Marcia Yudkin has been helping writers, info-preneurs and other creative people for many years. She has written many books on PR, strategic marketing and copywriting, so I was excited when I read in one of her recent newsletters that she was releasing a new book on creativity.
Her book, Inspired! How to Be More Original, Insightful and Productive in Your Work, offers tips, anecdotes, research and advice on boosting intuition, motivation, performance power and how to hatch truly innovative ideas.
Like most of her work, Inspired! is carefully grounded in research. Yudkin draws on historical accounts of the habits and inspirations of legendary innovators as well as the results of current studies. As a result, her advice carries a little more heft than similar works that focus on one or the other, or are drawn exclusively from the author’s personal experience.
Yudkin makes a comprehensive survey of factors that influence the creative process, including intuition, talent, motivation, time management, collaboration, and the value of making mistakes. A dominant theme in the book is figuring out what strategies work for you (the reader) and leveraging individual strengths to succeed. As an example of this, here’s what she has to say about charisma for the non-extroverted:
If you’re instinctively reticent, don’t try to turn yourself into an ebullient bubblehead. Remember that the man or woman of mystery has magnetism, like Greta Garbo, martial artist Bruce Lee or the Zen master who speaks rarely, in words of compressed meaning.
I really liked the upbeat tone of Inspired! and Yudkin’s emphasis on tailoring one’s approach to innovation to make the best use of individual personality quirks and habits. Her extensive research allows her to assert with conviction that readers can find their own path to creative productivity, since countless people have done so throughout history.
The only thing I would liked to have seen in this book were a few interviews with living people currently making their creative mark on the world, but Yudkin’s historical anecdotes come alive through the power of her skilled pen and also give the book a more timeless quality. Everything is extremely well written and presented.
Inspired! is well worth a read. It covers most of the basics for someone looking to rev up their creative juices, and it doesn’t try to define one creative “type,” choosing instead to share principles that apply to a broad spectrum of innovative activities.
More on Marcia:
- Author Marcia Yudkin