15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2009
At the beginning I didn't know on what to expect about this book, I didn't know anything about the author, and I have never read a book about creativity. While I was reading a very interesting blog post where the author strongly recommended this book, I decided to buy it. I was amazed, the book is really interesting and funny, Hugh MacLeod demonstrates a lot of insightful points and theories. I see it as a motivational book. It surely helped me especially on the point of my life where I don't know what to do with my professional career. Besides MacLeod's view points, each chapter is accompanied with several of his business cards, which by the way are brilliantly creative.
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2009
Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity is based upon the hugely successful, Change This Manifesto, entitled "How to be Creative". Building upon his earlier work, Hugh MacLeod brings together his collective wisdom of thoughts on creativity.
As Steve Clayton describes, there are a number of stand our chapters in this book. In particular, the following chapters stood out for me:
Chapter 8 "Keep your day job" with the excellent description of Hugh's Sex and Cash Theory.
Chapter 11, "The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props". This chapter serves to remind us that the tools aren't important. True creativity comes from within, regardless of the tools used.
Chapter 3 "Put The Hours In" stuck a particular chord, where Hugh states "Doing anything worthwhile takes forever. Ninety percent of what separates successful people and failed people is time, effort and stamina".
And Chapter 18, "Merit can be bought, Passion can't". In this chapter, Hugh states that: "The only people who can change the world are people who want to. And not everybody does".
Absolutely. Sometimes, being passionate about something and wanting to change things is great. However, it is important to remember that not everyone may feel the same way.
Overall, the book is an easy read, with Hugh's unique blend of wit, genius and dark humour. Though his cartoons have been available on Gaping Void for years. It is a real treat to finally have some of them available in book form.
Ignore Everybody is a book that can be summed up with one of Hugh's own cartoons (see above). It enriches your understanding on ways that creativity can prosper. Whilst at the same time Hugh simplifies the process, with tales from his own experiences.
I wouldn't just recommend this book for people seeking new ways to be creative. This is a book I would thoroughly recommend for mums, dads, friends, lovers, co-workers and neighbours. Ignore Everybody is a book for everyone. We all display creativity in our everyday lives and Hugh's book helps us to remain focused. A common sense book for modern times.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 7 July 2011
Book did not disappoint, it was nice short read, I was done in 1 day.
The book is written in the blog post format (and it is collection of blog posts) which I personally enjoy. I have to say though "ignore everybody" was not as provocative as would have expected, but it was okay from that perspective. Cartoons where just great, I have to say.
Overall nice way to get some inspiration and pushing within just couple of hours. Not more than that though.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 31 March 2013
This book is very short and to the point, but is littered with some very funny cartoon pictures that poke fun at so many very human situations and worries. Using his cartoons and some really wise words MacLeod is able to investigate the old age dilemma of creativity v realism in career and life. He rightly points out that so many of us have a creative contribution to make, but taking this too seriously chasing it to a point beyond reason or even ignoring it all together, solves nothing. He charts his own rise to success and brings in stories about the best way to find a balanced approach to unleashing your own creativity. However MacLeod doesn't tell us anything we did not really know before, but seems to put his ideas in a funny well presented way that makes simple sense. For instance the simple idea to; do something small, do something you enjoy and do it as often as possible, seems wise advise. Not a game changer but good food for thought.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 21 July 2009
Discosure: I know Hugh and he sent me a freebie review copy of Ignore Everybody, so I'm completely biassed.
So is Hugh's book, which should be obvious from just a quick glance. This is not a well-researched, supposedly objective guide to optimal creativity. I've read some of those and not really enjoyed them.
Whereas this admirably concise little book got me laughing a lot, feeling sad a bit, and sometimes disagreeing strongly. You certainly don't have to take any or all of the advice he gives but I suspect most people will at least be prompted to think again about how they go into the world and what they really want to do.
For me, the impact was to remind me to take a few risks, conform a bit less and get behind the stuff I really believe in. Just reading the lovely reviews appearing above this one, you can see what happens when people get a little bit of creative inspiration.
So I suggest you grab a copy before that next flight and enjoy yourself.
