June 21, 2012

a few words from neil gaiman

Short post today since I had a really late start. Also, I’ll be continuing the subseries on Propp’s Fairy Tale functions next week; there are about five more posts to do for that.

I know most of you have probably seen this video, but in case you haven’t, here that is.

There were a few things that I really liked about the speech, which I’ll reiterate here. The video is about twenty minutes long, and there’s a lot more in there than I’ve recorded here. But these were the things that spoke to me.
“When you start out on a career in the arts, you have no idea what you are doing. This is great. People who know what they are doing know the rules, and know what is possible and impossible. You do not. And you should not. The rules on what is possible and impossible in the arts were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them. And you can. If you don’t know it’s impossible, it’s easier to do. And because nobody’s done it before, they haven’t made up rules to stop anyone doing that again… yet.”
“I learned to write by writing. I tended to do anything as long as it felt like an adventure, and to stop when it felt like work, which meant that life did not feel like work.”
“Nothing I did where the only reason for doing it was the money was ever worth it, except as bitter experience. … The things I did because I was excited, and wanted to see them exist in reality have never let me down, and I’ve never regretted the time I spent on any of them.”
“If you’re making mistakes, it means you’re out there doing something.”
“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That’s the moment you may starting to get it right.”
“So be wise, because the world needs more wisdom, and if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and then just behave like they would.”
“And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make. Good. Art.”
I, for one, plan on taking his advice.

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