pillar management

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More thoughts on “How To Be Creative”:

10. The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props.

Meeting a person who wrote a masterpiece on the back of a deli menu would not surprise me. Meeting a person who wrote a masterpiece with a silver Cartier fountain pen on an antique writing table in an airy SoHo loft would SERIOUSLY surprise me.

Abraham Lincoln wrote The Gettysberg Address on the back of his paper lunch bag, sitting on a park bench.
James Joyce wrote with a simple pencil and notebook. Somebody else did the typing.
Van Gough never started a painting with more than six colors on his palette.
I draw on the back of wee biz cards. Whatever.
There’s no correlation between creativity and equipment ownership. None. Zilch. Nada.
Actually, as the artist gets more into his thing, and as he gets more successful, his number of tools tends to go down. He knows what works for him. Expending mental energy on stuff wastes time. He’s a man on a mission. He’s got a deadline. He’s got some rich client breathing down his neck. The last thing he wants is to spend 3 weeks learning how to use a router drill if he doesn’t need to.
A fancy tool just gives the second-rater one more pillar to hide behind.
Which is why there are so many second-rate art directors with state-of-the-art Macinotsh computers.
Which is why there are so many hack writers with state-of-the-art laptops.
Which is why there are so many crappy photographers with state-of-the-art digital cameras.
Which is why there are so many unremarkable painters with expensive studios in trendy neighborhoods.
Hiding behind pillars, all of them.
Pillars do not help; they hinder. The more mighty the pillar, the more you end up relying on it psychologically, the more it gets in your way.
And this applies to business, as well.
Which is why there are so many failing businesses with fancy offices.
Which is why there’s so many failing businessmen spending a fortune on fancy suits and expensive yacht club memberships.
Again, hiding behind pillars.
Successful people, artists and non-artists alike, are very good at spotting pillars. They’re very good at doing without them. Even more importantly, once they’ve spotted a pillar, they’re very good at quickly getting rid of it.
Good pillar management is one of the most valuable talents you can have on the planet. If you have it, I envy you. If you don’t, I pity you.
But nobody’s perfect. We all have our pillars. We seem to need them. You are never going to live a pillar-free existence. Neither am I.
All we can do is keep asking the question, “Is this a pillar” about every aspect of our business, our craft, our reason for being alive etc and go from there. The more we ask, the better we get at spotting pillars, the more quickly the pillars vanish.
Ask. Keep asking. And then ask again. Stop asking and you’re dead.

Comments

  1. Now, I don’t deny I’m a hack amatuer writer, but I can’t write on paper. I find paper a frustrating medium, being that it’s a) slower than my mind runs, b) has output that is often illegible, c) difficult to make and distribute copies of.
    Then again, I haven’t willingly used paper since I was in middle school.

  2. He’s not talking about paper vs. computers/typing. Reading and comprehension are two separate skills.

  3. there are plenty of worthy artists who use expensive and cutting-edge technology/equipment.

  4. It cuts both ways. However the truly creative person would do what they do regardless of what tools they had on hand. I’m a musician, and I happen to have a lot of equipment but not for the sake of having a lot. I use everything I have and each tool has a specific purpose. I don’t “hide” behind what I have, it’s part of how I create music. It’s my tonal palatte in the same way Van Gogh had his six colors of paint. I would make music if all I had was a kazoo. Use what you have, and use it to the max.

  5. Sergenth says:

    It’s like buying nice pens and vellum paper thinking they will help you feel better about drawing. When I did that, I forgot that I really dislike sketching on and “wasting” nice paper :P I think that must have been a pillar battle!
    Still, as an aside, it’s important to find the tools you can use without fear. I don’t fear click pencils, or pigment pens, or Adobe Photoshop for colors. And Magic Rub erasers are surely tiny dividends of a lenient deity!

  6. Young Freud says:

    This is why I love oekaki boards. I’ve seen people but out some wonderful work out of the limited tools of an oekaki board, stuff that makes my jaw drop. In fact, a lot of the stuff I’ve seen blows any rasterbated Photoshop/Illustrator work out of the water.

  7. What someone thinks of the tools used to create a work flows from what they think of the work itself. Someone who hates CGI probably hates 3D modeling tools or computers in general. 8 trackers are 8 trackers both out of necessity and probably because they dislike a big recording studio and all of it’s attendant gear.
    Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville was written on a 4 track machine in her bedroom, while Steely Dan recorded in big time studios with skilled session musicians. I like both of them, and the creativity shines through both approaches.
    In the end, if creative work gets done, it doesn’t really matter. Graffiti or the Sistine Chapel. It’s all great art to me.

