IGNORE EVERYBODY EBOOK
Read "Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity" by Hugh MacLeod available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your. IGNORE EVERYBODY And 39 Other Keys to Creativity Hugh MacLeod PORTFOLIO Page 1 PORTFOLIO Published by the Penguin A LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING IN PUBLICATION DATA MacLeod, Hugh, Ignore everybody: and 39 other keys to creativity / Hugh MacLeod. worldcreation.info everybody. Compre Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity (English Edition) de Hugh MacLeod na worldcreation.info Confira também os eBooks mais vendidos.
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Now his first book, Ignore Everyone, expands on his sharpest insights, wittiest cartoons, and most useful advice. A sample: * Selling out is harder than it looks. Editorial Reviews. worldcreation.info Review. Book Description When Hugh MacLeod was a Kindle Store; ›; Kindle eBooks; ›; Comics, Manga & Graphic Novels. Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity eBook MacLeod has opinions on everything from marketing to the meaning of life, but one of his main.
The more time they have had to ravage their lives. The more pathetic they seem. And the less remarkable work they seem to have to show for it, for all their 'amazing experiences' and 'special insights. Sure, he might screw around a wee bit while h e ' s young and stupid, but he will move on quicker than most. But the kid thinks i t ' s all about talent; he thinks i t ' s all about 'potentiaL' He underestimates how much time, discipline, and stamina also play their part.
Sure, like Bukowski et al. But that is why we like their stories when w e ' r e young. Because they are exceptional stories. And every kid with a guitar or a pen or a paintbrush or an idea for a new business wants to be exceptional. Every kid underestimates his competition, and overestimates his chances. Every kid is a sucker for the idea that t h e r e ' s a way to make it without having to do the actual hard work. So the bars of West Hollywood, London, and New York are awash with people throwing their lives away in the desperate hope of finding a shortcut, any shortcut.
And a lot of them a r e n ' t even young anymore, their B-plans having been washed away by beer and vodka years ago. Meanwhile the competition is at home, working their asses off. Page 29 The most important thing a creative person can learn professionally is where to draw the red line that separates what you are willing to do from what you are not. 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. Know this and plan accordingly. I knew Chris back in college, at the University of Texas. Later, in the early s, I knew him from hanging around Wicker Park in Chicago, that famous arty neighborhood, while he was getting his m a s t e r ' s from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and I was working as a junior copywriter in a downtown ad agency.
We w e r e n ' t that close, but we had mutual friends. Smart as hell. So I ' v e watched him over the years go from talented undergraduate to famous rock star comic strip guy. Nice to see, c e r t a i n l y ' " i t ' s encouraging when people you know get deservedly famous.
Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity
But also by watching him, I got to see firsthand the realities of being a professional cartoonist, both good and bad. I t ' s helpful to get a snapshot of actual reality.
His example really clarified a lot for me about ten to fifteen years ago, when I got to the point where my cartoons were good enough that I could actually consider doing it professionally. I looked at the market, saw the kind of life Chris and others like him had, saw the people in the business calling the shots, saw the kind of deluded planet most cartoon publishers were living on, and went, 'Naaaah.
I t ' s their product, i t ' s their money, s o i t ' s easier t o maintain healthy boundaries. With pure cartooning, I invariably found this impossible. It is this red line that demarcates your sovereignty; that defines your own private creative domain. What crap you are willing to take, and what crap y o u ' r e not. What you are willing to relinquish control over, and what you a r e n ' t.
What price you are willing to pay, and what price you a r e n ' t. Everybody is different; everybody has their own red line. When I see somebody 'suffering for their art,' i t ' s usually a case of their not knowing where that red line is, not knowing where the sovereignty lies. Somehow he thought that sleazy producer w o u l d n ' t make him butcher his film with pointless rewrites, but Alas! Somehow he thought that gallery owner would turn out to be a competent businessman, but Alas!
