Gift Guide

The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice

( 7 )


“Todd Henry has spent years breaking down the secrets of highly effective creatives. Read this book and prepare to ramp up your brilliance!”
—Chris Guillebeau, author of The Art of Nonconformity
Many of us assume that our creative process is beyond our ability to influence, and pay attention to it only when it isn’t working properly....
See more details below
$12.41 price
(Save 22%)$16.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (18) from $4.20   
  • New (12) from $4.80   
  • Used (6) from $4.19   
The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99 price


“Todd Henry has spent years breaking down the secrets of highly effective creatives. Read this book and prepare to ramp up your brilliance!”
—Chris Guillebeau, author of The Art of Nonconformity
Many of us assume that our creative process is beyond our ability to influence, and pay attention to it only when it isn’t working properly. For the most part, we go about our daily tasks and everything just “works.” Until it doesn’t.
Adding to this lack of understanding is the rapidly accelerating pace of work. Each day we are face escalating expectations and a continual squeeze to do more with less. We are asked to produce an ever-increasing amount of brilliance in an ever-shrinking amount of time. There is an unspoken (or spoken!) expectation that we’ll be accessible 24/7, and as a result we frequently feel like we’re “always on.”
Now business creativity expert Todd Henry explains how to unleash your creative potential. Whether you’re a creative by trade or an “accidental creative,” this book will help you quickly and effectively integrate new ideas into your daily life.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Henry, founder and CEO of the consulting firm Accidental Creative, has been helping "creatives" maximize their efficiency for years. Here he aims to help individuals in explicitly creative professions, like writers and designers, establish enough structure to get the most out of their process—and "accidental creatives," such as managers, consultants, and salespeople, to unlock their latent imaginative, artistic abilities. He tells both groups: "Don't go to the grave with your best work still inside of you. Die empty." He discusses the challenges and stresses of careers that pay workers not on their time but on the value they create, and which require them to overcome greater-than-usual emotional hurdles. With references to a plethora of business and personal-growth gurus, including Keith Ferrazzi and Tony Schwartz, he guides readers through a system of increasing productivity and effectiveness, monthly checkpoints, self-definition, and how to identify and seize new opportunities. Even if his one-size-fits-all setup is broad and somewhat of a stretch, his can-do attitude and encouragement is contagious. (July)
Kirkus Reviews

Creative professionals whose brilliance has faded might take a rag and some spit to their careers using this inspirational handbook from creativity consultant Henry.

With a few personal anecdotes and very little technical jargon,the author's debut cuts right to the chase: Nobody, he writes, actually wants to create on demand. But by narrowing one's focus to three priorities at a time while paying attention to seemingly unrelated creative impulses, Henry argues that imaginative sparks can grow into fully realized ideas if they are given a little structure and a lot of space. Too often, he writes, creative professionals play it safe to avoid getting fired, potentially missing great moments of inspiration while churning out a steady flow of mediocre work. It's an idea that's popular in the tech industry right now, but Henry's tips will work even for professionals who don't build prototypes. Much like Julia Cameron inThe Artist's Way(2002),Henry peppers his self-help guide with creativity-enhancing exercises for readers to use in their daily lives. But he avoids the overly prescriptive—readers won't have to navigate essay questions or flow charts.The author wins points by acknowledging that burnout comes from unrealistic expectations combined with energy-sucking meetings and nonstop e-mails.He adds value with simple methods forremoving items from an artist's to-do list that make setting priorities and managing time effectively seem more attainable.

Readers will relate to Henry's description of the creative process and learn to sustain creativity over time.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591846246
  • Publisher: Portfolio Trade
  • Publication date: 8/27/2013
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 180,094
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

TODD HENRY is the founder and CEO of Accidental Creative, a consultancy that helps organizations generate brilliant ideas. In 2006 he started The Accidental Creative, one of the top business podcasts. He is a sought-after speaker, consultant, and coach.


Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Accidental Creative 1

Part I The Dynamics

1 The Dynamics of Creative Work 9

2 The Dynamics of Team Work 25

3 The Side Effects: Dealing with the Assassins of Creativity 43

Part 2 Creative Rhythm

4 Focus: Zeroing in on What's Critical 69

5 Relationships: Being Brilliant Together 93

6 Energy: Your Invisible Ally 113

7 Stimuli: What Goes in Must Come Out 135

8 Hours: They're the Currency of Productivity 161

9 Putting it All Together: The Checkpoints 181

10 Cover Bands Don't Change the World 201

Acknowledgments 219

Appendix 221

Index 225

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 7, 2011

    The Creative Health Plan I've Been Searching For

    I'm surprised how much I've gotten out of this book in just a few weeks since reading it!

    This book is going to help you bring a thoughtful structure to your everyday creative work. Todd teaches you how to examine your life as a whole to make sure that you have the key elements necessary to support your creating.

    I often find myself exhausted from a long day at work and have little energy left to give to my own personal art. After reading the book I've made some small, intentional changes to my daily habits and I've been excited to find that I have so much more left in the tank for my writing and crafting sessions.

    You don't need to have heard any of Todd's podcasts to love this book, but if you've been a fan of the show (as I have), you'll love this book. This was definitely worth the money and I even find that it is helping me synthesize the ideas from other creative revolution books, like Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind.

    This book applies to all creative professionals, from writers, painters, and graphic designers to product design engineers and computer programmers. I think it would make an excellent gift for new college graduates too. I sure wish I'd had it when I graduated from college!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    "Four Hour Body" for the mind

    After being a listener of the Accidental Creative podcast for years, it was great to see Todd finally release a book.

    This is an important book worth sharing for a few reasons...
    1. it's hits all the strong points from Accidental Creative - and there are many,
    2. it covers a ton of uncharted territory extremely relevant to the modern knowledge worker,
    3. it articulates art and creativity in way that almost anyone can digest, bringing it closer to home for engineering minds (like mine), and
    4. brings all this together with a focus on mental and physical health too - it's like a Four Hour Body for the mind.

    A thoroughly recommended, refreshing read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 6, 2011

    A Jump-Start for Your Creative Life

    This book is a must-read for two groups of people: Those who create (write, design, film, craft, etc.) and those who lead teams of people who do creative work. Todd Henry has synthesized the material from his highly popular podcast "The Accidental Creative" and his experience coaching organizations into a powerhouse of a book. We are all striving to produce more while wondering where the "more" is supposed to come from. This book walks you through some revolutionary practices, that if implemented have the potential to move you to creative freedom. For example, Todd takes a holistic approach when he recommends we do "whole life planning" not just planning for specific, independent projects. What we do in our personal time affects our work, and vice versa. I have personally found it most helpful to implement Todd's quarterly checkpoints as a way to manage my family. The result is less time spent depleted and more time filled and ready to create. There are many takeaways just like that throughout the book. It's an inspiring read and provided me with a jump-start to my creative life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Must Have For Any Creative!...The Creative's User Manual!

    A few years ago, I stumbled upon Todd Henry and his podcast. Instantly I was drawn in by his accessible manner, as he painted the picture of what creative burn-out looked like..and it was my self portrait. His emphasis on "filling your tank" with artistic input before you even begin expelling your creative output, changed my entire perspective of the process. I anxiously awaited the release of his book, How To Be Brilliant At A Moment's Notice and I am thrilled to say that it exceeded all expectations that I had. It is the essential user's manual for any creative! If your creative outlook was impacted by Steven Pressfield's "The War of Art" then this book will blow you away.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)