When I first started freelancing I read loads and loads of blogs – some by freelance writers, some by businessy types, and some life-hacking experts. Day after day, my inbox was crammed full of what I hoped would be life-changing words sent directly from the mouths of my new mentors. I literally spent hours and hours every week trying to suck any bit of useful information I could from all these other people that had already ‘made it’ in order to make myself more successful.
It didn’t work. A lot of it was crap, utter crap. A bunch of re-recycled ideas that had been floating around the internet for years perpetually being picked up, chewed up, and spewed back out by tens and tens of these so-called gurus. And don’t even get me started on those who pass off pages and pages of expertise that have been produced by (obviously much more talented) ghost writers as their own… (double grrrr).
What this (kind of pointless) exercise served to prove was that if these people could make a living writing then by crikey so could I. But also, in amongst the shit there were a few bright, sparkly diamonds who totally inspired me to be a better writer, a better thinker, and a better person in general. Okay, that sounds slightly sickly (or sycophantic even), but that’s not half as bad as some of the woop-woop-back-slapping-pom-pom-waving-cartwheel-turning tat I’ve wasted my evenings on.
But, now for the main event – I would like to introduce you to the genius that is my hero, Mark Manson. If he sold t-shirts, I’d buy one. If you love to write and read and ponder quietly about stuff, you will appreciate Mark Manson’s blog immensely. And if you like to laugh and swear a lot, that’s even better.
“HI. I’M MARK. I am an author, blogger and entrepreneur. I write personal development advice that doesn’t suck. Some people say I’m an idiot. Other people say I saved their life. Read on and decide for yourself.”
All of us need a big spoonful of the old truth medicine sometimes, and one that definitely isn’t sugar coated Mary Poppins style. Mark Manson writes about life stuff like relationships, happiness, self-worth, personal development, psychology and culture. It’s brutally honest, it’s clever, it’s thought-provoking, and it will make you laugh out loud. A lot.
“WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR OF SHIT SANDWICH AND DOES IT COME WITH AN OLIVE? Ah, yes. The all-important question. What flavor of shit sandwich would you like to eat? Because here’s the sticky little truth about life that they don’t tell you at high school pep rallies: Everything sucks, some of the time.”
Mark is a huge advocate of personal accountability – in other words, giving yourself a big shake, getting up off your backside and changing your life for the better. And after all, we only get one and it’s pretty bloody short. He says,
“Honest question. Do you love what you do? If the answer isn’t a resounding, knee-jerk, “Yes! I live for this shit,” then I encourage you to seriously consider doing something about it. That may sound extreme, but seriously, in 100 years you and everyone you know are going to be dead and your great-grandkids aren’t going to get misty-eyed remembering how you got that quarterly bonus or a corner office. This is your life and every breath you take is killing you. Stop screwing around.”
Whenever I feel sad or irritated with something or I’m just looking for some inspiration, I turn to Mark Manson’s blog. I have a Mark-shaped hole in my heart. He makes me want to write better. Better sentences than that last one especially. Seriously, I absolutely love this guy’s writing and I cannot urge you enough to read his stuff.
Try out one of his latest posts; trust me you’ll soon be a fan too.