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Title: A Technique for Producing Ideas
Author: James Webb Young
ISBN: 0-07-141094-5

How to produce ideas using a simple process.

Writing Style:
This book could be used as a bookmark in other books. If it were formatted differently, it would be a pamphlet. The author, a celebrated advertising executive, writes in utter bemusement about being asked to answer the question: “How do you get ideas?” The version I own (with two forwards and a prefatory note) is copyrighted 2003. However, the main text was written in 1939. There are a few tells for this (i.e. Cue cards), but it holds up remarkably well to aging.

My Opinion:
I intended to write a review of Understanding and Treating Chronic Shame, but I couldn’t find my copy of the book and so I decided to make tea instead. Since writing something is more important than writing exactly the thing I want to write, I decided to write about this book. Mostly because I could read it (again) in the time it took to make my tea.

The five steps in Young’s process are— 1) fill your brain with “food”, 2) masticate it well, 3) rest and digest, 4) Eureka!, and 5) expose it to the cold grey dawn of the morning after to see if can survive reality. Repeat this process in every waking and sleeping moment of your life. Ideas will then come “naturally”.

Summaries of Young’s process are found everywhere on the Internet and they all strip the process of its life and amusement. The original text is worth tracking down since much of the benefit and understanding comes from the author’s telling (not the bullet points).

Evil Overlord Assessment:
Amazon (Canada) is selling used copies of this book for $169CDN. That is evil.

I have finished drinking my tea.


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