Ignore Everybody and Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod, 2009-11-18


When Hugh MacLeod was a struggling young copywriter, living in a YMCA, he started to doodle on the backs of business cards while sitting at a bar. Those cartoons eventually led to a popular blog – gapingvoid.com – and a reputation for pithy insight and humor, in both words and pictures.

MacLeod has opinions on everything from marketing to the meaning of life, but one of his main subjects is creativity. How do new ideas emerge in a cynical, risk-averse world? Where does inspiration come from? What does it take to make a living as a creative person?

Per Seth Godin, Marketing Guru, “Creativity is not a genetic trait, nor is it reserved for professionals. Everyone is creative sooner or later, but unfortunately, most people have it drilled out of them when they're kids. Hugh undrills it. He harangues and encourages and pushes and won't sit still until you, like him, are unwilling to settle. Go ahead. You deserve it. And we need your contributions. We can't wait!”

Hugh explains that selling out is harder than it looks, to stop trying to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether instead and that an idea doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be yours.