Book:  Ignore Everybody

Author:  Hugh MacLeod

Purchase:  PrinteBookAudiobook

Citation:  MacLeod, H. (2009). Ignore everybody : and 39 other keys to creativity. New York: Portfolio.

Big Takeaways and Key Ideas:

  • Doing anything worthwhile takes forever. Ninety percent of what separates successful people and failed people is time, effort, and stamina. What gives the work its edge is the simple fact that I've spent years drawing them. Tens of thousands of man-hours. If somebody in your industry is more successful than you, it's probably because he works harder at it than you do. Sure, maybe he's more talented, more adept at networking, but I don't consider that an excuse. Over time, that advantage counts for less and less. Which is why the world is full of highly talented, network-savvy, failed mediocrities. (pg. 9)

  • Keeping one foot in the "real world" makes everything more manageable for me. The fact that I have another income means that I don't feel pressured to do something market-friendly. Instead, I get to do whatever the hell I want. I get to do it for my own satisfaction. And I think that makes the work more powerful in the long run. It also makes it easier to carry on with it in a calm fashion and not go crazy in insane creative outbursts brought on by money worries. (pg. 10)

  • My method allows me to pace myself over the long haul, which is critical. Stamina is utterly important. And stamina is only possible if it's managed well. People think all they need to do is endure one crazy, intense, job-free creative burst and their dreams will come true. They are wrong, they are stupidly wrong. I would find that extra hour or two in the day that belongs to nobody else but me, and I would make it productive. Put the hours in, do it for long enough, and magical, life-transforming things happen eventually. Sure, that means less time watching TV, Internet surfing, going out to dinner, whatever. But who cares? (pg. 11)

  • You have to find a way of working that makes it easy to take 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," or whatever. If you're looking at a blank piece of paper and nothing comes to you, then go do something else. Writer'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. (pg. 100)

  • Put some of your ideas on a blog and get them "out there." Eventually the fish will start biting. Just remember that it doesn't happen overnight. It usually takes a couple of years of continual posting to build up enough trust to where people are willing to invest in you financially. (pg. 143)

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