Sunday, September 13, 2009

Good Advice for Creative Folk

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.
-Hugh MacLeod
Just found out about this (hat tip to Shasta B.) on Facebook. As a writer myself, I've been wrestling with a lot of the same questions Hugh Macleod has. It's always been my gut instinct to just do my thing and write my book because that's what I want to do (or need to do, it's never quite been clear which), which frees me up to make the thing I want to make, but, like all who aspire to conjure something out of the depths of their experience and imagination, I've also fantasized about, you know, making it big and having writing be the thing I do for money as well as love. So it's helpful to have someone who's been there and thought all this stuff through more than I have tell me that my instincts are probably right. Anyway, it's a good list of precepts, and well worth thinking about. I ordered the book today, and I'm looking forward to reading it. Maybe once I have, I'll write something else about it.

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