Unthink, rediscover your creative genius, by erik wahl (writer, entrepreneur, speaker, graffiti artist) is a book for everyone.
Wahl’s life changed with the burst of the dot.com bubble and he began to examine his life and his artistic needs, questioning if anything was truly reliable. He began to paint and then to speak publicly challenging corporations to consider both “business intellect and artistic intuition, corporate sense and creative sensibility.”
Throughout the book, wahl (yes, he likes to use lowercase) gives examples of people who took time to think and made a difference in business, politics and art. Mystery, imagination and passion are key themes, as is the necessity to use both the left and right sides of our brains.
If we don’t know what is causing that itch or dissatisfaction in our life, we need to keep exploring. We need to rethink what we were taught about fitting in and just doing what is expected. Mystery makes everything more interesting and drives creativity.
While some people don’t change until forced to do so, “artists don’t wait to be rattled only from the outside. They provoke themselves first and then the people around them, in order to constantly imagine new possibilities.”
He gives examples of leaders such as Joan of Arc, Martin Luther King Jr., William Wilberforce, Mahatma Gandhi, writing that “all were artists of the highest form. Their brushes and paints were the words and actions that pointed to the better way and the higher standard.”
Just as writers are encouraged to raise the stakes, people in all fields should strive to find the spark of creativity. “Those who live in a constant state of creativity are the game changes,” he writes.
“Mystery is at the heart of creativity. That, and surprise, he quotes artist/writer Julia Cameron.
Todays successful artist, he stresses “is the one who knows when to embrace the childlike creativity of the right brain and when to embrace the logical strategy of the left brain.” Great progress never occurs through strategy alone.”
He encourages everyone to remember their dreams and follow their passions. As writers, these ideas are even more important to us. We generally already have good imaginations and a passion to communicate, but if we let out internal editor interfere too much with what we are writing, we need to unthink. This book gives us much to think about.