I linked to this Hugh MacLeod .pdf about a week ago, and it’s worth highlighting on a more specific level. (Get the book, though, if you can. It’s more thorough by a country mile, and it features a lot of MacLeod’s original art.)
The whole idea behind “Ignore Everybody” is much like what that guy Polonius used to say: “To thine own self be true.” I think it’s the most important piece of advice available in our civilization, and that goes double for us creative types.
For example: “You are responsible for your own experience. Nobody can tell you if what you’re doing is good, meaningful or worthwhile. The more compelling the path, the more lonely it is.” It’s all on you, and you’d better take an active role in your path. The hesitant and fearful will only end up having their fate selected by circumstance.
There’s a certain amount of glurge in MacLeod’s stuff, but, taken as a whole, it’s an inspiring incantation for anyone putting their neck on the line in the artistic market.
“Sing in your own voice. Picasso was a terrible colorist. Turner couldn’t paint human beings worth a damn. Saul Steinberg’s formal drafting skills were appalling. TS Eliot had a full-time day job. Henry Miller was a wildly uneven writer. Bob Dylan can’t sing or play guitar.”
P.S. I’m working on a very interesting story today, and I can’t wait to share it here in a few weeks.