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Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity
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Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  9,418 Ratings  ·  441 Reviews
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 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
Hardcover, 159 pages
Published June 11th 2009 by Portfolio (first published 2009)
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Jun 15, 2009 Renee rated it did not like it
Shelves: career-advice
I checked this out because I enjoyed the original Gaping Void post. I also lent it to my mother, a Seth Godin fan who'd heard Godin rave about it. We're both writers; I'm a newbie, but Mom earns six figures with her writing. Creativity is vital to what we do, and we represent both ends of the experience spectrum.

Neither of us cared for this book.

I made it through the whole thing (if nothing else, it's a fast read), but Mom handed it back halfway through. She said that the advice seemed to state
Amy Suto
Dec 21, 2011 Amy Suto rated it did not like it
The premise of this book is simple: a self-important cartoonist with mediocre drawing skills rants about how awesome he is for 150 pages.

Just because he likes to draw (badly) on the back of business cards doesn't give him a free pass to write a watered down, uninspired perpetual blog post advising creative types when he does barely fits in the category himself.

There are a few lines of good advice here and there, but they are overshadowed by his repetitive internal ramblings about himself and his
Oct 06, 2009 Zac rated it did not like it
I hate this book and I hate myself for finishing it.

Evidently somebody (um, somebody named Seth Godin) told this guy who blogs poorly-drawn, unimaginatively-written cartoons that he's such a success and creative genius that he should write a how-to book on being more like him. Luckily for me he didn't have much to say so he used a lot of space putting in crappy cartoons—making it a mercifully short read.

His whole schtick is that his comic strips fit on the backs of business cards. I don't get it
Emma Sea
May 27, 2016 Emma Sea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed MacLeod's writing, and find his cartoons witty and just in my favorite kind of humor. I mean, quite a few are misogynistic, too, but still, I wish I'd read them before I got married so I'd known what I was getting into.

Not a deep read, but an entertaining one.

Jul 30, 2015 Vaishali rated it liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
Pretty good stuff for such a short book :

The 40 Keys
1. Ignore everybody.
2. The idea doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be yours.
3. Put the hours in. Time, effort, and stamina are why 99% people don’t complete anything.
4. Good ideas have lonely childhoods.
5. If your business plan involves being discovered by some big shot, your plan will probably fail.
6. You are responsible for your own experience.
7. Everyone is born creative. Everyone was given cra
Nov 02, 2009 Terry rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Yeaaaah, I don't really get this book. First, it seems almost contradictory..? Hypocritical..? I...don't know. On one hand it really pushes the reader to put his or her art/passion/whatever first; on the other hand it really seems to be mostly about...starting your own (creative) business. In a way the message seems to be: "Don't sell out until you don't NEED to sell out, then go ahead and sell out, because artists aren't supposed to be poor, that's just a cliche." Um...okay.

And the author menti
Jun 23, 2009 Todd rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Hugh writes without apology. He's telling you how to keep that creative spark alive.

His 39 tips (really 40) are all about defending your creative spirit and your right to have it. The tips are typically short, numbering no more than a few paragraphs each. A handful are longer where he relates personal experiences.

The book isn't meant to tell you think right and you'll win. It doesn't tell you the world will line up to help you succeed. This is not a law of attraction book. This book makes you
Nov 14, 2013 Deborah rated it really liked it
Hugh's writing really resonates with me.

The price of being a sheep is boredom.
The price of being a wolf is loneliness.
Choose one or the other with great care.

Please go to bed with me 2.0

Big offers are a good thing, but personal sovereignty matters a whole lot more over the long run.

