Making things happen (book review)

Posted by Steve Comments Off on Making things happen (book review)

We might not have made the game without having read this book. If you’re interested in finishing one of your projects this book might well be able to help you out.

Here is our review, which you can also find on

This book came to my attention when I was looking at It is written by Scott Belsky one of the founders of the Behance network and website. Since it was aimed at the creative professional it immediately piqued my interest. I’ve still have ideas that I thought about years ago, which are sitting unrealized. I come up with more ideas than I have the time to execute. In my personal life I’m always putting things off.
I actually bought the book intending to give it to a friend who is worse than me at executing ideas. A few months later the book was still on my desk, gathering dust and I thought, I wonder if the theories in this book can be applied to making something happen, never mind ideas. Maybe if I read it myself I can start to organise my life a little better. It’s not that I’m particularly disorganised but I feel like I could do with a little more control over my creativity.

The book is not a step by step program into how to go about generating ideas and then bringing them to fruition, but is rather a guide book made up of anecdotes and advice from various successful creatives across various industries. It is written progressively so that you can grasp the importance of organisation, community and leadership. It is written well and is very easy to read. The plus side and down side is that it’s written for a creative individual of any level, from freelancer to business manager. This is great because you get the advice to help you move from one position to the other and caters for both professionals, however it means there is quite a bit of information about running a team that you have to read even if you don’t want or need to run a team. Saying that it is surprising how much relevant advice there is that applies to everyone even in the leadership section.

The only disappointment if you can even call it that is that the focus on the book is on creative business. If you’re a professional creative then you will benefit from this book. There’s not really any room here for the hobbyist. It feels like it is more about getting your business or business idea working for you than you working for you. I’m a creative professional with creative ideas outside my work sector and I have learned a lot from this book. I am taking my time to read it, to try to absorb what I can, to learn the lessons and apply them to my life. In the two months since I picked up this book I feel like I have finally started to get myself in order. The problem now is to stop doing the ordering long enough to make my ideas happen. It’s a fine balance that you have to work out for yourself.

The main thing I have learned from this book, as a creative individual, is not to give yourself such a hard time about not executing ideas. If you are organised enough, then you can prioritise and the projects that are worthy will happen. You will have an enormous sense of achievement from finishing one project, which you can use as enthusiasm to get your next project off the ground.

I highly recommend this book for any creative person who wants to break the endless cycle of idea generation without completion. Or even if you want to be more organised.

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