  8. Seems like the point here is “ask yourself: am I getting this new equipment to solve a real problem, to eliminate a real roadblock, because it will truly increase my creative productivity? Or am I just making up an excuse to let myself have a new toy?”
    I just bought a new PowerBook and though there were absolutely parts of getting it which are “fun new toy”, it is already having the effect of motivating me to understand my tools more, to beef up my skills in wireless technology & mobile computing, and keeping me writing about the web & tech tools.
    To reference another point of Hugh’s, my cash work is as a product manager for some web-based applications and my sexy work is metagrrrl.com & my other personal websites. I don’t want to make the latter have to support me – I want it to be for my own pleasure – but I’ve been able to create a life where the skills I use for both bleed over into each other.

  9. The counterpoint to this dictum is “Judge a craftsman by his tools”. While ostentatious props such as the “silver Cartier fountain pen” are counter productive, a good brand of ballpoint pen beats out a cheap one. While a truly good artist can use just about anything to get the job done, a high quality but workmanlike tool often serves as an amplifier.
    The other danger is the inverse snobbery prop. An older less effective technology is often brandished as a sign of credibility. This becomes most odious when the use of such inverse snobbery imposes hardship upon folks downstream. Just think of the agonies of having to transcribe Joyce’s longhand! Use of an archaic status symbol such as a fountain pen these days is paramount to saying “I’m important/rich enough to have someone else do the transcription to word processor!”. The cult of the typewriter is marginally better simply be cause the long suffering transcriber can at least use an OCR to scan in the first pass.
    An example of this is the emergence of the laptop. The original market for the laptop was the executive who could generate documents while travelling. This market flopped spectacularly because executives don’t type, it’s just too “clerical” for them. On the other hand working journalists glomed onto laptops with a passion, since they beat the hell out of posting typewritten or, god forbid, handwritten dispatches via the local telex office. Nowadays, submitting a dispatch in longhand marks a journalist as a hopeless twit.
    The two distinguishing features of a craftsman’s tool as opposed to a twit’s prop are: Is it the most efficent way of doing what you need/want to do? Is it actually used/worn?

  10. Great set of posts!
    re: This particular one — I think there’s real value in your “pillars” theory, but you may have taken it a bit too far.
    This statement is definitely true: “The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props.”
    But to say there’s zero correlation between access to a high-quality tool and creative output is to go overboard. Obviously a photographer can’t do her thing with just a pencil and paper. A novelist isn’t going to be as productive with chalk and a blackboard as he would be with a typewriter. A genius digital illustrator stuck with Illustrator and Photoshop on a half-dead old PC that runs at a snail’s pace and crashes every five minutes isn’t going to be as happy as the same person with a new $2000 computer.
    You have a great point here, and you’ve stated it well for the most part. But that one place where you push the point to an illogical extreme to make a point, weakens the rest a tad.
    Anyway, thanks for the inspiring and incisive essay!

  11. I think the main of gist of this suggestion is: Don’t tell yourself, “I can’t write a masterpiece UNTIL I have a Cartier pen or a brand new laptop.” This isn’t an attack on good tools, or on the people who get good work from them. It’s a reminder that you can still write that masterpiece with a BIC pen. It may “look” nicer with the best tools, it may “feel” nicer with the best tools, but what makes it a masterpiece is the talent. Don’t use the lack of tools as a crutch for being unproductive or uncommitted.

  12. moofmoofmoof says:

    Methinks, based on the comments, that you have struck a nerve; I found myself searching for a rebuttal, any rebuttal, before I realized what was happening.
    Not that there are any second-raters here; nonetheless, the responses are nearly as interesting as the original.

  13. Feh. I write and perform poetry. [Not for a living: ain't no such critter in the English-ritin' world.] I write my material with (preferably) pencil or pen. I then transcribe it myself to computer. During the process of transcription I also edit. Final versions are then printed – back to analog. No hired minions to do it for me.
    I also take pictures. B/W film still kicks ass over any digital camera equivalent. But post-processing is much easier in Photoshop… even though printing back to Kodak can be a bit of a trick.
    And I illustrate as well. I start with pen and ink, then scan.
    In my creativity I start with analog and move onto digital. That’s just the way it is. I don’t own a Cartier pen, but I do have a Parker, and that’s what I use when it comes time to do a “presentation” handwritten version of a poem. It may well have been edited digitally, but the final version is presented in analog.
    I don’t care. In the end, the tool serves the purpose. The problem arises when the tool supplants the purpose. There’s any number of mediocre “creatives” using top-of-the-line hardware. So what? Success has always been easier to attain for ass-lickers than for the truly talented: that’s just the way of the world. I just dislike the taste so much, I’ll never succeed on those terms… (and after all, I may not be truly talented).

