SPS 176: Poetry, Creativity, Memes, & Art; Channeling These Talents Into A Great Book with James McCrae

Posted on Sep 21, 2022


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James McCrae is an author, poet, meme artist, and creative strategist. He also offers coaching and teaches classes on conscious creativity. James is the author of two books. His first book is Sh#t Your Ego Says: Strategies to Overthrow Your Ego and Become the Hero of Your Story, a book full of practical strategies for overthrowing your ego and reclaiming a life of creativity and freedom. James has an interesting story behind how this book came about, and he shares several lucky breaks that landed him a publishing deal with Hay House. 

His latest book is How to Laugh in Ironic Amusement During Your Existential Crisis, a book that combines memes and poetry to create a catalyst for transformation. This is a fun interview. James shares how his first book came to him while sitting on the beach. He also shares the story of his first publishing deal. James is also a graphic artist and worked in advertising which were skills that helped him create a fantastic proposal. He also breaks down what a meme is and how poetry leaves room for nuance and subtlety. He also shares strategies for audience building and insightful parting advice for his younger self. 

Show Highlights

  • [02:15] James has been writing poetry throughout his life. He’s also been an artist and went to college for design. 
  • [03:12] He always wanted to write a book and always knew that he would. His first books were compilations of blog posts in PDF form.
  • [04:15] He moved to New York City and his home was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. He had to stay with a friend on a Caribbean Island. He felt like a failure.
  • [06:17] After hours sitting on the beach, he was able to differentiate between his ego and his intuition. At that moment his entire book was downloaded to him.
  • [07:36] How a rock bottom moment can be the spark that will change your life.
  • [08:56] James wrote the book. He was also working in advertising. He sent out book proposals. A friend of his sent his proposal to Hay House. He was also invited to a $7000 conference for free. He won the proposal and his book was published. 
  • [13:27] James shares his strategy for writing a proposal that connects. 
  • [15:33] Poetry is the most pure form of language. It’s an open format with room for nuance and subtlety. Memes also allow space and subtlety. They bypass critical analysis and cut through to the heart.
  • [21:32] He’s trying to bridge the traditional literary world and the internet world. He wants his books to be shorter and easier to digest, and his social posts and memes to have more depth.
  • [24:10] In 2020, poetry was the only language he could use to make sense of the world. Poetry and memes helped his audience grow. He decided to combine memes and poetry in a book. 
  • [28:10] Traditional publishers take care of all of the legwork and distribute your book. With smaller independent companies you can have issues with things like international shipping.
  • [30:28] Creating online content is a really good way to build an audience when you’re going to publish a book.
  • [31:44] Advice includes: Stick with it. Commit to your vision and make dope social media content. Find your niche and leverage social platforms. Be authentic and consistent. 

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