Somehow he thought that publisher would promote his new novel properly, but Alas! Somehow he thought that venture capitalist would be less of an asshole about the s t a r t - u p ' s cash flow, but Alas! Somehow he thought that CEO would support his new marketing initiative, but Alas! Knowing where to draw the red line is like knowing yourself or knowing who your real friends are.
Some people find it easier to do than others. Life is unfair. Page 30 Page 31 The world is changing. Some people are hip to it, others are not. If you want to be able to afford groceries in five years, I'd recommend listening closely to the former and avoiding the latter. Just my two cents.
And who knows? It may very well not exist in five to ten years.
We all saw the traditional biz model in my former industry, advertising, start going down the tubes ten years or so ago. Our first reaction was 'work harder. People got shafted by the thousands. I t ' s a cold world out there. We thought being talented would save our asses. We thought working late and on weekends would save our asses. We thought the Internet and all that Next Big Thing, new media and new technology stuff would save our asses. We thought it would fill the holes in the ever more intellectually bankrupt solutions we were offering our clients.
Regardless of how the world changes, regardless of what new technologies, business models, and social architectures are coming down the pike, the one thing 'The New Realities' cannot take away from you is trust.
The people you trust and vice versa are what will feed you and pay for your kids' college. Nothing else. This is true if y o u ' r e an artist, writer, doctor, techie, lawyer, banker, or bartender. In other words: Stop worrying about technology. Start worrying about people who trust you. In order to navigate the New Realities you have to be creative'"not just within your particular profession, but in everything. Your way of looking at the world will need to become ever more fertile and original.
And this i s n ' t just true for artists, writers, techies, creative directors, and CEOs; this is true for everybody. Janitors, receptionists, and bus drivers, too. The game has just been ratcheted up a notch. The old ways are dead. And you need people around you who concur. That means hanging out more with the creative people, the freaks, the real visionaries, than y o u ' r e already doing.
Thinking more about what their needs are, and responding accordingly. It d o e s n ' t matter what industry w e ' r e talking about'"architecture, advertising, p e t r o c h e m i c a l s ' " t h e y ' r e around, t h e y ' r e easy enough to find if you make the effort, if y o u ' v e got something worthwhile to offer in return.
Avoid the dullards; avoid the folk who play it safe. They c a n ' t help you anymore. Their stability model no longer offers that much stability. They are extinct; they are extinction. Page 32 Page 33 Merit can be bought. Passion c a n ' t. The only people who can change the world are people who want to.
And not everybody does. I t ' s there for a reason. Back in our early caveman days, being pissed off made us more likely to get off our butts, get out of the cave and into the tundra hunting woolly mammoth, so w e ' d have something to eat for supper. I t ' s a survival mechanism. Damn useful then, damn useful now. I t ' s this same Pissed Off Gene that makes us want to create anything in the first place'"drawings, violin sonatas, meat packing companies, Web sites.
This same gene drove us to discover how to make a fire, the wheel, the bow and arrow, indoor plumbing, the personal computer, the list is endless. Part of understanding the creative urge is understanding that i t ' s primal. Wanting to change the world is not a noble calling, i t ' s a primal calling. We think w e ' r e 'Providing a superior integrated logistic system' or 'Helping America to really taste Freshness.
Your business either lets you go hunt the woolly mammoth or it d o e s n ' t. Of course, as with so many white-collar jobs these days, you might very well be offered a ton of money to sit in the corner-office cave and pretend that y o u ' r e hunting, even if y o u ' r e not, even if y o u ' r e just pushing pencils.
That is sad. W h a t ' s even sadder is that you agreed to take the money. Page 34 Avoid the Watercooler Gang. T h e y ' r e a well-meaning bunch, but they get in the way eventually. The 'Watercooler Gang' was my term for what was still allowed to exist in the industry back then.
