Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod sheds light on creativity. Great insights, here are my favorite.
1. Ignore Everybody
2. Your idea doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be yours alone. The more the idea is yours alone, the more freedom you have to do something really amazing.The sovereignty you have over your work will inspire far more people than the actual content ever will.
3. Put the hours in. If somebody in your industry is more successful than you, it’s probably because he works harder at it than you do.
4. If your business plan depends on suddenly being “discovered” by some big shot, your plan will probably fail.
5. You are responsible for your own experience.
6. The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props. A fancy tool just gives the second-rater one more pillar to hide behind. Which is why there are so many second-rate art directors with state-of-the-art Macintosh computers.
Successful people, artists and non-artists alike, are very good at spotting pillars. Good pillar management is one of the most valuable talents you can have on the planet.Keep asking the question, “Is this a pillar?” about every aspect of our business, our craft, our reason for being alive, and go from there. The more we ask, the better we get at spotting pillars, the more quickly the pillars vanish.
7. Don’t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.
8. If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.
9. Every kid underestimates his competition, and overestimates his chances. Every kid is a sucker for the idea that there’s a way to make it without having to do the actual hard work.
10. 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. Meanwhile the competition is at home, working their asses off.
11. The world is changing. 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.you need people around you who concur. That means hanging out more with the creative people, the freaks, the real visionaries.Avoid the folk who play it safe. They can’t help you anymore. Their stability model no longer offers that much stability. They are extinct; they are extinction.
12. Merit can be bought. Passion can’t. The only people who can change the world are people who want to. And not everybody does.
13. Nobody cares. Do it for yourself. (my philosophy behind starting this blog)
14. Worrying about “Commercial vs. Artistic” is a complete waste of time.
15. Don’t worry about finding inspiration. It comes eventually.
16. The hardest part of being creative is getting used to it.
17. Remain frugal. Part of being creative is learning how to protect your freedom. That includes freedom from avarice.
18. Allow your work to age with you. You become older faster than you think. Be ready for it when it happens.
19. Being Poor Sucks. The biggest mistake young people make is underestimating how competitive the world is out there.
20. Savor obscurity while it lasts. Once you “make it,” your work is never the same.
21. You have to find your own shtick.
22. The best way to get approval is not to need it.
23. Power is never given. Power is taken.
24. Whatever choice you make, the Devil gets his due eventually.
You can buy the book here.