Markus Zusak started writing a book in 2002. This story of Zusak is about how Geniuses Come Up with Great Ideas.
He started by sketching out how the story would start and how it would end. Then he started writing out the chapter titles, which took several pages. Some of them made it into the final story, but many others didn’t.
When Zusak started writing the story, he tried telling it from Death’s point of view. He wasn’t happy with how it turned out.
He rewrote the book from the main character’s point of view. Again, there was something wrong.
He tried to write it as if he were looking at it from the outside. Still no good.
He tried present tense. He tried past tense. Nothing. The words didn’t make sense.
He rewrote. He grew up. He changed. This is how Geniuses Come Up with Great Ideas. Zusak says he rewrote the first part of the book between 150 and 200 times. In the end, he went back to his first idea and wrote the story from Death’s point of view. It felt right this time, the 200th time. At the end of it all, Zusak’s book had taken him three years to write. He gave it the name The Book Thief (audiobook).
In an interview after his book was finally published, Zusak said, “I must have failed over a thousand times in three years, but each failure brought me closer to what I needed to write, and for that, I’m grateful.”
The book became very popular very quickly. It was on the best-seller list of the New York Times for more than 230 weeks. It was bought 8 million times. It was put into 40 different languages. A few years later, Hollywood called, and The Book Thief became a big-budget movie.
Here is how Creative Geniuses Come Up with Great Ideas;
1. How to Get Lucky in a Simple Way
We often think that big hits are just a matter of luck. Maybe it’s easier to explain success this way, as if it were a lucky accident. There is no doubt that every success story has some luck to do with it.
But Markus Zusak is proof that luck seems to find you if you change your work 200 times, if you find 200 ways to reinvent yourself and get better at your craft.
How do Geniuses Come Up with Great Ideas with them? They work, edit, rewrite, try again, and again until they come up with something brilliant. They keep showing up, so they have a chance to get lucky.
In her speech at Dartmouth’s graduation, Shonda Rimes talks about a plan that is similar to what Markus Zusak did…
Just because you have a dream doesn’t mean it will come true. Things get done through hard work. Change comes from hard work…
Drop the dream and do something instead. You might know exactly what you want to be, or you might be stuck because you don’t know what your passion is. In reality, it doesn’t make a difference. There’s no need to know. All you have to do is keep going. Just keep doing something, take advantage of the next chance, and be willing to try something new. It doesn’t have to be the perfect job or life as you see it. Dreams are not real, and perfect is boring. Just … do.
You think to yourself, “I wish I could travel.” Great. Sell your old, broken-down car, buy a plane ticket to Bangkok, and go. Immediately. I’m not kidding. You want to write, right? Someone who writes every day is a writer, so start writing.
2. What makes creativity work?
We all have some kind of genius for making things up. Work on it is the only way to get rid of it.
Nothing will bring out your creative skills more than forcing yourself to create every day. Markus Zusak had to write and rewrite the book 200 times. For you, it might mean singing a song over and over again until it sounds right. Or writing code until all the bugs are gone, taking pictures of your friends until the lighting is just right, or taking care of your customers until you know them better than they do. If you work hard enough, you can turn any job into a work of art.
How do Geniuses Come Up with Great Ideas with them? They put in a lot of effort.
Also Read: 10 Best Creativity Books