Packs of second-tier creatives, many years past their sell-by date, being squeezed by the creative directors for every last ounce of juice they had, till it came time to fire them on the cheap. Taking too many trips to the watercooler and coming back drunk from lunch far too often.
Working late nights and weekends on all the boring-but-profitable accounts. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. I remember some weeks where one could easily spend half an hour a day listening to Ted complain. Ted used to have a window office but now had a cube, ever since that one disastrous meeting with Client X.
He would come visit me in my cube at least once a day and start his thing. Complain, complain, complain. It was endless. Oy vey! Ted, I love ya, y o u ' r e a great guy, but shut the hell up. In retrospect it was T e d ' s example that taught me a very poignant lesson'"back then I was still too young and naive to have learned it by that point'"that your office could be awash with every ad award in existence, Clios and One Show awards those are the big ones in the industry , yet your career could still be down the sinkhole.
D o n ' t get me w r o n g ' " m y career there was a complete disaster. This is not a case of one of the Alphas mocking the Betas. This is a Gamma mocking the Betas. I'm having lunch with my associate John, w h o ' s about the same age as I am. We started working at the agency about the same time. W e ' r e eating cheap and cheerful Thai food, just down the road from the agency. The minute I am no longer either, I'm dead meat. So we had a good chuckle about our poor, hapless elders.
We w e r e n ' t that sympathetic, frankly. Their lives might have been hell then, but they had already had their glory moments. They had won their awards, flown off to the Bahamas to shoot toilet paper ads with famous movie stars and all that.
John and I had only been out of college a couple of years and had yet to make our mark on the industry we had entered with about as much passion and hope as anybody alive. We had sold a few newspaper ads now and then, some magazine spreads, but the TV stuff was still well beyond reach.
So far the agency we had worked for had yet to allow us to shine. Was this our fault or theirs? Maybe a little bit of both, but back then it was all 'Their fault, dammit! I quit my job about a year later. John stayed on with the agency for whatever reason, then a few years later got married, with his first kid following soon after. Suddenly with a family to support, he c o u l d n ' t afford to get fired. The creative director knew this and started to squeeze. Turns out the big agency had tossed him out about a week after his k i d ' s second birthday.
W e ' r e sitting there at the Thai restaurant again, having lunch for old t i m e ' s sake. W e ' r e having a good time, talking about the usual artsy-fartsy stuff we always do.
I t ' s a great conversation, marred only by the fact that when I look at John, the word 'Watercooler' keeps popping into my head, uninvited. Page 36 Sing in your own voice. Picasso was a terrible colorist. Turner c o u l d n ' t paint human beings worth a damn. Saul S t e i n b e r g ' s formal drafting skills were appalling. Eliot had a full-time day job. Henry Miller was a wildly uneven writer. Bob Dylan c a n ' t sing or play guitar.
So I guess the next question is, 'Why not? Why should it? No one person can be good at everything. The really good artists, the really successful entrepreneurs, figure out how to circumvent their limitations, figure out how to turn their strengths into weaknesses. The fact that Turner c o u l d n ' t draw human beings very well left him no choice but to improve his landscape paintings, which have no equal.
Had Bob Dylan been more of a technical virtuoso, he might not have felt the need to give his song lyrics such power and resonance. D o n ' t make excuses. Just shut the hell up and get on with it. Time waits for no one. Page 37 The choice of media is irrelevant. Every m e d i u m ' s greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. Every form of media is a set of fundamental compromises; one is not 'higher' than the others.
A painting d o e s n ' t do much, it just sits there on a wall. T h a t ' s the best and worst thing about it. Film combines sound, movement, photography, music, acting. Prose just uses words arranged in linear form to get its point across.
T h a t ' s the best and worst thing about it, etc. I had no aspirations for teaching, writing, or academe, it was just a subject I could get consistently high grades in. Plus I liked to read books and write papers, so it worked well enough for me.
