How To Make Mistakes On Purpose – Laurie Rosenwald

This title pretty much says it all: sometimes making mistakes can be just what you need. This book is fun to read, with a somewhat chaotic layout and style. The overall message is of course that you shouldn’t just always do what you know will work. Try the unexpected sometimes, throw a spanner in your works, and see what happens. Move out of your comfort zone. Try something new. Etc. It’s kind of a hackneyed idea but still a good idea, and good to be reminded of it.

There are lots of fun and illustrative anecdotes, but I feel there is not a lot of actual guidance on how to actually make these purposeful mistakes. There are some tips:

Maybe try: The very next time you need to solve a problem and you’re stalled… go for the first thing you grab, not the best thing. (page 85)

Maybe try: … Draw a whole bunch of red circles (freehand) quick and sloppy, as fast as you can. Draw a hundred! Look at them. Have a think. I bet the ones you drew fastest and sloppiest were the bestest. (page 105)

For more actual ideas on how to do this sort of thing, I recommend Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies. This book is worth breezing through though – and one day I will look up Laurie Rosenwald’s TED Talks too.

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