If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.
The pain of making the necessary sacrifices always hurts more than you think it’s going to.
I know. It sucks. That said, doing something seriously creative is one of the most
Dec 22, 2009 Lin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It took me two hours to read and it was a very pleasant read. Deep in your heart you knew most of this and Hugh put it on paper, in his words and with his cartoons. It’s not a guide nor is it telling you what will happen if you do x. It’s bringing you down to earth and making you feel good about the way you are, helping you to not think about what other people think about your “art” too much. It shows nicely the power a blogger can have because he's not dependent on anyone to bring his thoughts ...more
Apr 27, 2017 Silvia rated it it was ok
It is mostly a common sense advice book for creatives: do your think, work hard, keep your day job etc. Probably the wisest advice is the idea that there is no relationship between stationary accessories and your (creative) work. You won't write like Hemingway, Proust, [insert other famous writer's name] only because you have a colorful notebook and a 1.000 $ pen.
Jun 27, 2012 Bonnie rated it liked it
Most all of MacLeod's 39 ideas are spot on. Half, if not more of MacLeod's 39 ideas and their explanation, had the f-bomb in them. I was going to count them, just for curiosity's sake, but decided against it (because I actually don't have too much time on my hands). For such a creative guy, I would have preferred that he came up with more unique words than using the f-word, time and time again. Very disappointing in that aspect. Imagine if this review had friggin' this and freaking' that every o ...more
Feb 22, 2014 Ulina rated it it was ok
The book was published in 2009 but the tone of the book sounded like it was published in the 1980's. This may be because he worked in advertising (which I feel like he mentioned once every 3 paragraphs). Advertising, especially in NYC may still have that persona where they only care about sex, money and social status. He mentions sex a lot in this book. He gives off the tone that woman are just objects. He ends almost every chapter or section with a reference to sex. Maybe his target audience is ...more
Jul 04, 2009 Daniel rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
I was pretty disappointed with this book. MacLeod doesn't actually build an argument in this book, but instead seems to repeat the same points in each chapter. The observations he makes, while contradictory, seem a little obvious to me, but I may not be his intended audience, and there is something to be said for reminding people of the obvious truths that the daily grind has made them forget.

Don't get me wrong, MacLeod is not wrong, far from it. It's just the book does not do a very good job of
Austin Kleon
Jan 06, 2010 Austin Kleon rated it really liked it
Hugh’s said the book is “advice I wish I had when I was in my early 20s.” The book sprung from his piece “How To Be Creative,” which was a big deal to me when I found it a year or so ago, specifically for his “Sex and Cash Theory.” Helped me feel better about keeping my day job.
Jan 04, 2017 Mohammad rated it really liked it
چهل تا نکته در مورد خلاقیت توی این کتاب بیان شده که خب بیشترش ربطی به خود خلاقیت نداره. یعنی در حواشی خلاقیت قرار می گیرن. و بیشتر به چگونگی دنبال کردن ایده های خلاقانه و هنرمندانه و موانع پیش رو و تنظیم سبک زندگی در همین راستا مربوط می شن. این کتاب به درد کسایی می خوره که بخوان یک ایده رو پیاده کنن، خواه این ایده تجاری باشه یا هنری و یا ورزشی و هر چیز دیگه. بعد هر نکته هم یکی دو تا از کارهای خود نویسنده رو آورده که جالبن. مختصر و مفید.
anthony e.
Nov 05, 2009 anthony e. rated it it was ok
A *very* quick read, which offers up here and there a few nuggets of wisdom about what, exactly, is required of a creative soul. Truth be told, however, much of its advice, I find, was a little slim. The ideas were there, certainly, and many of them would in fact be helpful were one in the business of exploring and exploiting his or her creative impetus. It advocates a kind of altered perception, centered upon the simple notion of creating for creation's sake, of 'doing' rather than 'talking'. A ...more
Amy Correia
I volunteered to read this book when Derek Sivers (he started CDBaby and has been an innovator in the music business) was looking for some musicians to read and write about how this book applied or didn't to their careers. Less than a regular book review we were asked to "dig deep" and share how this book might apply (or not apply) to our music careers. The intent was to offer our own personal experience with "the keys" for the possible benefit to other musicians. At least that's what I thought ...more
Nov 29, 2009 Roland rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The title of the book could be:
"What did my doodles on the back of business cards career taught me?"