Most of my friends were Liberal Arts Majors, but there the similarity ended. We never really went to class together. Sure, w e ' d meet up in the evenings and weekends, but I never really socialized with people in my classes that much. So it was always surprising to me to meet the Art Majors: They seemed to live in each o t h e r ' s pockets. They all seemed to work, eat, and sleep together. Lots of bonding going on. Lots of collaboration.
Lots of incest. Lots of speeches about the sanctity of their craft. Well, a cartoon only needs one person to make it. Same with a piece of writing. No Big Group Hug required. So all this sex-fueled socialism was rather alien to me, even if parts of it seemed very appealing. During my second year at college I started getting my cartoons published, and not just in the school paper.
Suddenly I found meeting girls easy. I was very happy about that, I can assure you, but life carried on pretty much the same. I suppose my friends thought the cartooning gigs were neat or whatever, but it w a s n ' t really anything that affected our friendship. It was just something I did on the side, the way other people restored old cars or kept a darkroom for their camera. My cartooning MO was and still is to just have a normal life, be a regular schmoe, with a terrific hobby on the side.
I t ' s not exactly rocket science. This attitude seemed fairly alien to the Art Majors I met. Their chosen art form seemed more like a religion to them. It was serious. It was important. It was a big part of their identity, and it almost seemed to them that h u m a n i t y ' s very existence totally depended on their being able to pursue their dream as a handsomely rewarded profession, etc.
D o n ' t get me wrong, I knew some Art Majors who were absolutely brilliant. One or two of them are famous now.
And I can see if y o u ' v e got a special talent how the need to seriously pursue it becomes important. But looking back, I also see a lot of screwy kids who married themselves to their 'Art! Not because they had anything particularly unique or visionary to say, not because they had any remarkable talent, but because it was cool. Because it was sexy. Because it was hip. Because it gave them something to talk about at keg parties. Because it was easier than having to think about getting a real job after graduation.
I'm of two minds about this. One part of me thinks i t ' s good for kids to mess around with insanely high ambitions, and maybe one or two of them will make it, maybe one or two will survive the cull. T h a t ' s what being young is all about, and I think i t ' s wonderful.
The other side of me wants to tell these kids to beware of choosing difficult art forms for the wrong reasons. You can wing it while y o u ' r e young, but i t ' s not till your youth is over that the Devil starts seeking out his due.
And t h a t ' s never pretty. I ' v e seen it happen more than once to some very dear, sweet people, and i t ' s really heartbreaking to watch. Page 38 Page 39 Selling out is harder than it looks. Diluting your product to make it more 'commercial' will just make people like it less.
One fine day a creative director in a big corner office downtown kindly agreed for me to come show him my work. So I came to his office and showed him my work. Frankly, the work was bloody awful. All of it. Only far worse than that. The creative director was a nice guy. You could tell he d i d n ' t think much of my work, though he was far too polite to blurt it out. Finally he quietly confessed that it w a s n ' t doing much for him. It happens everywhere. I t ' s hard to sell out if nobody has bought in.
Page 40 Nobody cares. Do it for yourself. Everybody is too busy with their own lives to give a damn about your book, painting, screenplay, etc. And the ones who a r e n ' t too busy you d o n ' t want in your life anyway. T h a t ' s all I have to say on the subject. Page 41 Worrying about 'Commercial vs.
Artistic' is a complete waste of time. You can argue about 'Selling Out' versus 'Artistic Purity' till the cows come home.
People were kvetching about it in , and t h e y ' l l be kvetching about it in But a lot of people like to dwell on it because it keeps them from ever having to journey into unknown territory. It allows you to have strong emotions and opinions without any real risk to yourself. Without your having to do any of the actual hard work involved in the making and selling of something you believe in. To me, i t ' s not about whether Tom Clancy sells truckloads of books or a Nobel Prize winner sells diddly-squat.
