Well, folks, I can die now and go to Heaven. The Happy Soul Industry is on Gawker! You know what that means? I’m officially a C-lister. Paris ain’t got nothing on me. Yes, the vitriolic site is skewering the book and its author. But like the man said, “All ink is good ink.”

Everyone is talking about Crispin Porter & Bogusky and their notorious “fame” strategy. They said it: ‘We ask ourselves if an idea is press worthy before we go with it.’ And one of the best ways to get press is to push people’s buttons.

I’m not sure why a kind fable like Happy Soul deserves to be put in Gawker’s WTF bucket but there it is, swimming along side various other waanabe guppies and stars in trouble.

Check it. Read the comments. They’re mean. They’re bored. They are hilarious. One guy found the lamest sentence in the book and excerpted it, following with one word: “vomit.”

And he’s right, that particular sliver of prose blows. Fortunately there are 30,000 other sentences, less puke-inducing. If 5% of these haters actually read the book I’m vomiting all the way to the bank.

God bless Gawker.


Permit me to share some thoughts regarding my first year in the blogosphere. Lessons learned. Mistakes made. That sort of thing.

Last post, I stated that Gods of Advertising is a “must write” for me, even if it’s not a must read for you. Totally true. As a writer (trying to become a better writer), nothing challenges and teaches me more about the craft than maintaining this blog.

Having an audience makes blogging even more of a Godsend. At first, I had only ten or twenty readers (Thanks Mom!) but that number has since swelled to several hundred a day. Hardly anything in the grand scheme but everything to me.

Not to get smarmy, but I owe each one of you a debt of gratitude. Pale Writer. Andy Webb. Van Gould. Jason Fox. All y’all! I don’t believe writers write regardless of audience. Maybe a diarist but even then I suspect he or she fantasizes about a reader. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to see it…writers are like those proverbial trees.

But, with exposure, you make yourself vulnerable to hatchets! Week one, I got my first lashing from “Anonymous.” Then another. And another. I quickly learned that one’s audience is not always friendly, especially when they’re shooting arrows from afar, under cover, on another blog for example.

Among other things, I was chastised for writing about my agency, the work we were doing and the way we were doing it. I was accused of pimping my novels.

Harsh lessons in humility but useful nonetheless. Though my blog is mine, it is not a My Space page. Tooting one’s horn is almost always a bad move. It’s not that people don’t give a damn, necessarily. It’s more complicated than that. People do care. They care enough to tell you when you’re being self-serving and a moron. Most bloggers become inured to cyber attacks. Some call them cowards and haters. Yet, there are lessons for the receiver as well.

When I blog I ask myself if I’m being useful. Is what I’m writing worth being read? Will it enlighten as well as entertain? I realize a lot of GOA readers are students of advertising, young writers and art directors. They are not here to hate. I owe them my best effort.

If a post receives a thoughtful comment or question, I reply. When I err, I am contrite. If I make light of another agency or its work I do so cautiously and with an even hand. If writing about something melodramatic (agency upheaval, layoffs and the like), I know there but for the grace of God go I.

This is privilege for me. I intend to keep writing. Please keep coming back. And may your God(s) come with you!