Rules for Mavericks

A manifesto for dissident creatives

By: Phil Beadle


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Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 198 x 130mm
Pages : 192
ISBN : 9781785831133
Format: Paperback
Published: April 2017

Rules for Mavericks: A manifesto for dissident creatives by Phil Beadle is a guidebook to leading a creative life, to being a renaissance dilettante, to infesting your art form with other art forms, to taking a stand against mediocrity, to rejecting bloodless orthodoxies, to embracing your own pretension and, most of all, to dealing with your failure(s).

‘If you make any stand against power, then power will stand against and on you. And it will do so with centuries of experience and techniques in how to do so effectively: you will be painted as barbaric, dismissed as stupid and insane, be told to know your place. Most of all, you will be termed maverick.’

This genre-flouting manifesto is written by someone who has achieved and has failed in more than one field. As a Guardian columnist, award-winning teacher, award-winning broadcaster, author, editor, singer, songwriter, producer and public speaker, Phil Beadle knows a bit about leading a life producing good work across a variety of platforms. In this elegantly written book he glides and riffs around the idea of maverick nature, examines the processes of producing good work in creative fields and broaches the techniques that orthodoxies use to silence dissident voices. It is a ‘how to dream’ book, a ‘how to create’ book, a ‘how to work’ book and a ‘how to fail productively’ book; it is an examination of the many accusations that any dissident creative will face over a long career stirring things up, a guide to dealing with these with grace and a study in how to make creativity work for you.

Rules for Mavericks is for anyone who wants to live and work more creatively and successfully.

Contents include:

Introduction: ‘maverick nature’

1 Rules

2 Starting off

3 Failure

4 Creativity and the process of production

5 Work

6 The realm(s) of appearance

7 Performance

8 Change

9 Renaissance dilettantism

10 Writing (and reading too)

11 On being reviewed

Click here to view the audiobook version.

You can purchase this title in MP3 format from the following websites:


Click here to listen to Phil’s podcast on Player FM.

Audio Samples

Listen to a sample of the audio book

Picture for author Phil Beadle

Phil Beadle

Phil Beadle knows a bit about bringing creative projects to fruit. His self-described renaissance dilettantism' is best summed up by Mojo magazine's description of him as a burnished voice soul man and left wing educationalist'. He is the author of ten books on a variety of subjects, including the acclaimed Dancing About Architecture, described in Brain Pickings as a strong, pointed conceptual vision for the nature and origin of creativity'. As songwriter Philip Kane, his work has been described in Uncut magazine as having novelistic range and ambition' and in Mojo as having a rare ability to find romance in the dirt' along with bleakly literate lyricism'. He has won national awards for both teaching and broadcasting, was a columnist for the Guardian newspaper for nine years and has written for every broadsheet newspaper in the UK, as well as the Sydney Morning Herald. Phil is also one of the most experienced, gifted and funniest public speakers in the UK.

Click here to listen in on Phil's podcast with Pivotal Education - How to Teach Literacy'.

Listen to the ABC Conversations with Richard Fidler' broadcast.

ABC Conversations with Richard Fidler Broadcast date: Thursday 19 July 2012

Click here to listen to Phil Beadle's interview with TalkSport - Listen in at approximately 29:09.


  1. Quite simply, a go to book for anyone who would like to explore their potential. You do not have to consider yourself (or have been told that you are) a maverick, in order to connect to the thoughts on offer here. Thoughtful, encouraging, and bitingly realistic, Phil Beadle made me smile, nod, and have quite a few ahah! moments as I read. I found the layout a little unsettling to begin with, however soon got used to having the flow of the words interrupted for a second as my mind took in the alternative way of punctuating the highlights. Chapter 11 struck a particular chord with me and cemented my own thoughts on the subject. As I explored, as I reflected and ideas settled around me, I found my inner voice inspired to speak up and discuss the points on offer. While it occasionally gives your mind a jolly good shake, 'Rules for Mavericks' is a perfectly placed spark of encouragement to explore your creative side.

