Ignore Everybody

Telling someone how to be creative is like explaining how to wiggle your ears. But Hugh MacLeod’s little blog-to-book (Ignore Everybody – And 39 Other Keys to Creativity) has some useful insights. Here are my favorites:

  • The more original your idea is, the less good advice other people will be able to give you.
  • Good ideas alter the power balance in relationships. That is why good ideas are always initially resisted.
  • The sovereignty you have over your work will inspire far more people than the actual content ever will.
  • It was so liberating to be doing something that didn’t have to have some sort of commercial angle, for a change.
  • Doing anything worthwhile takes forever.
  • Companies that squelch creativity can no longer compete with companies that champion creativity.
  • Like the best jobs in the world, it just kinda sorta happened.
  • Art suffers the moment other people start paying for it. The more you need the money, the more people will tell you what to do. The less control you will have. The more bullshit you will have to swallow. The less joy it will bring.
  • The only people who can change the world are the people who want to. And not everybody does.
  • Selling out is harder than it looks (It’s hard to sell out if nobody has bought in)
  • If you’re arranging your life in such a way that you need to make a lot of fuss between feeling the (creative) itch and getting to work, you’re putting the cart before the horse. You have to find a way of working that makes it dead easy to take full advantage of your inspired moments. They never hit at a convenient time, nor do they last long.
  • The best way to get approval is to not need it.
  • Part of being creative is learning how to protect your freedom.
  • The size of the endeavor doesn’t matter as much as how meaningful it becomes to you.
  • If you are successful, it’ll never come from the direction you predicted. Same is true if you fail.

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