Just before Christmas, I was browsing the remaindered shelves at my local bookstore when I came across a thin little book with a cute cartoon guy on the front called Ignore Everybody. I took this book home, started reading it, and didn’t stop till I had finished. When I put it down I was a different person.
Specifically, I was Archibald Seeling Concord III, who is kind of a snob and has a bit of a gambling problem, but his golf swing is tremendous. Luckily, with a small amount of therapy, I became myself again shortly thereafter.
But reading Ignore Everybody was a revelation. Generally when I read a book about creativity and the craft of creating, I expect it to fall into one of two attitudes:
Attitude 1: Creating is hard. You will have to work your fingers to the bone, and even then you can’t be certain of achieving anything. If you’re not successful yet, it’s probably because you’re a lazy good-for-nothing slob. You should probably stop reading this book right now.
Attitude 2: Creating is wonderful. We’re all just fantastic little bundles of ideas and you should feel good about yourself for even trying. Immerse yourself in the joy of creation and feel the voice of the universe speak through you.
But somehow Ignore Everybody manages to split itself perfectly between the cynical and the optimistic sides of creating art. It’s message is this: Yes, you must blaze your own trail, do your own thing, and make your own way. But do remember that the trail you blaze probably won’t have a Denny’s built next to it, and you’re going to have to eat somewhere.
You have to read this book. Go and buy it from your bookstore. Get it out of the library. Break into my house and steal it if you must, but somehow you have to get your hands on this book. It will encourage and enlighten you no matter what it is you want to accomplish in life.
Not convinced yet? Go here to read the first 25% of the book on the author’s website. The book is thin and has a lot of pictures so it won’t take you all that long. Even if you don’t pick up the rest of the book I promise you’ll be better off for having read the portion I’ve linked to.
Don’t do it for me. Do it for yourself.
And now, since Christmas is past and New Year’s is on the way, I feel it only appropriate for me to provide you this link to a lovely little story about completely different holiday altogether.