Neil Gaiman is legitimately an amazing author. Even if you are one of the few people that don’t enjoy his work, you have to respect the sheer breadth of the man’s success. So this post is a tribute to the amazing advice that Neil Gaiman has freely offered to others wanting to do what he has done.
I don’t want to simply replicate what Mr Gaiman has already posted. That would be content theft and that’s not my bag. You should definitely read his FAQ for new authors. Seriously, that’s solid gold, right there.
Write and finish things
Neil Gaiman’s advice for aspiring writers comes from his talk with Daniel Handler at BAM. He starts by saying “finish what you start”. If you watch only this and start finishing things, you will have become a better writer.
Writer, author, or storyteller?
One of those things that all authors wonder about is what to call themselves. Am I a writer? When do I claim to be an author? Should I say I am a storyteller? Or, shall I forgo all that and claim to be a lion tamer?
Here is Neil Gaiman’s take on this question.
An almost universal advice to new writers is to keep reading things. This is what Neil Gaiman has been reading and listening to recently.
Neil Gaiman: Dream Dangerously
Neil Gaiman: Dream Dangerously is a documentary that follows Neil Gaiman on a signing tour. It came out last year and you can watch it for about the price of a pint. Here is a trailer for the documentary.
Find out more
There is a lot more advice that Neil Gaiman has offered authors. A lot of it is available on youtube – you just have to look for it. Some of the edits are better than others. Lots of it can be found on his website. You should probably visit that. You can buy Neil’s books on Amazon. And other places too (like your local bookshop).
There is a lot of advice that Neil has given that I repeat like a mantra. Make good art. Write stuff down and finish what you write. But most of what I learned from Mr Gaiman is ineffable – it comes from reading his work (I highly recommend anything with his name on it).
I’ll end with his 2012 commencement speech. It contains some of the best advice ever given.