Let me quote Chapter 40:

None of this is rocket science.
If I had to condense this entire book into a line or two, it would read something like, "Work hard. Keep at it. Live simply and quietly. Remain humble. Stay positive. Create your own luck. Be nice. Be polite."

And yes, this 159 pages long book - liberally sprinkled with cartoons from Hugh MacLeod - will not deliver some never heard of idea.
May 21, 2011 Abigail rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, motivational
I checked this book out from the library yesterday and on a whim, decided to read it in the tub last night. I'm glad I did - I spent the next hour or two giggling or outright laughing out loud (in the tub!) as I read through the quirky business-card comics and the kind but blunt insights on living life as a creative person. The Sex and Cash Theory tip alone is worth reading the entire book for, but to say that is the only reason would be doing this book an injustice. It is a FANTASTIC little boo ...more
Feb 26, 2011 LAnn rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-stars
If you like reading books about contradictory and repetitiveness, Ignore Everybody is a good book to add to your list. The first several pages of Ignore Everybody were funny and the art really added to what MacLeod was saying in those early chapters. As I read on, however, I got the feeling that there was either multiple people writing or he just didn't make up his mind really well.

As I progressed through the chapters, I felt MacLeod turn from a humorous author to a nagging teacher that wants th
Jan 27, 2011 Linda rated it liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
"It's good to be young and full of dreams. Dreams of one day doing something "insanely great." Dreams of love, beauty, achievement, and contribution. But understand they have a life of their own,and they're not very good at following instructions. Love them, revere them, nurture them, respect them, but don't ever become a slave to them. Otherwise you'll kill them off prematurely, before they get the chance to come true."

"If I had to condense this entire book into a line or two, it would read so
Alison Livingston
I began reading this by midnight and by four in the morning I had already read it twice. This was the book I needed today, last night, last week, forever. Sometimes you find a book that says everything you were thinking but couldn't put into words. This book was that for me. MacLeod has won a fan for life. It's a quick read, not too daunting. If you are someone creative who has a goal, read it and see for yourself.
Mar 14, 2010 Victoria marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: non-fiction
It was a cute-sounding idea, and could have been (and maybe is!) really interesting, but I just couldn't handle the attitude - somewhere between pessimism and a sort of curmudgeonly grumpiness - so after a couple of chapters, I put this one aside.
Jan 28, 2016 Nicole rated it it was ok
I don't think I'm the right audience for this book. I also can't get those two hours back.
Cinthya Brenes
Aug 15, 2015 Cinthya Brenes rated it it was amazing
Seriously liked this one i read digital but I'm definitely gonna buy it in print!
Mike Lewis
Jun 22, 2009 Mike Lewis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, work
Great little book about ideas and how to cultivate and manage ideas
Bún Bò Huế
Dec 05, 2016 Bún Bò Huế rated it liked it
Cuốn sách khá hay và có nhiều lời khuyên dựa trên kinh nghiệm của ngừoi viết sách khá bổ ích. Đôi khi mình thấy có chút hướm lên mặt nhưng không biết là do bản dịch hay thực sự nó thế. Cứ mỗi cuối lời khuyên sẽ có hai tấm biếm hoạ trên danh thiếp, nhiều cái mình không hiểu lắm, nhưng nhiều cái đọc vô bật cười vì vui, vì đúng :)

Dù sao đi nữa, mình cũng học hỏi thêm được nhiều thứ và chia sẻ được một vài quan điểm trong sách.
Rika Rahayu
Jun 22, 2017 Rika Rahayu rated it really liked it
Very practical, useful for my head and heart.
Ngoc Le
No impression
May 25, 2017 Andrea rated it really liked it
Could have been even easier to read as a single page manifesto, but some of the cartoons were cute and the book was still a fast read.
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“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the 'creative bug' is just a wee voice telling you, 'I'd like my crayons back, please.” 310 likes
“Writer's block is just a symptom of feeling like you have nothing to say, combined with the rather weird idea that you should feel the need to say something. Why? If you have something to say, then say it. If not, enjoy the silence while it lasts. The noise will return soon enough.” 45 likes
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