow-through matters. Completion matters." username="get12min"]

[bctt tweet=“In effect, you’re going to take your mind and drop it onto the page in front of you.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“Private writing isn’t writing per se; it’s a means of watching yourself think.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“We’re living in a world where thoughts are a potent, industry-driving currency, where major corporations set up complex systems for managing intellectual capital and information technology just so they can mine and protect the valuable thoughts of their workers.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“Human thought, by nature, bounces all over the place.” username=“get12min”]

Our Critical Review

This short book guides you through the process of private writing, which will lead you to explore and express your thoughts with no constraints.

By writing everything down you are only facing yourself, and therefore you will be able to confront your mind with a piece of paper.