Taking back my crayons

I've Been Microscobleized!
Image by Laughing Squid via Flickr

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.

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About PJ Mullen

PJ Mullen is a dad, husband, amateur chef and prolific air drummer blogging about his life as a dad and anything else that is on his mind. Occasionally he blogs about being a dad in the kitchen at peaches en risotto and is a contributor over at Digital Dads.

Facebook comments:

  • http://surprisedmom.blogspot.com/ SurprisedMom

    Ignoring Everyone can be great advice in itself. The title just about sold me and your review did the rest. I don't know if I've ever had a great career, I just tried to enjoy doing what I was doing while I was where I was at. (Got that?) Did I see a bit of tongue in cheek when I read “by saving my SAHD allowance? I thought so. Thanks for the review, PJ!

  • weaselmomma

    I actually bought Mr Weasel a signed copy of this for Father's Day with a buy one get a signed copy free special that Hugh was running pre-release. Now I might actually pick it u and read it myself.

  • http://www.pjmullen.com PJ Mullen

    I used to be obsessed with being king of the castle in my chosen career path, so when that didn't work out so well I made lots of bad decisions that took me everywhere but where I wanted to be. I listened to too many outside forces and never really followed my own path. So, yes, ignoring everyone is great advice, but it is a really good book too. Plus it is short and has lots of pictures :)

  • http://www.pjmullen.com PJ Mullen

    Oh, very cool. I preordered it on amazon along with three other books that came out after it, so I only just got it about a month ago. Then it sat on my bo0kshelf collecting dust until I was going to be stuck on a plane with no internet access (how stone age!). Did Mr. Weasel like it? I'd love to hear what you think if you check it out.

  • theteachertom

    You know, PJ, I haven't been a regular non-fiction reader in years, but you're starting to make me want to be one.

  • http://simplefather.com simplefather

    I've seen this book around but have never picked it up. It seems like it would be right up my alley. It's good to know that I could knock it out in a few hours, cause I too struggle with reading (unless the book sucks me in).

  • http://www.pjmullen.com PJ Mullen

    Thanks Tom, I've always enjoyed reading, but I've always gotten away from it too easily. Been trying to read more stuff that will help me in my eventual return to the workforce, so I've had to slow my non-fiction stuff. If you give it a read I'd love to hear your thoughts.

  • http://www.pjmullen.com PJ Mullen

    I was first surprised at how small the book was to start with, so when I turned the last page in under two hours it was awesome. I appreciate the fact that he made his point, gave an example based on his experience, expounded on it a little, then concluded by making his point again. Plus his comics are pretty funny. If you read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

  • melisalw

    I might have to check that one out!

  • http://www.pjmullen.com PJ Mullen

    If you do, let me know what you think. It was very reassuring on some of the things I'm trying to do to get myself ready to get back into the workforce when the time is right.

  • http://thedevoteddad.com/ Jason @ The Devoted Dad

    I too, feel like writing on my blog has been very therapeutic for me and my life, both at home and in my career. It gives me time to reflect and be thankful, while also giving me something to look forward to when I am battling the daily grind, especially when it come to the part of my job that has very little to do with taking care of patients, i.e. all of the paperwork, insurance approval/denials, etc. It gives my mind a place to wander when it needs somewhere to do so. Sounds like a good read! -Jason

  • http://www.pjmullen.com PJ Mullen

    I couldn't even imagine dealing with the insurance people. That is the main reason my wife isn't working retail pharmacy and making 20% more. She doesn't want to deal with the insurance companies and who is paying for want on peoples drugs. If you check it out, you have to let me know what you think.

  • http://www.pjmullen.com PJ Mullen

    I couldn't even imagine dealing with the insurance people. That is the main reason my wife isn't working retail pharmacy and making 20% more. She doesn't want to deal with the insurance companies and who is paying for want on peoples drugs. If you check it out, you have to let me know what you think.

  • http://www.pjmullen.com/ PJ Mullen

    I couldn't even imagine dealing with the insurance people. That is the main reason my wife isn't working retail pharmacy and making 20% more. She doesn't want to deal with the insurance companies and who is paying for want on peoples drugs. If you check it out, you have to let me know what you think.

  • Pingback: My first @gapingvoid print | Evil Plans | PJ Mullen

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