Those are just ciphers, external distractions. To me, i t ' s about what you are going to do with the short time you have left on this earth. Different criteria altogether. Frankly, how a person nurtures and develops his or her own 'creative sovereignty,' with or without the help of the world at large, is in my opinion a much more interesting subject. Page 42 D o n ' t worry about finding inspiration. It comes eventually. Inspiration precedes the desire to create, not the other way around.
Living in downtown New York, as I did back then, you spend a lot of time walking around the place. I wanted an art form that was perfect for that. So if I was walking down the street and I suddenly got hit with the itch to draw something, I could just nip over to the nearest park bench or coffee shop, pull out a blank card from my bag and get busy doing my thing. No fuss.
I like it. Before, when I was doing larger works, every time I got an idea while walking down the street I'd have to quit what I was doing and schlep back to my studio while the inspiration was still buzzing around in my head. Nine times out of ten the inspired moment would have passed by the time I got back, rendering the whole exercise futile.
Sure, I'd get drawing anyway, but it always seemed I was drawing a memory, not something happening at that very moment. If y o u ' r e arranging your life in such a way that you need to make a lot of fuss between feeling the itch and getting to work, y o u ' r e putting the cart before the horse. Y o u ' r e probably creating a lot of counterproductive 'Me, the Artist, I must create, I must leave something to posterity' melodrama.
Not interesting for you or for anyone else. 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. Conversely, neither should you fret too much about 'writer's block,' 'artist's block,' or whatever.
If y o u ' r e looking at a blank piece of paper and nothing comes to you, then go do something else. W r i t e r ' s block is just a symptom of feeling like you have nothing to say, combined with the rather weird idea that you should feel the need to say something. If you have something to say, then say it. If not, enjoy the silence while it lasts.
The noise will return soon enough. In the meantime, y o u ' r e better off going out into the big, wide world, having some adventures and refilling your well. Trying to create when you d o n ' t feel like it is like making conversation for the sake of making conversation. I t ' s not really connecting, i t ' s just droning on like an old, drunken barfly. Page 43 Page 44 You have to find your own shtick. A Picasso always looks like Picasso painted it.
Hemingway always sounds like Hemingway. A Beethoven symphony always sounds like a Beethoven symphony. Part of being a master is learning how to sing in nobody e l s e ' s voice but your own. That moment where they finally find their true voice, once and for all. For me, it was when I discovered drawing on the backs of business cards.
Other, more famous, and far more notable examples would be Jackson Pollock discovering splatter paint. Or Robert Ryman discovering all-white canvases. Andy Warhol discovering silk-screen. Hunter S. Thompson discovering gonzo journalism. Duchamp discovering the found object. Jasper Johns discovering the American flag. Hemingway discovering brevity. James Joyce discovering stream-of-consciousness prose.
Was it luck? Perhaps a little bit. But it w a s n ' t the format that made the art great. It was the fact that somehow while playing around with something new, suddenly they found they were able to put their entire selves into it.
Only then did it become their 'shtick,' their true voice, etc. T h a t ' s what people responded to. The humanity, not the form. The voice, not the form.
Put your whole self into it, and you will find your true voice. Hold back and you w o n ' t. I t ' s that simple. Page 45 Write from the heart. There is no silver bullet. There is only the love God gave you. How communication scales, x to the power of n, etc. Ideally, if y o u ' r e in the communication business, you want to say the same thing, the same way, to an audience of millions that you would to an audience of one.
Imagine the power y o u ' d have if you could pull it off. But sadly, it d o e s n ' t work that way. You c a n ' t love a crowd the same way you can love a person. And a crowd c a n ' t love you the way a single person can love you. Intimacy d o e s n ' t scale. Not really.
Intimacy is a one-on-one phenomenon. Whether y o u ' r e writing to an audience of one, five, a thousand, a million, ten million, t h e r e ' s really only one way to truly connect. One way that actually works: Page 46 The best way to get approval is not to need it.