  14. Feh. I write and perform poetry. [Not for a living: ain't no such critter in the English-ritin' world.] I write my material with (preferably) pencil or pen. I then transcribe it myself to computer. During the process of transcription I also edit. Final versions are then printed – back to analog. No hired minions to do it for me.
    I also take pictures. B/W film still kicks ass over any digital camera equivalent. But post-processing is much easier in Photoshop… even though printing back to Kodak can be a bit of a trick.
    And I illustrate as well. I start with pen and ink, then scan.
    In my creativity I start with analog and move onto digital. That’s just the way it is. I don’t own a Cartier pen, but I do have a Parker, and that’s what I use when it comes time to do a “presentation” handwritten version of a poem. It may well have been edited digitally, but the final version is presented in analog.
    I don’t care. In the end, the tool serves the purpose. The problem arises when the tool supplants the purpose. There’s any number of mediocre “creatives” using top-of-the-line hardware. So what? Success has always been easier to attain for ass-lickers than for the truly talented: that’s just the way of the world. I just dislike the taste so much, I’ll never succeed on those terms… (and after all, I may not be truly talented).

  15. Grammer Nazi says:

    It’s yacht not yaght.
    Maybe a fancy laptop with spellcheck would have been valuable here :)

  16. It’s like the difference between Mark Cuban and Donald Trump – one loves getting rick and the inherent challenges to doing so, the other loves looking like he’s rich and bankrupts his companies in the process.

  17. I agree with most of what you say here, but a craftsman needs his tools. While I enjoy writing with paper and pen, I find having a Powerbook hooked up to the Internet helpful too (although I find that I do my best work with just a text editor and the Geneva font).
    I suppose the question to ask is, am I getting this expensive piece of equipment to make up for any lack of creativity, or am I getting it to be more efficient and to be able to do more with my ideas?
    Frankly with my poor handwriting and carelessness, a laptop with spellcheck would probably be a good idea. Heheh.

  18. I found out when my iMac died out from under me a year ago that the minimum requirement for me to write is a working computer that’s capable of talking to my printer. Too much computer would be a distraction, though; I now have a secondhand iMac of the same make as the deceased, and though I would *like* something faster, I recognize that my very poverty is probably keeping me on-track and off the digital crack like battle.net! (As it is I spend too much time online since I ended up with DSL, but it’s research, I swear… :) )

  19. It’s not a matter of tools, they are just tools to get you to where you ultimately want to be. You can create great art with low cost or no tools or high cost tools.
    The problem is, and I have experienced this, whether or not you allow the tools to direct or inhibit your creativity.
    I have used the statement “I don’t have the tools” as an excuse not to do things. Then I spent money on web design software and now use notepad almost exclusively.
    In college I spent a whole lot of money on expensive oil paints and canvases and then became afraid to use them because they were so expensive. When I went to old house paint, my creative exploded because that “pillar” was out of my way.
    If you need expensive tools and that works for you and allows you to be crative use them, if you can’t afford them or don’t have them, don’t use it as an excuse to not be creatve.

  20. Lowly Chemical Engineer says:

    I am a fantastic world-renowned writer and I write all of my material using my own blood and my own finger and the sidewalk. i used to just write in the dirt with a stick but that had no staying power.
    Your art is your anything – you do it because you love it not because people buy it. Tools help you get your art to your audience. The more effective and transparent your tools, the better your audience receives and understands. If freedom from tools is really true artistic freedom – I ask everyone what happened to all of the oral tradition story tellers? They were artistically free but they had very limited reach. If you don’t care if anyone sees your work – jabber on – if you want others to read/see/critique/digest/discuss/repel from your work then pick up a pen and paper or a laptop or a can of spray paint and get going.

  21. “I think the main of gist of this suggestion is: Don’t tell yourself, ‘I can’t write a masterpiece UNTIL I have a Cartier pen or a brand new laptop.’”
    And the flip side of that is the myth that people have that only the correct piece of equipment will enable them to create some masterpiece. This begins the sometimes lifelong search for just the right tool be it computer, camera or sewing machine that will let them do whatever. This ignores the fact that you still have to learn how to USE whatever tool you have in hand. There’s just no way around that. Use and master what you need.

