Thursday, April 9, 2015

What Sparks Writing Genius?

The April edition of Psychology Today featured a cover headline that read: “AHA! Spark the insight that changes everything.”  Is there really a means to awaken or manufacture a light bulb moment – or at least greatly enhance your chances of having once?

The beautifully written article defined the aha moment, saying:

“Most of the time, ideas develop from the steady percolation and evaluation of thoughts and feelings. But every so often, if you’re lucky, a blockbuster notion breaks through in a flash of insight that’s as unexpected as it is blazingly clear. So-called “aha moments” can be deeply personal and even existential, prompting the realization that you should quit your job, divorce your spouse, move to another city, mend a broken relationship, abandon an addictive behavior, or, like Lovell, redirect your moral compass. They can also be creative, generating the brilliant idea for a tech startup, the theme of a musical composition, the plot point of a novel, or the answer to an engineering quandary. In all cases, you apprehend something that you were blind to before.”

What the article didn’t delve into is that creativity, epiphanies, and moments of genius come about from a variety of influences, including addictions, violent moments, emotional strains, and bad upbringings.

Would someone choose to suffer from depression, be in a violent relationship, or witness a parent kill himself if it meant they could “cash in” with a life of creativity that’s expressed in books, films, or music?  Of course not.

But brilliant moments of clarity and amazing thoughts could also come from making an effort to meditate and think about specific things over and over until a resolution is reached.  If you obsess over something – in a good way – and not let fear, anger, or loss get in the way – you can do a lot with your brain – and life!

How can genius be sparked?

1.      Read more books and learn as much as you can about anything and anyone.

2.      Train your eyes and ears to be observant to your surroundings – look for clues in things that you come into contact with.

3.      Stop wasting time with mindless pursuits like social media trash-talking, video game marathons, or watching streamed reruns of silly television fare.

4.      Move! Exercise the mind by pushing your body’s limits.

5.      Eat smarty food and give your brain energy.

6.      Be inquisitive – ask people questions and let them talk.

7.      Live with a hypothesis about something.  Test it, research it, and experiment.

8.      Seek out smart people and experts in fields you know little of.  Let them spark something.

9.      Challenge yourself and do things you otherwise wouldn’t think to do.

10.  Get rest.  Sleep helps the body heal and the mind to dream.

On the other hand, maybe there are no shortcuts to genius.  Some of it is due to your genes and family environment.  Some of it has to do with luck.  Other factors include stress and being open-minded.  Further, if you lack the time to create and focus on your passion, that’s an issue.  

Lastly, you need to improve your mind and continually feed it things that grow and expand. Genius should be a byproduct of a number of factors but it’s some type of blend of raw talent, acquired knowledge, persistence, and the courage to experiment.

I’m not the expert on genius.  Perhaps no one is.  But I know that genius comes to those looking for it.  It’s rare that people create something by complete accident.  They set out to do something with their lives and even if the road twists and turns they find a way to get somewhere. Just keep at it and stay focused on what you want.  The more you think about something, the likelier you will get it – or uncover something else worth pursuing.


2015 Book PR & Marketing Toolkit: All New

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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