This is equally true in art and business. And love. And sex. And just about everything else worth having. I was just a kid at the time, but for some reason the cartoon editor who was a famous cartoonist in his own right was tolerating having me around that day. I was asking him questions about the biz. He was answering them as best he could while he sorted through a large stack of mail.
I gave it a look. Some long-established cartoonist whose name I recognized had written him a rather sad and desperate letter, begging to be published. Then he flashed a wicked grin. Power is never given. Power is taken. People who are 'ready' give off a different vibe from people who a r e n ' t. Animals can smell fear. And the lack thereof. Suddenly i t ' s no longer about 'becoming. You d i d n ' t go in there, asking the editor to give you power.
You went in there and politely informed the editor that you already have the power. T h a t ' s what being 'ready' means. T h a t ' s what 'taking power' means. Not needing anything from another person in order to be the best in the world. Page 48 Whatever choice you make, the Devil gets his due eventually. Selling out to Hollywood comes with a price. So does not selling out.
Either way, you pay in full, and yes, it invariably hurts like hell. Somehow his example serves to justify to us, decades later, that there is merit in utter failure. Perhaps, but the man did commit suicide. The market for his work took off big-time shortly after his death. Had he decided to stick around another few decades he most likely w o u l d ' v e entered old age quite prosperous.
Of course, there is no one 'true way' to make it as an artist, writer, filmmaker, or whatever it is your dream to be. Whether you follow the example of fame-and-glamour Warhol or poor-and-miserable Van Gogh d o e s n ' t matter in absolute terms. Either extreme may raise you to the highest heights or utterly destroy you. I d o n ' t know the answer, nor does anybody else. Nobody but you and God know why you were put on this earth, and even then.
So when a young person asks me whether i t ' s better to sell out or stick to o n e ' s guns, I never know what to answer. Warhol sold out shamelessly after the year he was wounded by the gunshot of a would-be assassin and did OK by it. I know some great artists who stuck to their guns, and all it did was make them seem more and more pathetic.
Anyone can be an idealist. Anyone can be a cynic. The hard part lies somewhere in the middle'"that is, being human. Page 49 The hardest part of being creative is getting used to it. If you have the creative urge, it i s n ' t going to go away. But sometimes it takes a while before you accept the fact. In the flat above lived the film director Tim Burton, who was in town for a couple of months while he was filming Batman: The Movie. We got to know each other on and off quite well that year.
We w e r e n ' t that close or anything, but we saw each other around a lot. He was a pretty good neighbor, I tried to be the same. At the time I was in my last year of college, studying to go into advertising as a copywriter.
One night he and his wife came over for dinner. Somewhere along the line the subject of my career choice came up. Back then I was a bit apprehensive about doing the 'creative' thing for a living. I'd just get used to the idea of dealing with it. It still is. Page 50 Remain frugal. The less you can live on, the more chance your idea will succeed. This is true even after y o u ' v e 'made it. Big office. Big apartment in New York. Glamorous parties and glamorous backdrop.
All feeding the urban sophisticate narrative, etc. All good. The trouble was, even though I was being paid very well, I was still broke by the end of the month. Life in New York was expensive, and I was determined to experience it fully. I sure as hell w a s n ' t saving anything. Like they say, education is expensive.
And I ended up paying top dollar. Because of course, one day the recession hit, the job dried up, and I nearly found myself on the street. Had I lived a bit more modestly I would have been able to weather the storm better. There are a lot of people out there who, like me back in New York, make a lot of money, but spend it just as quickly. The older you get, the less you envy them.
Sure, they get to go to the fancy restaurants five days a week, but they pay heavily for the privilege. They c a n ' t afford to tell their bosses to go take a hike. They c a n ' t afford to not panic when business slows down for a month or two. Part of being creative is learning how to protect your freedom. That includes freedom from avarice. Page 51 Allow your work to age with you.
