On my flight back from California I finally had the opportunity to catch up on some reading I’ve been meaning to do. One of the first books on the docket was Hugh MacLeod‘s ‘Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity’, which was born out of a series of blog posts he wrote in 2004 that collectively became ‘How to Be Creative’.
If you haven’t heard of Hugh, he is former advertising executive who has been writing the blog gapingvoid.com since 2001. About a dozen years ago Hugh got into doodling cartoons on the back of business cards. Through gapingvoid.com he brought these cartoons to the internet and the rest, as they say, is history.
Throughout the course of the book Hugh relays the lessons he learned through his career in advertising and ultimately in creating the cartoon-on-back-of-bizcard format. It is very candid, entertaining and uses an economy of words to relay his message. It is also interspersed with Hugh’s business card sized comics that are hilarious.
Most chapters are between two and four pages in length. Even in the dreadfully slow manner that I tend to read I managed to knock this book out in under two hours because the book just sucked me in.
Almost immediately the book began to feel as if Hugh was speaking directly to me, especially in the second chapter where he discusses his idea of putting cartoons on the back of business cards and how it was both stupid and liberating.
Liberating is the exact word I would use to describe how I feel about this blog, specifically as it relates to my ten year struggle to, as Hugh would say, ‘pry my career out of the jaws of mediocrity’.
As Hugh explains in ‘The Sex and Cash Theory’, this advice is for anyone, anywhere no matter what your line of work or profession may be. It is a fun, fast and, most importantly, refreshing read that serves as a wake up call for anyone, especially us parent bloggers looking for help in channeling our inspiration.
Just as a matter of disclosure I purchased a copy of Ignore Everybody myself by saving up my stay-at-home dad allowance.