So you think you're interesting?


A few weeks ago my bibliophile friend Jill asked me to join her to hear Jessica Hagy talk about her new book How to Be Interesting (In 10 Simple Steps). We were psyched to go because Austin Kleon -- author of Steal Like an Artist -- endorsed her book. I posted about his book talk here. Jessica calls herself a cartoonist, and is referred to elsewhere as an illustrator, writer and humorist. Best known for her blog Indexed, she became an overnight success when her "How to be Interesting" post on went viral with over 1.4 million viewers. Hence the book.

According to Jessica, being interesting is the greatest personal asset in business and life in general. "It’s a core attribute that draws people toward each other, and greases the wheels of love and commerce and politics." Here's the rub: Although she didn't claim to be interesting, Jessica's delivery was flat at best. With the exception of a few quick-witted remarks, she wasn't engaging or compelling at all. So disappointing.

The funniest thing she said was "Bunkhead" when referring to Buckhead where she was staying. For those of you not familiar with Atlanta, Buckhead is "where old money lives and and new money parties" (according to the Urban Dictionary). It is also known for its high-end shopping malls. I loathe going to Buckhead in general, and only shop there when I'm absolutely desperate. Buckhead ladies are often referred to as "Buckhead Betties." Not by me. No way.

Jessica explained that she was out exploring (see Step 1 below) in someone's "Bunkhead" yard. Sounded interesting, but she didn't share what she discovered (see Step 2 below) even when asked. Maybe she was embracing her weirdness (see Step 4 below) and didn't want to admit it. Who knows?

Since then, I've read her book. I really like it, and love her blog.

Back to my original question. Do you think you're interesting? If so, great. If not, and you no longer want to be a bore, follow these 10 simple steps:

Step 1: Go exploring.  [Adventurous]
Step 2: Share what you discover.  [Generous]
Step 3: Do something. Anything. [Active]
Step 4: Embrace your weirdness.  [Strange]
Step 5: Have a cause.  [Caring]
Step 6: Minimize the swagger. [Humble]
Step 7: Give it a shot.  [Daring]
Step 8: Hop off the bandwagon. [Original]
Step 9: Grow a pair. [Brave]
Step 10: Ignore the scolds.  [Self-assured]

Check out Indexed for lots of clever charts, graphs and Venn diagrams. Love these!




If you could change lives with someone you find interesting -- either living or dead -- for a day, who would it be and why?  I'd like to be Lena Dunham. Why? Because it would be fun to be 26 again. And, it would nice to be a critically acclaimed, award-winning filmmaker, actress and writer with a sweet book deal.

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