You become older faster than you think. Be ready for it when it happens. When I first met Dan, he was a twenty-nine-year-old aspiring filmmaker, living in a one-bedroom apartment down on New Y o r k ' s Lower East Side, who liked to spend too much time in bars. The last time I saw him, he was a forty-one-year-old aspiring filmmaker, living in a one-bedroom apartment down on New Y o r k ' s Lower East Side, who likes to spend too much time in bars.
It happens just as often to people taking a less conventional path. I t ' s sad enough when you see it happen to a friend of yours. When it happens to you, i t ' s even worse.
The good news is, i t ' s easy enough to avoid. Especially with experience. Suddenly you realize that y o u ' r e just not into the same things you once were. You used to be into staying up all night, going to parties, and now y o u ' d rather stay in and read a book.
Sure, it sounds boring, but hey, sometimes 'boring' can be a lot of fun. Especially if i t ' s on your own terms. Just go with the flow and d o n ' t worry about it. Especially d o n ' t worry about the people who are worrying about it. Page 52 Being Poor Sucks. The biggest mistake young people make is underestimating how competitive the world is out there. And they were so happy! And they had so much fun! And money w a s n ' t an issue! That was Youth, that was not Reality.
Reality is much bigger than Youth. And not as nice. T h a t ' s not to say cash is the be-all and end-all. But to deny the importance of the material world around you and its hard currencies is to detach yourself from reality. And the world will punish you hard, eventually, for that.
I ' v e often been asked by young people, which do I think is a better career choice: I say both are the wrong answer. The best thing to be in this world is an effective human being.
Sometimes that requires money, sometimes it d o e s n ' t Be ready for either when it happens. Page 53 Beware of turning hobbies into jobs. It sounds great, but there is a downside. When I was about nineteen I knew this guy called Andrew, who was a junior accountant, a few years out of college. Andrew d i d n ' t really like being an accountant'"at least, t h a t ' s what he was fond of saying. His passion, of all things, was antique silverware.
In particular, antique silver cutlery. In particular, antique silver teaspoons. He knew a lot about antique silver teaspoons. He collected them en masse. He lived and breathed them. OK, maybe t h a t ' s a pretty strange hobby, but hey, he was pretty much a national authority on them.
To make a long story short, eventually he quit his accountancy gig and got a new job at a very prestigious auction house, specializing in valuing silverware.
On Creativity: Review of Hugh MacLeod “Ignore Everybody”
I remember downloading him a drink and congratulating him. What happy news! A few years later, I was hanging out at the same bar with some mutual acquaintances, and his name came up in conversation. This time the news w a s n ' t so happy. Apparently he had recently lost his job. Apparently he had developed a huge drinking problem. What a bloody shame. Now suddenly, h e ' s just got the job, but no hobby anymore. But a man needs both, you see. And now what does this man, w h o ' s always had a hobby, do with his time?
Drink' Make of that what you will.
Page 54 Page 55 Savor obscurity while it lasts. Once you 'make it,' your work is never the same. A talented person creates something amazing and wonderful when s h e ' s young, poor, hungry, and alone, and the world d o e s n ' t care.
Then one day something happens and her luck is changed forever. Next thing you know s h e ' s some sort of celebrity, making all sorts of obscene sums, hanging out with royalty and movie stars. I t ' s a dream a lot of young artists have, something to sustain them during their early, lean years.
The funny thing is, when you hear the 'rock stars' talk about their climb to the top, the part they invariably speak most fondly of is not the part with all the fame, money, and parties.
I t ' s the part before they made it, back when they were living in a basement without electricity and 'eating dog food,' back when they were doing their breakthrough work. Back when they were young, and inventing a new language to speak to the world with. More important, back when they were young, and inventing a new language other people could also speak to the world with.
Some years ago, after h e ' d been playing stadiums for a while, the rock singer Neil Young was booed off the stage by his fans when he tried playing new country-and-western material. They d i d n ' t want to share in his new adventures. No, they had paid their money to hear the classic rock, dammit. As events proved. I t ' s hard to invent a new language when a lot of people are already heavily invested in your work including yourself.
