From self-proclaimed “wonder women” Carrie Anton and Jessica Nordskog comes a nifty inspirational guide with the bullet points to do it all — become or better yourself as a self-employed, freelance or work-at-home pro. 

The Madison-based authors come from a background in all things writing and creativity. Together, they operate Wonder: An Idea Studio. The duo formerly worked more traditional nine-to-five gigs as editors, writers and style guides at Mattel’s American Girl. There, they applied their talents to magazine and toy products. 

Having been struck by the desire for more creativity and an escape from the norm, Anton and Nordskog began Wonder, where they could fully entertain their destiny as “idea people” where they can always think about “the next big thing.” 

Through their experience, they’ve put together this colorful and entertaining guide that is both witty and entirely useful for just about any professional interested in improving upon themselves in the workplace, their home environment, personally or opening themselves up to new avenues, ideas and breaking out of the mold or ruts they may have ended up in. 

Anton and Nordskog assure their readers: The idea-generating superpower lies within all — and it’s time to tap into that and bring those ideas to life, they say. 

The book is compact, colorful and easy to read, which isn’t to say it’s not professional or its impact not powerful. It is both, and much more. With catchy phrases, ideas and methods to follow, it’s simple to find a personality trait you identify with and can run with to better your routine through practical yet creative ways. It’s not a typical brainstorm web one saw on a chalkboard or college projector, but rather an outlined and handy guide that provides many different methods to try for generating fresh ideas. The major plus? One never has to attend another stuffy office meeting or conference with stale donuts and cold coffee to learn it all.  

Topics encompass everything from brainstorming and ground rules to breakout and icebreakers as well as sit and simmer and debrief. 

As a long time work-at-home part-time freelance writer, I saw this as a valuable resource that assured me I’m not too overly-organized in my strict regimen and schedules, yet I could certainly benefit from allowing some chaos and unplanned inroads into my work life that could boost my work quality, enjoyability of the job and bring in some new resources. There are many activities, tips, tools and exercises that not only help bust up that age-old writers block, but create new building blocks for something bigger and better. I hope the pair of Wisconsin writers continue to write for this market of professionals. 

“By the end of this book, you’ll be armed with a set of diverse techniques for firing up creativity, generating and selecting your best ideas, and navigating all manners of obstacles – all by yourself. You’ll also (we hope) feel a little less alone on your solo journey.”