Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Creative Inspiration

Hey guys,

I posted this article July of last year and wanted to post it again, as I still find it inspiring. Thought all my new readers out there would, too.

Hope you enjoy it.



You gotta love Hugh Macleod's
gapingvoid blog, which is full of cartoons he's drawn on the backs of business cards (like the one pictured above). Not only that, his blog’s full of creative inspiration, and not only THAT, he offers THE BEST article ON creative inspiration.

In it, he provides 31 personal tips that have helped him over the years, which are listed below. He also wrote simple, compelling examples for each tip. Just exceptional.
Read it. Go here.

1. Ignore everybody.

2. The idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to change the world.

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.


Guillermo said...

32. Truth is relative -- just make it your own.

Laura Deerfield said...

"You can argue about 'the shameful state of American Letters' till the cows come home. They were kvetching about it in 1950, they'll be kvetching about it in 2050."

Whenever I hear people bemoaning the quality of movies these days, or how terrible Hollywood is - I wonder if it's really something new and different.

My impression is that there is simply so much MORE, that there seems to be more schlock.

Now, the means of producing movies (and other forms of art) is available to a greater mass of people. This means a greater mass of mediocrity.

Genius has always been rare.
Great art, great literature, great film - always a tiny minority. I don't know why people seem to find it surprising that this is still the case.

Joe Valdez said...

Somewhere on the gapingvoid site is an entry called "The Architect's Manifesto".

It's about how to stand out in the field of architecture, but what's cool is that you can apply every tip it mentions to the field of screenwriting without missing a beat. Things like, don't do the same thing 200,000 other hopefuls are doing and pray for a miracle.

Great site and the cartoons are pure-out comedy. Great recommendation!

Mystery Man said...

guillermo - Hehehe... I like it!

Laura - It's on my to do list to write an essay about that. There are a lot of reasons. One reason - I think the newness of it has worn off and we can't be wowed like we were when we were young. Nice blog. I'll add you to my sidebar.

Hey, Joe, I found it - How to be creative in architecture. That was a great article. Thanks for that.

myaxl said...

Simply amazing.."Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb"..I liked this one the best...gud collection man!

GameArs said...

Those are like my new commandments.

TJ (Joshua) said...

MM, this was a fantastic post . . . I'm going to link and excerpt it tonight on my blog, if that's cool . . .

Mystery Man said...

Hey myaxl - That one scares me. I like to think there are more than one mountains to climb.

Carl - Me too, man.

TJ - You will always be welcome to do so if ya like.


Laura Deerfield said...

Nice blog. I'll add you to my sidebar.

Thanks, MM. Much appreciated.

hugh macleod said...

Thanks for the kind words, MM... and to your readers. Rock on.


Mystery Man said...

No-no, thank you, Hugh!


John said...

Curious why you rewrote #2 from "The idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to be yours" to "The idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to change the world."

I admit, it was your rendition that got me going to the original article to read what the examples were.

John said...

Found the answer to my question. Seems it's been an evolving document. The author has changed the title of #2 himself.

Additionally, you list 31 tips but currently on his site he has 38, however he only details the first 12 and then advises you to pre-order his book which advertises 39.

I found a link to an earlier free eBook which contains 26 tips, found here: http://changethis.com/6.HowToBeCreative It has the original wording of tip #2 (as you have it) with a slight rewording of the detail suggesting a more ambitious angle.