I’ve got a secret to confess to: I’m extremely jealous of Ashley Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project.
Don’t tell her I said that. Please, for the love of God, don’t tell her – I’ll never live it down.
If you don’t know Ash, she is the author of a wildly successful blog called The Middle Finger Project, and as of this week? You can add the title of published author to her resume.
But the whole book thing? That’s not why I’m jealous of Ashley. In order to fully understand that, you need to know a little backstory about Ashley and I.
I Call Ash for the First Time in 10 Years…
She had no idea it was coming:
How I First Met Ashley Ambirge
You see, it all started a decade ago in a bizarre locals karaoke bar on the outskirts of Philly.
I was in Philadelphia to attend a book tour meetup of Chris Guillebeau.
If you’ve followed my story at all, you know what a big influence he has had in my success here at Location Rebel.
The evening started poorly.
I was supposed to take the subway out, but it had broken down. I ended up being an hour delayed, and when I arrived I still had a 20 minute drive to get out to where the event was.
Ashley was supposed to come pick me up before the event started, but with the delay, she actually had to leave the second half of Chris’ talk (where I was supposed to introduce him), to pick me up.
By the time we arrived? I’d missed it all.
There was an after party at a local bar that featured cheap drinks, horrible karaoke, and a lot of great conversation with other Non-Conformists who were there to meet Chris.
Well, once people started filtering out around 9, Ashley offered to give me and my friend David a ride back into the city.
Where of course, the simple comment of “want to grab another drink?” seems to innocent at the time.
6 hours later, the sun is coming up, we’re about half a dozen bars deep, and I’ve been introduced to some horrible sounding concept, called a pickleback.
I haven’t seen Ashley since that night.
Re-kindling a Friendship
But then as we both got busy, we simply stopped talking.
Until one day a couple years back, I sent her an email out of the blue asking if she wanted to catch up.
Month after month goes by.
It hit me that we were probably officially no longer friends (her loss).
Until one day out of the blue, literally 6 months later, I got a response:
Since then we’ve routinely sent each other sarcastic messages, and continued to threaten each other with online humiliation.
Why? I don’t know. It’s just what sarcastic people do.
But then one day, she backed up all that talk.
I was actually on a golf course when I got the email.
Ash wrote a blog post called:
I had no choice but to add a no follow tag to that link. I can’t let google think I endorse this kind of horribly profane language.
Aka I don’t exactly want that to show up when people search my name, lol.
Hint: Don’t read if easily offended.
And then, to top it all off, she sent it out to the 100,000 or so people on her email list.
She wrote that all because I sent her a message expressing my disappointment at not getting a galley copy of her upcoming book.
Note to self: Don’t mess with Ash.
Why I’m Jealous of Ash Ambirge
So now you know the backstory. A night of picklebacks in Philly 10 years ago.
A friendship rekindled through our love of sarcasm.
And what might be the most horrible, yet oddly flattering blog post that’s ever been written about me.
So, why am I so jealous of Ashley?
It’s pretty simple.
Because she is the best writer I know.
I mean that with all sincerity.
When it comes to writing things that are interesting, visual, detailed, compelling – and when necessary, persuasive – there are few people I’ve seen that can do it better.
She’s also one of the most polarizing people I know.
Ashley has nailed her niche
Part of what makes her such a good writer, is she doesn’t try to write for everyone.
In fact, she tries to write for a relatively small audience. The majority of people will hate her – or at least her writing.
She’s vulgar, opinionated, and isn’t afraid to call people out or call things like they are.
But for the people who follow her? They love her.
The Middle Finger Project is a site that’s mostly for women who want to strike it out on their own, do something adventurous, buck the status quo, and do it boldly.
And because she writes with such specificity for that person – she inevitably reaches far more people in the process.
Reading The Middle Finger Project
So while I’m obviously a not a woman, and therefore not exactly in her target demographic – I was excited to read her book.
After all I had to practically grovel to get a copy of it to write for this review.
Mostly because I couldn’t imagine her being able to take her online persona and translate it to full length book.
It’s one thing to write a witty blog post or two.
But to capture that same energy and wittiness across tens of thousands of words? No way.
Not even Ash would be able to do that.
I hate to admit how wrong I was.
This book is seriously impressive.
She uses examples, superlatives, and analogies that will literally have you laughing out loud, while also being so inspired that you can’t wait to peel yourself off the couch to go start building your own empire.
Honestly, she took a topic that has been done to death (quit your job! start a business!) and created one of the most unique and enjoyable books I’ve read in a long time.
Just go buy it. Depending on who you are, you’re either going to absolutely love it or absolutely hate it.
But fortunately, I have a feeling you already know which of those camps you fall into.
So go buy her book, and go check out her blog and say I sent you.
But please, whatever you do, don’t tell her about that whole jealousy thing. I can’t have that hanging over my head for the next decade.
Although, if you watched the video – you’ll know by now, I already ruined that one…