When a lot of people are already fluent in the language y o u ' r e currently speaking, and they d o n ' t want anything new from you. Like the Neil Young fans, they d o n ' t want to see your metaphorical new movie, they just want to watch the sequel to the old one.
And success needs lots of people to keep the show on the road. When i t ' s just you, a dream, and a few cans of dog food, t h e r e ' s only one person to worry about. But when the dream turns into reality, t h e r e ' s all sorts of other people suddenly needing to be taken care of, in order to keep the engine running.
Publishers, investors, managers, journalists, retailers, suppliers, groupies, employees, accountants, family members. They all have a stake in your act, and they all want a piece of the action. So you crank out another sequel and wait for the money to roll in. Of course, one reason the rock stars can speak of their basement-and-dog-food era so fondly is because it eventually came to an end; it d i d n ' t last forever.
And with all the world tours and parties, this era of creating their seminal work soon became a distant memory. So quite naturally, they miss it. But if they were still 'eating dog food' after a few decades, I doubt if t h e y ' d be waxing so lyrically.
But as long as you can progress from it eventually, i t ' s a time to be savored. A time when your work is still new to you, a time when the world d o e s n ' t need to be fed, like a voracious animal. Page 56 Page 57 Start blogging. The ease with which a blog or whatever social medium you prefer can circumvent the gatekeepers is staggering.
Call her Marie. S h e ' s a lovely woman, trA's chic, very smart and sexy, with a cute apartment in the Twentieth Arrondissement and a respectable job in an advertising agency. A couple of years ago, she wrote a book.
A novel. In French. Lots of sex and introspection sex and introspection being a very popular French literary combo, of course. Anyway, Marie wants to get the book published. The last time I dined with her in Paris, Marie was telling me her tale of woe. She had spent many long months schlepping around town, trying in vain to find a publisher, which in Paris means trying to ingratiate oneself with the Parisian literary social scene.
This is something t h a t ' s actually quite hard to break into, given the huge numbers of unpublished sex-and-introspection novels already making the rounds. One guy, an editor at some small imprint nobody outside of Paris has ever heard of, offered to help her, but eventually gave up once he figured out that she w a s n ' t going to sleep with him.
You get the picture.
Being an avid blogger, of course, I was not very helpful. T h a t ' s thirteen blog posts.
One chapter per blog post. Put it online, and y o u ' l l have a book offer within six months. After learning MacLeod's 40 keys to creativity, you will be ready to unlock your own brilliance and unleash it on the world. Editorial Reviews From the Publisher "William Dufris reads with humor and liveliness as he shares the author's argument for creativity in a complicated world and steps for personal creativity.
Purple Cow mimeograph or any other means, without permission. Making or distributing. Then, within twenty minutes, we started ignoring the cows. The new cows were. Except he called it a common school, because a key goal was to. Page If an output isn't easily testable, ignore it to love and.
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Download link: Download or read Ignore Everybody And Engineering in Society - Royal Academy of Engineering Engineering creativity emerges within the constraints of physical laws, commercial tighter connections between.
In other situations, the engineer may need to bring the ethical implications of harmful. They could barely feed themselves, let alone everyone else.. GTD isn't for everyone. Another key part is the periodic balancing of the whole.. Procrastination works by ignoring a request long enough for someone to hand it off to someone else.. July 14th, at am. Getting Real foregoes functional specs and other transitory.
And passion is key..One chapter per blog post. How your own sovereignty inspires other people to find their own sovereignty, their own sense of freedom and possibility, will give the work far more power than the w o r k ' s objective merits ever will.
Your mountain. MacLeod has opinions on everything from marketing to the meaning of life, but one of his main subjects is creativity.
Find a new one. Ignore Everybody: Everyone was given crayons when they were little, but then they were taken away. Page 29