“So to stay creative, we have to practice creative habits. And that’s the purpose of this book. It’s all about creative performance. Here you’ll find suggestions and examples to fill your life with Creative Zing!”

From Creative Zing! by Sam Harrison

Creative Zing! by Sam Harrison is a book full of creative practices, it’s inspiring and intelligent. Based on extensive research, it expands five simple and easy-to-remember concepts:

  • Explore
  • Experiment
  • Exhale
  • Examine
  • Express

Explore dives into how to go past the obvious to the original ideas, finding the remarkable ones. The book has exercises to open you mind, reassurances on exploring the radical and resources for when you feel stumped.

“With “unsafe ideas,” I’m not referring to careless ideas, but rather to inspiring, forward-thinking ideas that stretch out of comfort zones. And with “safe habitats,” I’m not suggesting sterile, stale environments but rather workplaces where people feel safe experimenting, voicing opinions and occasionally making mistakes.”

From Creative Zing! by Sam Harrison

Experiment looks at how to evaluate these ideas without squashing them. He talks about the importance of experimenting to find out what truly can and can’t work. Again, there are a lot of exercises and inspirational stories to encourage the reader.

Exhale is my favourite chapter. Working in marketing, creativity is a part of my daily life and I forget to pause, breathe and let the ideas percolate. His exercises are helpful and insightful.

“Pausing is also an important intermission between generating ideas and examining those ideas. Exhaling gives space for the subconscious to spring into action.”

From Creative Zing! by Sam Harrison

I also appreciated the boundaries chapter where Sam unpacks why they are essential and helpful in creativity rather than constraining.

“Musician and composer Quincy Jones had the benefit of a similar dictum early in his career. His composition teacher, Nadia Boulanger, said to him, “The more boundaries you set, the more freedom you have.”

From Creative Zing! by Sam Harrison

Express illustrates how best to present your ideas to investors and the marketplace and it’s full of great tips!

Whilst I read this straight through, this book is also designed to be a reference book, one of those you can pick up and put down as and when you need it. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it beneficial for our creative process. I highly recommend it, it’s a five out of five on the enJOYment scale.

From the back cover:

This invigorating and enlightening handbook shows you how to generate more and better ideas AND how to present and sell those ideas to decision makers. Through his talks and coaching, books and articles, Sam Harrison has helped and inspired thousands of designers, marketers, PR people, communicators, teachers, students, business leaders and other creative professionals.

Harrison now brings together a fresh collection of his real-world tips, tools and action steps in a concise, inviting book so readers can have more ideas and get those ideas approved by bosses and clients. Creativity is inherent in all people, but it’s often suppressed by external and internal factors. Harrison says that’s why individuals and teams too often wind up in the Zombie Zone of boredom and weak ideas or in the Zigzag Zone of confusion and non-productive ideas.

This book guides people out of those zones and into a Zing Zone of strong, consistent ideas—and effective presentations of those ideas. By thriving in a creative Zing Zone, readers will have a more imaginative, fulfilling life. The book’s powerful content is presented as digestible, single-page messages, perfect for busy, on-the-go people in today’s media-saturated world. There’s no fluff to lumber through—just quick-hitting, how-to suggestions, quotes and examples readers can start using the very next day. “Creative resources are inside us,” writes Harrison, “but to stay creative we have to practice daily creative habits. And to get ideas approved, we have to polish presentation skills. This book shows you how.”

I received a complimentary copy of the book from Independent Publishers Group through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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