On Writing || Advice from Neil Gaiman

1. “This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”

 

3. “Tell your story. Don’t try and tell the stories that other people can tell. Because [as a] starting writer, you always start out with other people’s voices — you’ve been reading other people for years… But, as quickly as you can, start telling the stories that only you can tell — because there will always be better writers than you, there will always be smarter writers than you … but you are the only you.”

 

Bustle has an article consisting of ten quotes about writing from Neil Gaiman. They’re all good, but these two are my favorite. The first, because, as a fledgling writer, that is the best piece of advice I’ve found that resonates. There are so many books out there about how to write 10,000 words a day, or other tricks to help you, but I’ve found there really is no shortcut when it comes to writing. You just have to sit down and do it.

The other I think is equally important, especially for those of us just getting started. It’s so easy to begin with the words “I’m going to be the next Austen (Twain, Rowling, pick an author…)” rolling through your head. Great. Let them influence you. But don’t try to be the next so-and-so. Be the first you. (Please excuse the greeting card cheesiness of that statement.)

 

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