I really enjoyed reading Scott Belsky’s Making Ideas Happen. I love the conversational, modern tone, and the way the book loosely organized ideas into chapters by category. The book inspired me on several levels.
Making Ideas Happen helps you think through systems and some practical steps to getting things done as a creative. Often creative people get stuck on one thing or another.
Scott Belsky divides people into three different categories:
Here’s a bit of an explanation about that:
“When I was putting together the book I’d put everyone I’d meet into 3 categories: the Doer who doesn’t really think of anything new but argues to stay on track with what’s current and get it done. Then you have the Dreamer who’s always on that idea-to-idea-to-idea syndrome we talked about earlier, they’re the visionaries. Then you have these others known as the Incrementalists who go from Doer to Dreamer and back again. You’d think that’s the ideal – to be able to think of something and then do it and think of something else and do it again. But that’s the problem. They have too much going on. They do such a wide variety of things they end up looking back and wishing they’d focused on just one thing or worked with a Doer who’d kept me grounded I’d have 300 stores instead of just one. So the point of that is that there is not one best thing to be. You need to work with others.” -Scott Belsky in an interview [source]
Here’s a blog post that quotes more about the three types directly from the book [source]
Another point from Making Ideas Happen that hit home is that of INSECURITY WORK.
“I have come to define “Insecurity Work” as stuff that we do that (1) has no intended outcome, (2) does not move the ball forward in any way, and (3) is quick enough that you can do it multiple times a day without realizing – but, nonetheless, puts us at ease.” -Scott Belsky
He talks about insecurity work as checking website stats, constantly monitoring our email inboxes, updating facebook, and the like. For me, insecurity work manifests as I attempt to keep tabs on everything my twitter contacts have to say. I have a great list of twitter people who share great information and lead extraordinary lives, but all this monitoring and following is ultimately unnecessary, and actually wastes quite a bit of time and energy. Daily, through my twitter stream, I follow more rabbit trails than are necessary for my life. It keeps things exciting, but it also keeps me glued to my computer. I’m supposed to be on sabbatical!
You can read a bit more about insecurity work in the first bit of the interview source quoted above, but here’s a post on Scott’s company site that talks a bit more in depth about what is this thing he calls Insecurity Work.
Reduce Your Level of Insecurity Work