  22. It’s amazing how many kitchen gadgets can be replaced by a sharp knife and someone who knows how to use it.

  23. i now feel justified in not seeking more expensive guitars in my life. they won’t make me better. i’ll keep on sucking, on the cheap …

  24. Problem is, can or will we ever choose to have fewer toys at hand? That’s a tough one. I get more ideas worked out when I shut off the computer and sit with a notebook, but I’m not very good about making a conscious effort to do this more often. And I would never get rid of the computer altogether.
    This kind of ties in with Hugh’s other sub-topic about the day job, because when I’m at work I’m in a situation where I don’t have access to my computer and all I *can* do is write in my notebooks. This turns out to be a very good thing for my actual productivity.

  25. How many hours of labor do the Cartier fountain pen, the antique desk, and the SoHo loft represent? How much more creatively productive could you be if you didn’t have to exchange those hours for cash to buy props? Or if you exchanged those same hours for creative fuel (books, museum visits, travel, whatever) instead?
    Everyone likes to have nice things. Don’t let your desire for nice things become a trap.

  26. Ya know, I like stuff, too, but I’m lucky enough to be struck hard and often by the scribbling bug. Much of what I write down on paper never sees the Word program, but it keeps the fire burning until I can.
    ‘Nuff said. *goes back to reading*

  27. I have one question. By “props” do you mean “things to prop yourself up with”, or “accessories for use in a performance”? Because it’s kind of cool that it makes sense either way.

  28. I want to add to my previous comment that I think that bad tools MAY impede your work. I encounter people trying to make things with tools that are seriously deficient. That can be sad and I encourage them to invest wisely in better tools to help them achieve their vision. Having a good tool really helps (with the caveat that you still need to learn how to use it well).
    What I was trying to say was that many people seem to think that if only they could find the correct tool, they would become fabulously great and famous.

  29. Hey…all of my shoes are over a year old most of them approaching two…I just bought a new camera…to replace the one I had for just over three months. In the time that I had the camera I took close to 9,000 shots (I’m not a professional photographer). My new camera is closer to state of the art, 10 x optical zoom yada, yada. I hate a machine that moves slower than I do, that’s why I’m gonna get a new, better, system soon. A gig + of ram, yada yada.
    But guess what…
    Next year…I’m still gonna have these shoes…cuz these shoes were made for walking and thats just what they do…and every year they do it well.

  30. Hey…all of my shoes are over a year old most of them approaching two…I just bought a new camera…to replace the one I had for just over three months. In the time that I had the camera I took close to 9,000 shots (I’m not a professional photographer). My new camera is closer to state of the art, 10 x optical zoom yada, yada. I hate a machine that moves slower than I do, that’s why I’m gonna get a new, better, system soon. A gig + of ram, yada yada.
    But guess what…
    Next year…I’m still gonna have these shoes…cuz these shoes were made for walking and thats just what they do…and every year they do it well.

  31. A tool is a tool. I’m a geek! I like my ‘puter etc. I would be a total fool to think that it makes my work better. A tool is just a tool no matter how fancy.

  32. A tool is a tool. I’m a geek! I like my ‘puter etc. I would be a total fool to think that it makes my work better. A tool is just a tool no matter how fancy.

  33. Whether we’re talking about limited resources or constrained budgets, limitations fan my creative juices and force me off the “tried and true” paths.

  34. Of all “how to be creative” articles, this is the only one I’ve actually disagreed with.
    Pillars are more than something to hide behind. They also support the rest of the structure. Holding out for the best materials and tools may be unrealistic, but you still need SOME tools and materials. With that in mind, if you have the resources to go with the better tool, why not do so?
    I know a number of mediocre artists of varying types, and they’re about evenly split on those who use needing better tools and materials as an excuse, and those that hold the expectation that their work is somehow “better” because they DON’T use those tools. If someone uses Photoshop or Painter to make a great piece of art, it isn’t somehow invalidated because of it, and if your hand-drawn art isn’t as good, it simply isn’t as good. Period.
    Keep up the interesting writing, Hugh, I look forward to reading more.

  35. Some people are so affected by what the guy wrote that they feel attacked because they live those lives.
    They are screaming out in defense.
    What about just taking the thought to understand what holds us back.
    I think the responses to this one said a lot.

