Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod

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The Book in One Paragraph

It takes a long time to find your own unique creative voice. The only way to improve is to simply put in the hours. The people who stick with something the longest are usually the ones that experience the most success in the long run. When you come up with truly unique ideas, it will difficult for other people to give you advice. Ignore everybody.

Ignore Everybody Summary

This is my book summary of Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod. My notes include quotes, big ideas, and important lessons from the book.

  • To get good at creating things, you simply have to put in the hours. You have to create a lot of stuff. This is the only way to become better.
  • The more unique your idea is, the harder it will be for people to give you guidance and advice. This means you must ignore everybody.
  • It takes a long time to get good at anything. Be patient.
  • It’s not about being successful, it’s about creating the best work possible while you’re here on earth.
  • “You don’t know if your idea is any good the moment it’s created. Neither does anyone else. The most you can hope for is a strong gut feeling that it is. And trusting your feelings is not as easy as the optimists say it is. There’s a reason why feelings scare us—because what they tell us and what the rest of the world tells us are often two different things.”
  • “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.”
  • “Nobody can tell you if what you’re doing is good, meaningful or worthwhile. The more compelling the path, the more lonely it is.”
  • “If your business plan depends on suddenly being “discovered” by some big shot, your plan will probably fail. Nobody suddenly discovers anything. Things are made slowly and in pain.”
  • “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.”
  • “Work hard. Keep at it. Live simply and quietly. Remain humble. Stay positive. Create your own luck. Be nice. Be polite.”
  • “If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.”
  • “The less you can live on, the more chance your idea will succeed. This is true even after you’ve made it.”
  • “You have to find your own shtick. A Picasso always looks like Picasso painted it. Hemingway always sounds like Hemingway. A Beethoven symphony always sounds like a Beethoven symphony. Part of being a master is learning how to sing in nobody else’s voice but your own.”

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