Nonfiction Essays

Fake It Till You Make It Is Bad Advice, Just Make It

I’ve been drawing again lately — doodles, simple drawings, that sort of thing. I was inspired, in part by, Brendan Leonard’s latest essay collection Make It: 50 Myths and Truths About Creating.

Brendan is the creator of the illustrated blog Semi Rad, a site dedicated to non-elite runners and outdoor adventurers. It’s as much about those topics as it is about creativity.

I’m the type of person who would be classified as his target audience, even a member of the 1,000 True Fans theory by Kevin Kelly.

I trail run as much as my knees and lower back allow but I won’t be winning the Western States any time soon.

And I’m a writer.

I’ve been reading Semi Rad since its birth in 2011 and I’ve bought at least three of Brendan’s books:

And now, Make It.

Make It is about giving in to the creative kid inside you

Make It includes 50 illustrated micro-essays meant to serve as a gentle kick in the nether regions so you’ll stop putting off your creative endeavors and get to rocking and rolling — whatever the medium.

For me, the medium is writing. Secretly I’ve always wanted my blog to be a mix of writing and original illustrations; but, for whatever the reason (mainly fear “it’s not good enough”), I’ve always been too lily livered to go through with the latter.

For you, it may be drawing or painting or picking up that guitar collecting dust in the corner of your room and finally learning to play “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple.

Harkens back to a time listening to my friend Ricky hitting D4 F4 G4 – D4 F4 Ab4 G4 – D4 F4 G4 – F4 D4 on repeat with his cherry red Epiphone

It could even be cooking gourmet meals.

I bought Make It for me, but realized early on this is a great book for even my kids who are still imagination machines who haven’t yet been jaded by the ho-hum demands of life, school, and work.

Maintain the status quo, you fiends!
Maintain the status quo!

In the opening introduction, Brendan writes:

I made this book because everyone who has a creative bone in their body can come up with a dozen reasons to not make art. I do it all the time.

Make It, by Brendan Leonard

Make It is 139 pages of easy reading, inspiring words with simple charts and illustrations. If I made that sound lame, it’s not. It’s a fun read that has a drawing of a symbolic flaming hoop on page 44. It’s available on Amazon for $11.99 in paperback and $5.99 on Kindle.

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