If I had to sum up Hugh MacLeod’s first book as a Twitter post, it would be “to thine own (creative) self be true.”
MacLeod sums it up a bit differently in his final chapter: “Work hard. Keep at it. Live simply and quietly. Remain humble. Stay positive. Create your own luck. Be nice. Be polite.”
Not Your Father’s Business Book
MacLeod’s 40-chapter creative manifesto is a quick, inspiring read -- peppered with salty language.
This is only worth mentioning due to the rare cussing in business books. But in fact it reinforces a point the book makes about “drawing a line between what you are willing to do and what you are not willing to do” and the cost of commercial success.
How do you maintain the authority to draw that line? This answer involves one of my favorite parts of the book, “the sex and cash theory.” Creative folks have a job to pay the bills and a job that is sexy and their true passion.
Another interesting piece from the book discusses how once your creative idea starts to take root and get momentum people join your cause. Do they understand the idea and agree with it or do they just want to share in the momentum? If it’s the latter your cause could derail. I'll note that hangers on like to steer the train.
Ignore Everybody and 39 other Keys to Creativity
Both of the above examples make a point that this book is applicable to a wide swath of folks that are creative, consider themselves creative and want to be (more) creative. There’s some good stuff in this book and worth picking up a copy.
Pay It Forward
This book landed in my hands thanks to the generosity of David E. Bowman. So I thought it only fair to also pass it along in the hopes we can keep it travelling. I’m sending it North to Colin McKay, also known as Canuckflack.