How to Protect Your Creative Fire in a Sea of Mediocrity

Hugh MacLeod comic

Two of my favo­rite artist heroes are Brian Eno and Frank Zappa, two musi­cians who first hit the big time about forty years ago. I was first tur­ned onto them in my late teens.

Both became tra­di­tio­nal rock stars around the same time, Eno pla­ying with Roxy Music, Zappa with The Mothers Of Invention.

They could have done what most rock stars do: Make a cou­ple of records, get a cou­ple of hits on the radio, spend the next X decades tou­ring, living on a tour bus, pla­ying the same songs night after night to ado­ring fans in towns in Cle­ve­land, Chi­cago, Des Moi­nes, Little Rock …

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How to Avoid Becoming Just Another
Social Media Burnout

cartoon image from Hugh MacLeod

Dear Social Media Maven,

So … you work in social media, you’re passionate about social media, you live and breathe social media, your life revolves around social media, helping your clients with social media, turning the world on to social media, etc. etc….

To keep this whole social media thing on the road, you find yourself spending 18 hours a day on the computer, working that online buzz, working those relationships, for both you and your clients — Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr. It’s never-ending. Relentless.

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It’s the Simplicity, Stupid

image of Hugh MacLeod cartoon

I’m a cartoonist. This is my tenth year blogging. My work has been mentioned in big media including Wall St. Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, and The Guardian. It’s been mentioned in bestselling books like Groundswell and Tribes. And it’s been mentioned on thousands of blogs, including many of the big, A-Lister ones.

That’s all well and good, I suppose. We artist types can use all the PR we can get.

But looking back, it occurs to me that none of that “hot PR media action” has moved my business forward nearly as quickly or effectively as this one simple thing:

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Why You Shouldn’t Write for Other Writers

image of Hugh MacLeod cartoon: The world will always conspire to make you less than you are

There’s a scene in “Mad Men”, the TV drama about a 1960s advertising agency.

One of the junior copywriters is showing the Creative Director an ad he’s just written. The ad is clever, flowery, and poetic.

The Creative Director cuts the copywriter down in five short, stern words:

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