  36. Hmmm… some people might think I said “only bad artists use good tools”. But they would be wrong ;-)

  37. Nathan Skreslet says:

    I can see both sides of this argument.
    On one hand I’m a graphic designer and I do a lot of work on my computer, but I usually begin the initial design on a little pad of paper with my dependable Sharpie ultra-fine point. The computer is simply a tool it doesn’t make your work better or worse but you still need it to be a functioning professional in the field.
    On the other hand, the saying hold true that there is a proper tool for any job. Take carpentry, for example. This is a very equipment-dependent busness. If you don’t have the right blade, the right drill bit or the right jig you simply *can’t* do certain things, no matter how talented you are.

  38. This is a great article–too bad some people didn’t quite get what you said.
    I’m an amateur actor and writer. I learned a long time ago that acting has nothing to do with the physical situation. You can act a scene on a bare stage, or in a room nothing like a stage, sans costume or makeup, miming your props, improvising the blocking and adlibbing the parts of the script you can’t remember. We call it rehearsal. And when the actors are good, everyone watching forgets to notice they’re in street clothes holding an invisible book–especially the other thespians they’re acting with. Props and other tools are like icing on a cake: the icing may be the only part you see, but only a toddler thinks you need it to have a good cake. In fact, the icing is usually the least important part.
    It took me a long time to figure out this applied to writing as well. I’ve always wanted to write, but for most of my life I thought I couldn’t. In my naivete I blamed my environment, including my tools. My desk was too messy, my computer was too clunky, my handwriting was too slow. When new, often expensive tools that showed up for Christmas and birthdays didn’t make the words come any faster, I figured I just didn’t have the talent. Four years of college later I finally know what the problem was, thanks to the invaluable wisdom imparted by my favorite professor. Put simply, writing is work. It is often enjoyable, rewarding work, but it is still work, and no matter how many creative helps you may employ, a large part of writing will inevitably consist of staring at the empty whiteness you’re trying to fill. And then filling it. And deleting it. And rewriting it. Over and over again.
    I prefer to write on a laptop. I didn’t start out liking it, it’s what I’ve gotten comfortable writing on by not having any other options for an extended period of time. But during a recent six-week trip to Alaska, I opted to bring a hardcover journal instead. Less hassle, less wear and tear. And you know what? I wrote every day I found the time…sometimes journaling for two hours straight. Similarly, I love a software program called Movie Magic Screenwriter: once you know how to use it (which means learning what three keys do) you can write a screenplay or stageplay in the proper format as fast as you can write a prose novel–often faster. Only problem is, it’s expensive and I misplaced the CD. Doesn’t mean I can’t write a play without it; just means they take twice as long and the format sucks.
    Saying you need the proper tool is like saying the knife a chef uses or the plate he serves it one will make a meal taste better. Tools aren’t the important part of a creative endeavor–the important part is the thing you’re creating.

  39. Having just returned from a five-day visit to Gettysburg, I feel compelled to correct you. Lincoln did NOT write the first draft of the Gettysburg Address on a lunch sack. The first draft consists of two pages; page one was written in ink on Executive Mansion stationery and was most likely done in the White House. Lincoln arrived in Gettysburg with his speech yet unfinished, and asked his host for a piece of paper on the evening of November 18, 1863. He was given a sheet of lined paper, and wrote the remainder of the address with a pencil, while sitting in a bedroom of David Wills’ home.
    Paper bags were still being made by hand and were expensive in 1863. The first machine to make paper sacks appeared in the U.S. around 1869, and the first machine to make a sack with a folded bottom was invented in 1894. I think it highly unlikely that people used paper lunch sacks as we know them during the Civil War.
    Anyway, who cares WHAT we use to create with? What matters most is that we strive to create in the first place…

  40. I don’t think Hugh is arguing that you shouldn’t use tools that actually make your work easier (a computer that doesn’t crash every 5 minutes, etc.). I think the distinction between a “pillar” and something legitimate is, are you really USING the tool, physically, or are you just using it as a symbol of your identity, or persona, of Artist? Having a romantic vision of oneself as an artist and actually creating art are two very different things– and they are often at odds, as many of us have discovered.
    I’d be pillaring if I took my notebook, went to a cafe in the West Village where lots of writers reportedly hang out, dressed up like some sort of Parisian “bohemian,” drank coffee, tried to think of something to write about, but couldn’t concentrate because I was too busy hoping all the other cafe patrons thought I was a writer and envied my thrilling life.
    I wouldn’t be pillaring if I were writing in my notebook and then decided to switch to a computer because it was easier.
    The trouble comes when you start to think that using props to fuel your “artsy” self-image will help fuel your real creativity.

