From a teeny, illuminating interview with Neil Gaiman that we stumbled on in TimeOut New York:

Q: You once said that your biggest influence, for your writing, was punk rock—the idea that you could do something just by doing it.

It still is. You have to be willing to make mistakes, and you have to be willing to make mistakes in public. Sometimes the best way to learn something is by doing it wrong and looking at what you did. When I was 15 going on 16, punk rock, the idea of here’s a chord, here’s another, here’s one more chord, now form a band, is one that sort of always stayed with me…

…It still seems to be the smartest, most glorious way to do anything: You do it. People who want to be writers say, what should I do? And you say, write! [Laughs] And they’ll say, then what? And you say, well, finish things! And they say, well, then what? Well, write something else. That’s how you do it. If you do it over and over, sooner or later you’re going to be writing stuff that’s publishable. And if you keep doing it, you’ll probably get fairly good. You have, you know, a million lousy words inside you, and you’ve got to get them out. I think there’s something very real and very true in that. How do you do it? You do it. Look at other people. Learn everything you can from everywhere. The most important thing is to do it.

Video link to Gaiman’s Instructions trailer here.


Related posts: lynda barry’s ‘what it is’ (+ being your creative self)

dominic wilcox’s solutions for the ‘everyday’

j.k. rowling on the fringe benefits of failure


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One thought on “neil gaiman on how ‘to do it’

  1. perfect timing…thank you!!! funny how that works.

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