"How to Think like Leonardo daVinci" by Michael Gelb

At the moment there are so many blog posts scheduled, that everyone gets a bonus post this week!  This post is inspired by 101 ways to draw more traffic to your siteIn case you don’t know The Traffic Blogger I highly recommend you check him out.  More then just blogging about blogging, he runs the incredible Just My Two Copper forum/post/community (marketing machine).  I’ve learned a lot from both of his ventures.

“98. Write about someone famous who has been dead for more than 200 years. Incorporate their story into a lesson about your niche.”

That line caused instantaneous inspiration.  Leonardo Da Vinci.  We know that he’s one of the smartest and most creative people that has ever lived.  Have there been people as smart, and as creative since or before?  Sure there have.  But we don’t know them because Leonardo was genius enough to write his thoughts and ideas down.  He kept a journal.

Years ago, while working at a bookstore, I found a book called “How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci”. The cliché “It changed my life” is true.  Although I would add “In a subtle but profound way”.  I have held onto this book for years because it contains great lessons learned by studying the life and genius of da Vinci.http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=thzopr-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0440508274&fc1=FFFBFB&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=A7A7A7&bc1=000000&bg1=060606&f=ifr

Keeping a journal is the piece of advice that is life altering.  Applying that advice to game design is brilliant.  Write down all your game design ideas; no matter how big or small.  All RPG character ideas, all LARP ideas, and CCG ideas.  Anything.  Once you have all these little ideas floating around in your journals, start to connect them together.

Another approach is to refine and collect those ideas in a new medium.  You might think that this blog is the original journal.  However it’s actually a refinement, a revision of that journal.  The ideas of this blog are culled out of ideas from journals.  Ideas combine and form, and become something new.  Like Alchemy.  😉

This method of taking notes and then refining them is a good way to study something.  The difference between knowledge and understanding is application.  If you can apply knowledge (data on something) in some way you gain understanding.  Start by writing down notes in a journal, and then rewriting those notes into something useful to someone else (or yourself later).  I feel that it’s important to have a hand written journal, and from that create a digital version.  Each format is a very different medium and that helps the brain process the knowledge into understanding.   

When younger I wrote angst ridden emotional junk about my current circumstances, thinking that a journal was a catalog of every emotional thing that happened mixed in with all the ideas.  Good journals are not diaries.  Avoid that temptation.  Years later you will want to throw that crap away.  Luckily I kept one diary full of angst and one journal full of ideas.  All the drawings and ideas had a much more positive emotional association years later then all the drama.  The diary got thrown out because it was too embarrassing to look at.

I should reread the book and write another book review to go with Inbound Marketing.
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