26 of 36 people found the following review helpful
As I began to read this book, I recalled a situation years ago in which a little girl (probably seven or eight years old) announced that her foot was asleep. What does it feel like? "It feels like ginger ale." I also recalled the response of a French romantic poet (probably Charles Baudelaire, although I am not certain) when asked how to write a poem. Long pause. "Draw a birdcage and leave the door open. Then wait and wait and wait. Eventually, if you are fortunate, a bird will fly in. Immediately erase the cage!" We cannot be creative and be innovative if we are unable to experience the world with the ignorance and innocence of a child.
In this thought-provoking, for some an anger-provoking book, Hugh MacLeod identifies and discusses a total of 40 "keys to creativity." The first is to Ignore Everybody. Presumably that includes little girls with a foot asleep, poets such as Baudelaire, MacLeod, and those such as Seth Godin and I who highly recommend this book. Godin characterizes it as "A work of art, a brilliant insight, a book that will change your life." Well, it hasn't changed mine thus far (and may never) but the material provided has certainly encouraged me to question some of my favorite assumptions and premises. Also, no small achievement, it is among the few books that have caused me to laugh aloud while reading it. Moreover, I very much admire MacLeod's illustrations that clearly indicate an appreciation of other artists such as Joan Miro, Alexander Calder, Jules Pfeiffer, Saul Steinberg and Al Hirschfeld...an appreciation that I certainly share.
I am not among those who are offended by MacLeod's frequent use of profanities. In my opinion, they are not gratuitous. On the contrary, as with material created by other humorists (notably Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, and Richard Pryor), they are used to help achieve aesthetic objectives as punctuation, adding seasoning, resonance, and emphasis to his key ideas. By the way, my choice of the word "humorous" is intentional. Almost all of the most serious commentators on human nature during the last several decades have been humorists.
It was Joseph Schumpeter who popularized the concept of "creative destruction" in his book, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, first published in 1942. If I fully understand MacLeod's key ideas (and I may not), he is urging his reader to embark upon a process of self-directed creative destruction. The objective is not to "blow up" GE as Reginald Jones asked Jack Welch to do when he named Welch his successor as the company's CEO. The objective is not to "blow up" someone else's cherished beliefs but, rather, one's own. MacLeod seems to agree with Lily Tomlin that reality "is a collective hunch." He also seems to agree with Ernest Becker that no one can deny physical dearth but there is another form of death that one can deny: that which occurs when we become wholly preoccupied with others' expectations of us. He also seems to agree with Alan Watts's observations in The Book, such as these: "We need a new experience -- a new feeling of what it is to be `I.' The lowdown (which is, of course, the secret and profound view) on life is that our normal sensation of self is a hoax, or, at best, a temporary role that we are playing, or have been conned into playing -- with our own tacit consent, just as every hypnotized person is basically willing to be hypnotized. The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego." This is precisely what Oscar Wilde had in mind when suggesting, "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken."
What does all this have to do with being creative? In my opinion, everything. MacLeod explains that, by nature, the process of creation consists of a matrix of paradoxes: creation and destruction, affirmation and negation, less and more, anonymous and self-centric, everything and nothing. Most of MacLeod's "keys to creativity" are admonitions. That is why he urges his reader to ignore everybody, including and especially the person who is about to read this book; to assume personal responsibility for the past, present, and future; to identify one's personal Mount Everest and then climb it; to avoid crowds and thus avoid the limitations crowds inevitably impose; to "sing in your own voice" what you have composed; to remain frugal ("The less you can live on, the more chance your ideas will succeed. This is true even after you've `made it.'"); and to remember that "none of this is rocket science."
By now it must be obvious that when addressing the subject of creativity, MacLeod views who we are and what we do, who we aren't and what we don't do, as interdependent and inseparable. He also believes that each of us can complete a self-directed process of creative destruction that will reveal the "I" to which Watts refers, just as Michelangelo chiseled away at the huge block of granite to reveal the work of art within it.
Make no mistake about it: MacLeod offers no guarantees. He fully realizes how perilous the journey is on which he urges his reader to embark. My guess (only a guess) is that his journey is still in progress. I know my own is. It is a struggle for me, frankly, to ignore everybody (including Hugh MacLeod) as I proceed. In fact, it helps to remember what he shares on the final page of this unforgettable book: "Work hard. Keep at it. Live simply and quietly. Remain humble. Stay positive. Create your own luck. Be nice. Be polite."