Tag Archives: neil gaiman

The many things to learn from Neil Gaimen–Ideas for writers and other artists.

I published my first book in 2013.  It was a children’s picture book.  

At that time I thought I would keep writing picture books.  I felt out of sorts when my second book was not a picture book.

But then I learned about Neil Gaiman.

He does everything.

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I knew that he had written Coraline.  I had read the book and seen the movie and liked it a lot.


Then I saw him appear on Youtube with a wonderful commencement speech.

And an amazing speech at Bookfest in 2013.

Then, I read American Gods.


Wait?  The guy that wrote Coraline is the same guy that wrote American Gods?

How is that possible?

Then it seems he writes many other things.

He takes the time to write short stories.

 

Hold the phone–

He began his career writing comic books.

 

And before that he was a journalist.

And it was as a journalists that he learned to write fast and under a deadline.

What I did was work as a journalist. It forced me to write, to write in quantity, to write to deadline. It forced me to get better than I was, very fast.

Oh, and P.S. he didn’t go to college.

HE. DIDN’T. GO. TO. COLLEGE.

And yet he has an honorary Doctorate.

Oh, and now he does audiobooks.

Yes, his books aren’t made into audiobooks.

But not only that….He narrates them.

Seriously,.

And he does pictures books

Now he’s just showing off.

My favorite book of his is, Fortunately the Milk.

Just wonderful.  I remember reading it and thinking “Man, this is the book I wanted to write.

(Seriously I can’t recommend this book enough.  Just pure joy from start to finish.)

Here’s what I learned from reading his books and reading about his career.

  1. Write many different things.

  2. Learn to write fast.

  3. Be creative in different domains

  4. Enjoy the process of writing.

I’ll leave you with his eight rules of writing.  Very beneficial for anyone trying to write.

  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.

Check out my post about Neil and the need to market like a dandelion.

Also check out my latest book:

 

Another selfish reason to publish

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There are so many reasons to publish a book.  Being told that an eight-year-old loves your book and is hoping for more, is one of the best reasons to keep writing.  Here is a recent review from a Goodreads giveaway:

I won this book in a giveaway.
I gave it to my 8 year old nephew to read and he loved it. He said he’s already read it three times and asked me if there were going to be more coming soon. My nephew is a very picky reader so the fact that he loved it and has already read it so many times must mean that it is amazing.

This is a great example of a dandelion, as Neil Gaiman described it.  I gave away several copies last month Kevin and the Three-Headed Alien on Goodreads, and apparently I earned a fan.  And apparently I need to get back to writing Kevin books.

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I write this because I know several readers are working on their own children’s books.  This is what could happen when you publish.  Trust me.  It’s worth it.

P.S.

I have a new book coming soon.  Click here to be the first to hear about it with an email.  Don’t worry I don’t spam.  I am too busy.

P.P.S

Kevin and the Three-Headed Alien is 99 cents this week.  Check it out.

Click here to get Kevin and the Three-Headed Alien.

Click here to get Kevin and the Three-Headed Alien.