    Click here to read the review on Love Reading's website.
  2. Phil Beadle has written a seminal piece of work exploring creativity and the timely need for Maverick behaviour in a perpetuated mediocre world. With shades of Hakim Bey's "The Temporary Autonomous Zone", the book takes the reader on a personal and philosophical journey through change, performance and failure. You know that when a book begins with an affirmation of the protests of 'Radical Muslim Feminist' Safia Aidid it is going to strike at the very heart of conservative establishment and it does so with sophistication of thought and style. With a layout that seems to be inspired by McLuhan's "The Medium is the Massage", Beadle will guide you - almost Diffordesque at times - through the emotional pitfalls and loneliness of authentic creation, whilst at other points in the book he stands back and ridicules the pretension of our successes. Either way, the book needs to be read by anyone brave enough and honest enough to understand the need for rejecting conformity and challenging blandness. This book will certainly be ridiculed, misunderstood and overlooked by the dullards Beadle urges you to fight against, but as the writer himself encourages, "Smile at them. They hate this. And fire your energy and your anger into your work."

  3. The successor to Camus's 'The Rebel', Phil Beadle's 'Rules for Mavericks' rocks, dips and swerves like no other book of this type ever has. It is a true original combining anthropology and philosophy with a new way of looking at our world. It is revolutionary in scope and speaks not solely to intellectuals, but to all of us. The clarity of Phil's writing opens up the closed and high grounds and lets us all in to the palace of intelligence. This is no mean achievement and a more than must read.

  4. Phil Beadle is one of the most important voices in British education. His latest book is not just about the true nature of the word 'maverick'. It is about perhaps the most important educational gift we can give, namely the courage and curiosity to truly be ourselves and not apologise for it. Maverick, as he explains, is a label often stuck on people who dare to challenge convention. It is not something they necessarily chose for themselves. But convention can never adequately describe us. Our deepest hopes and dreams are far too profound for it. Obsequious deference to convention can never really make great scientific breakthroughs, create great art or stand against tyranny. Nor can it speak to the hunger for learning in any child. It is a prison all of its own. Phil is not just some provocateur or agitator, as much as those who fear mavericks might like to belittle him with that cosy and ill-explored label. He is allergic to bullshit and he speaks for freedom against a mediocrity that can ruin lives.

  5. Rules for Mavericks is a unique and compelling read, packed with guidance for the less maverick amongst us. Reflecting on his own experiences and the experiences of other creative non-conformists (from Christopher Hitchens to Joni Mitchell via David Bowie) Phil Beadle provides us with strategies for improving creative output, for challenging authority, for fighting the good fight when things get tough and for learning from the many inevitable mistakes we will make in the days and years ahead. Unconventional and inspiring, Rules for Mavericks may just give you the courage you need to shrug off convention and release your inner dissident.
  6. Voices in the wilderness are seldom heard with clarity. This book is the exception. Mavericks can't be made, but they can be given the space and support to fly in the face of conformity with alacrity. Phil Beadle wears the badge conferred on him with uncomfortable reticence, but delivers a message in tune with his original thinking, emphasising the importance of straying from the flock whilst hiding in full sight of the wolves. Sometimes controversial, but never less than eye-opening and thought-provoking, which is what any self-respecting moderate demands of their mavericks. As society careers towards ever-narrowing options in a disenfranchised democracy designed to govern from the top down, polemicists become ever more important voices: a rule book for railing against the top might just be the most useful tool of all. Read it and build with it.
  7. Rules for Mavericks is irreverent, stimulating and absorbing. There's a mixture of humour and wisdom on every page. It's an insight into how thinking like a maverick can have practical benefits. Phil Beadle writes in a way that is personal and therefore easy to relate to. He demonstrates how deciding to think and behave like a maverick can change your work and personal life for the better.

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