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Packing Heat 124: Final Ep

Recommendation: Accidental Genius

Accidental GeniusWe all know how to freewrite, right?

Mark Levy’s book Accidental Genius is all about freewriting. You may be wondering what there really is to say about the practice of writing with the internal editor switched off to generate ideas and solve problems. More than you’d think!

Mark did an awesome interview on the podcast Six Pixels of Separation to talk about the new revised edition of his book. His talk got me so excited, by the time that podcast was done, I’d visited his website , signed up for his newsletter, downloaded his free PDF and MP3, and bought his book from Amazon. Then I listened to the whole podcast again. How’s that for a testimonial?

A few key things about Mark’s technique:
  • Aim for a time-goal rather than a substance goal. It’s okay to freewrite and not come up with something usable from the session, as long as you’ve put in the time. You're trying to develop a habit.
  • After you do a block of freewriting, go in and underline the key points.
  • Do another freewriting session to further explore some of the key points you underlined.
  • Don’t stop once you get a good idea. Trust that you’ll spot it when you do your underlining.

What was different for me:
  • The creative outpouring was interspersed with analysis to guide it.
  • Multiple sessions are done back to back—and Mark goes a lot longer than I’ve ever done, sometimes 5 to 8 hours!
  • Many people stop and pat themselves on the back once they get a good idea. Keep going. Who knows, another wonderful idea might be right around the corner.

Drawing the Podcast to a close

I’ve been doing the show for three years, and I think I’ve told you all I know about writing. I’ll leave the 147 episodes up—tagged for searching—so that both old listeners and new can refer to them.

Thanks for listening. Now go put your butt in the chair and write!

Listen to the show, 11 minutes


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 12th, 2010 07:09 pm (UTC)
Aww, say it ain't so! I'll miss your podcast but am glad you are leaving them up for future references.
Oct. 12th, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! Knowing me I paid for a 3-year block at the site that stores the casts, so I might as well let 'em sit there ;-)
Oct. 12th, 2010 07:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, man! I'm going to miss your podcast so much! But I know it's so much work, and I truly appreciate what you've been putting out there with such consistent awesomeness and regularity.
Oct. 12th, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC)
It's like 3-4 hours of work a week without any real payoff that I can see, so it was time to let it go :(

It's gratifying to hear it'll be missed. Thank you!
Oct. 13th, 2010 09:43 am (UTC)
Thanks for all the great advice and tips you've given us over that period - and I'll return to them often :).
Oct. 14th, 2010 02:43 am (UTC)
BTW - Jumping in here real quick, and I just had to say I just finished 72 Hours. WOW oh WOW oh WOW!! You really outdid yourself this time Clare, and I absolutely ADORED the story of Tanner and Niall. Great great GREAT job! Your work just keeps getting better and better.

Thanks for a fabulous read,
Oct. 14th, 2010 08:58 am (UTC)
Hi Blue, thanks for the great feedback, I really appreciate it :). I'm glad you enjoyed their story.
Oct. 14th, 2010 02:41 am (UTC)
Like everyone else, I'm going to miss your podcast. I enjoyed listening to them on a weekly basis as I walked from work to school.

But after I listened to your last one, I definitely understand your reasons for wanting to move on to other things. It's been a year of great change and discovery for you, and I wish you nothing but the best in the continuing adventure of your career and life. =)

Still going to miss it though.

Oct. 14th, 2010 06:22 pm (UTC)
I love the idea of being your companion on your way to work :D
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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