The Dance of the Possible [review]

If you want a better understanding of how creativity works, put down your phone and give The Dance of the Possible your attention. Or, read it on your phone. It has 31 quick and easy-to-read chapters that are perfect for a commute, or as mental fodder as you wind down your day. And it’s all done with a touch of humor that includes Scott Berkun’s obsession with shouting “papaya” out of moving vehicles.

Because (for better or worse) I read lots of book on creativity, I was familiar with much of the material, from how no idea is truly original, to how creativity is rarely efficient and how you can constructively frame the narrative when your work is ignored. However, I still think it’s important to get these reminders that may very well fish you out of the next motivational rut.

But it’s also unlikely you’ll say there’s nothing new here. There’s a chapter that reveals how improvisation can help you become a better thinker, teacher, and human being. Another chapter discusses the difference between requesting feedback and encouragement, and how to go about asking for each. I hadn’t thought about how when we ask for feedback, it’s not always what we want.

What I enjoyed most about this book is it’s celebration of how special any of us are that do creative work. It’s neither easy nor convenient, but it is amazing. And while the modern world is obsessed with making things faster and easier, we shouldn’t be looking for alternatives to committing to the discipline of honoring our ideas.

Books are perhaps the greatest deal out there when it comes to changing your life, but don’t expect this one (or any book) to be your pivotal moment. Like creativity, it’s going to be the product of everything you consume and the time you put in to actually do the work.

Buy on: Amazon

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