No One Ever Asked Hemingway About His Pencils

by Pete Ferguson

We live in a world chock full of tools.

The latest, the greatest. The fastest, the most connected electronics in history.

You can get over 500 channels of television. Type the letter “a” into a Google search and you’ll get “about 25,270,000,000 results in .18 seconds.”

Spend a few lifetimes reading “The best of 427,502 bloggers, 1,057,570 new posts, 1,290,484 comments, & 277,767,097 words posted today on”

Tools aren’t our problem in today’s overly connected world.

But creativity is!

“No one ever asked Hemingway which pencils he used to write his books. The tools aren’t the thing. The effort and the content and the promotion and the connection and the networking and the building value are the thing.” –

What we do to spark our creativity is the key to success. Creating an audience is the next step. Once these two elements are in place, then you need the tools to get you moving forward.

At my seminar on Monday, a participant shared his frustration that he has all of these great ideas and if he could just get someone with the right connections to get him in front of the right people, he could be very profitable.

I’m not singling him out. I felt the same way a few years back. But then I started thinking about it. I am the only one who cares so much about my ideas. And I’m the only one who can really share my ideas the way they’ve been created spiritually – mentally – in my head.

And all you have to do is see a blockbuster movie based off a book you love – where millions were spent to recreate the story – and you will walk away saying … “the book was better!” That’s because the author laid out the groundwork and your mind created the vivid story. And then some Hollywood punk producer ruined it!

Hemingway could have had a typewriter. A word processor. An iPad. What made him great then would make him great with today’s technology – his ability to connect with the reader and sell his story.

The hard part, and the rewarding fun part, of an idea is the creation of the actions to accompany the idea. It is in the doing that success becomes reality and rewarding.

So what great idea do you have bouncing around your brain that needs to sprout legs and run?

Learn: It is in the doing that great ideas become rewarding. What million dollar idea do you have floating around in your head?

Act: Creating an action plan is where the fun is. Write it out, give it legs, create milestone timeline measurements for success.

Share: Ideas in your head are worthless. It is very unlikely anyone is going to steal your ideas, but group think tanks can provide a great deal of resources and power to a budding thought. Get your thoughts out!


Check out Hemingway’s Pencils by Chris Brogan.

This graphic is so good, it is worth showing full size. Click to link to Jon’s blog:


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