Sunday, 30 September 2012

Neil Gaiman on Writing: a reblog

The function of writing is to explode one’s subject — transform it into something else. (Writing is a series of transformations.)   Writing means converting one’s liabilities (limitations) into advantages. For example, I don’t love what I’m writing. Okay, then — that’s also a way to write, a way that can produce interesting results.
-Susan Sontag (11/5/76)

As you all have figured out by now, my all time favorite author and artist is Neil Gaiman.

He has inspired me to no end and he continues to do so in so many more ways.  He has written a lot of my favorite books and produced the best graphic novel series, in my opinion.  Recently, through a stroke of serendipity, Mr. Barlow from Outdoor Ed pointed me to a site that featured Gaiman's eight tips for writing.  I wanted to share it with you here.  (Thanks, Gareth!)  Tip number 5, 6 and 8 resonate with me the most. 

Again, use what you can. Ask questions.  Leave a comment so we can converse about your own writing journeys.  Would love to hear what you think, what advice you'll take and how all this may help you.  :)   

Here goes...

  1. Write
  2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
  3. Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
  4. Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
  5. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
  6. Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
  7. Laugh at your own jokes.
  8. The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.     
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