Every once in a while I pick up a book that has so many great takeaways, it becomes a resource I know I’m going to come back to…again and again.  Turns out The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry is that kind of book!

Although not on exactly the same topic, I quickly noticed that this could be a companion to Making Ideas Happen.  This is very much a do-the-work kind of resource, but Henry comes at it from the perspective of an effective creative.  Really packed with practical and nuts-and-bolts wisdom based on actually getting it done, The Accidental Creative is also one of those books that pulls you back to previous chapters or sections, just to make sure you didn’t miss a suddenly key nugget.

I have to say, too, that nothing here is very complicated.  These are simple ideas that when practiced will make a difference.  Henry points out that, “Common sense is not common practice, and that people who succeed are often those who do the little, everyday things that others don’t (p. 65).”

Part 2 of The Accidental Creative provides a powerful set of tools, tips and concepts that are immediately actionable in the following areas:

  • Focus: Zeroing in on What’s Critical: I came away with two great practices from this chapter that will definitely help me refine what I need to be working on.
  • Relationships: Being Brilliant Together: I loved the idea of circles and am already thinking about how I can apply this concept quickly.
  • Energy: Your Invisible Ally: There is a genius idea about the process of incorporating a whole-life aspect you planning that really resonated with me.
  • Stimuli: What Goes In Must Come Out: I loved the comparison of stimuli and diet and could see right away that without intentionality, I’m ending up with an out-of-balance intake.  The practice of developing a stimulus queue captured my imagination right away and will certainly become standard operating procedure.
  • Hours: They’re The Currency of Productivity: Making a distinction between obligation (what must be maintained) versus opportunity (what could be built) has the potential to provide a powerful set of lenses through which most of what we do is evaluated.

Perhaps the most compelling tool introduced is the concept of weekly, monthly and quarterly checkpoints designed to provide the traction needed to encourage movement.  Such a compelling idea that I pulled out my calendar and immediately began looking for the first opportunity to implement it.

If you’re in the creative business, whether you are one intentionally or you find yourself there accidentally…I highly recommend the Accidental Creative.  Such a great read!  I have no doubts that your copy will be as marked up as mine!

Review: The Accidental Creative
  • Mark, thank you for the very kind and thorough review of The Accidental Creative. I’m glad you found it useful!

  • This looks great! Thanks for the summary and the strong nudge to read it…and apply the “take aways”. Good Monday morning stuff!

  • Mark Howell

    Love it! Used it already this a.m.!


  • Mark Howell

    Thanks Mike! This is a very helpful read. Many of these practices will absolutely become part of the routine for me.