  41. In 1999, I had a cheap computer and a drum machine (a hardware device that contains drum sounds). I wanted to compose a CD of original music, but didn’t have the money for my own home studio. So, instead of twiddling my thumbs, I wrote music for the drum machine. As far as I know, I’m the only person to ever have produced a CD with nothing but a drum machine.
    Jump to the present (2004). I’m working on my 3rd CD. I have a very powerful computer, with two monitors and $1,500 worth of music software. Essentially, I have a complete recording studio within my computer.
    Moral of the story: If you can afford good tools, don’t deprive yourself. Else, work with what you have. Regardless of what tools you have, use them imaginatively.

  42. “This is why I love oekaki boards. I’ve seen people but out some wonderful work out of the limited tools of an oekaki board, stuff that makes my jaw drop. In fact, a lot of the stuff I’ve seen blows any rasterbated Photoshop/Illustrator work out of the water.”
    Photoshop/Illustrator ratbastard? Just because someone’s chosen tool or media happens to be something as expensive as a computer doesn’t make it any less valid. My chosen media is the computer; Illustrator, to be more specific. And this is an opinion I have to deal with everytime I tell someone what I do. Let me just say, the computer can only do what you tell it to do. If you are a no-talent hack, there is no computer in the world that can change that. So many people think that because I use a mouse instead of a bruch, I am less of an artist or creator. I can throw down and compete against anyone, and I don’t have to worry about staining the carpet while I do it.

  43. “This is why I love oekaki boards. I’ve seen people but out some wonderful work out of the limited tools of an oekaki board, stuff that makes my jaw drop. In fact, a lot of the stuff I’ve seen blows any rasterbated Photoshop/Illustrator work out of the water.”-Young Freud
    Photoshop/Illustrator ratbastard? Just because someone’s chosen tool or media happens to be something as expensive as a computer doesn’t make it any less valid. My chosen media is the computer; Illustrator, to be more specific. And this is an opinion I have to deal with everytime I tell someone what I do. Let me just say, the computer can only do what you tell it to do. If you are a no-talent hack, there is no computer in the world that can change that. So many people think that because I use a mouse instead of a brush, I am less of an artist or creator. I can throw down and compete against anyone, and I don’t have to worry about staining the carpet while I do it.

  44. LOL-Rasterbated….Ratbastard…
    Rasterbated Ratbastard…….Good Times

  45. nickthebassist says:

    I think one of the reasons there are so many second-rate artists with fancy tools is that there are so many second-raters period.
    It’s easier to take notice of somebody doing lousy work with fancy gear because it’s just so danged obvious. At the same time, it’s easy to romanticize the greats and their paths, thereby cursing anything cutting edge or high tech.
    Those points aside, I agree wholeheartedly.

  46. Hello there,
    Iwas browsing the web and found this blog. Some interesting quotes. Keep them coming!
    Alice
    thermocarb

  47. This is brillant, and so true.
    especally the part about the macs..ahah

Trackbacks

  1. Scenskräck says:

    [...] “A pillar“, säger kreativitetsgurun Hugh MacLeod i mitt öra, och utvecklar sin tanke: “The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props. Meeting a person who wrote a masterpiece on the back of a deli menu would not surprise me. Meeting a person who wrote a master piece with a silver Cartier foun­tain pen on an antique writing table in an airy SoHo loft would SERIOUSLY sur­prise me.” Han sänker rösten och tillägger: “A fancy tool just gives the second-rater one more pillar to hide behind. Which is why there are so many second-rate art directors with state-of-the-art Macinotsh computers.” [...]

  2. [...] MacLeod calls it “hiding behind pillars” when you think you must have the best tools before you can work. He summarizes hiding behind [...]

  3. [...] be creative. You don’t even need a computer or the Internet. As Hugh MacLeod might say, these are creative pillars for you to hide behind and depend on instead of being [...]

  4. [...] your budget – and secondly, they give you a pillar to hide behind and avoid doing real work (Hugh MacLeod has more here – read [...]

  5. [...] In his book “Ignore Everybody“, Hugh MacLeod talks about the concept of hiding behind “pillars.” He loosely defines a pillar as a psychological barrier that interferes with our work. Great artists do not rely on unnecessary pillars. Read the excerpt from his book here. [...]

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Len Schlesinger
Former President, Babson College

"There are only two daily newsletters that I look forward to opening and reading every time they show up to my inbox: Seth Godin's and gapingvoid."

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
@copyblogger
 
  • Seth Godin
  • The New Republic
  • Len Schlesinger
  • Tony Hsieh
  • Brian Clark
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