Skip to content

Trend Line: “GapingVoid” w/ Hugh MacLeod

One day, you hear someone’s name for the first time. The next think you know, you feel like the last person on earth to know them.

Such it was with Hugh MacLeod.

He’s a cartoonist. He’s creative. He’s irreverent and insightful. And he began his claim to fame by scribing “Dilbert with a black humor edge” doodles on the back of people’s business cards.

And then he wrote a book–“Ignore Everybody. And 39 Other Keys to Creativity
Two people I respect immensely *raved* about the inspiration of this book. A third, strategist and author Nilofer Merchant, actually hired him to do the illustrations in her new book: “The New How“. (More on that later).


Nope, I haven’t read the book.But I quickly set up the cartoon on my RSS feed.

On his site, he promises he is getting back to the ‘edgy stuff’ after a nice flirtation with a Valentine like love series. Well, good, because I like irreverent. I like funny. I like, unfortunately, poking a bit of fun. This is better, of course, with a dash of inappropriateness.

And if you don’t have time to read the book, some of the principles of the book may at least catch your attention:

1. Ignore everybody.
2. The idea doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be yours.
3. Put the hours in.

4. If your biz plan depends on you suddenly being “discovered” by some big shot, your plan will probably fail.
5. You are responsible for your own experience.
6. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.
7. Keep your day job.
8. Companies that squelch creativity can no longer compete with companies that champion creativity.
9. Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.
10. The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props.
11. Don’t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.
12. If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.
13. Never compare your inside with somebody else’s outside.
14. Dying young is overrated.
15. 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, and what you are not.
16. The world is changing.
17. Merit can be bought. Passion can’t.
18. Avoid the Watercooler Gang.
19. Sing in your own voice.
20. The choice of media is irrelevant.
21. Selling out is harder than it looks.
22. Nobody cares. Do it for yourself.
23. Worrying about “Commercial vs. Artistic” is a complete waste of time.
24. Don’t worry about finding inspiration. It comes eventually.
25. You have to find your own schtick.
26. Write from the heart.
27. The best way to get approval is not to need it.
28. Power is never given. Power is taken.
29. Whatever choice you make, The Devil gets his due eventually.
30. The hardest part of being creative is getting used to it.
31. Remain frugal.
32. Allow your work to age with you.
33. Being Poor Sucks.
34. Beware of turning hobbies into jobs.
35. Savor obscurity while it lasts
36. Start blogging.
37. Meaning Scales, People Don’t.
37. When your dreams become reality, they are no longer your dreams.

Who’s read it?

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. carole sinclair #

    haven’t it read it…yet. But if it’s recommended by the Book Snob, it’s definitely on my list!

    February 18, 2010
  2. oh, this certainly speaks to my cynical side … especially #22 … sad, but probably true.

    February 21, 2010

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: