Accidental Genius

Accidental Genius

By: Mark Levy

I originally got this book with the intention of reviewing it as more of a productivity book for 21st Century Human.  After reading it, however, I think it fits a bit more into the writer realm of things.

The full title of the book is Accidental Genius: Using writing to generate your best ideas, insight, and content.  Levy writes in depth about the concept of freewriting.  As he describes it, it is sitting down at a desk with your writing instrument, be that a pen and paper or a computer, and simply writing as much as you can on a subject while turning all editing off and allowing anything that floats past your minds emitter to flow onto the paper/screen.

He goes on to talk about different methods of freewriting, methods of refining what you’ve written, and finally, methods of sharing your writing and using it in public forums.  As you can probably guess, it’s that last part that really locks it into a tool for a writer.

The idea itself might be slightly familiar to you.  If you’ve ever participated in NaNoWriMo, you’ll recognize that they profess something similar when writing your first draft, where you turn off the editor and just write for the word count, then go back and edit later.  Tools like WriteOrDie also have a similar mantra and, based on recommendations I’ve seen, have a pretty decent popularity.  So, there is some merit, even at first glance, to what Levy is talking about here.

I think that if you are looking to add a tool to your authorial arsenal, you would do well to pick a copy of this up somewhere and give it a read.  Take what you want from it, and integrate it into your writing and see where it takes you.

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