Have you ever read a wonderful book and felt that you were somehow transported into another world? That’s the power of the written word, especially if the author is a fluent wordsmith − it can not only provoke a sense of suspense, but also evoke strong emotions from readers, ranging from crying to laughter to pity.
Ever wonder how these bestselling authors do it? What inspires and drives them? Were they just extraordinary talents who were blessed with creative inspiration for their stories? Or did they struggle with self-doubt, worrying about rejection when they first summoned up enough courage to start on their writing journey?
Let’s hear from the experiences and lessons that bestselling author Neil Gaiman picked up along his writing journey. Well-known for his iconic novels such as Stardust and Coraline as well as his comic book series The Sandman, Gaiman gave this inspiring commencement speech to the 2012 graduating class at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts. Gaiman himself never graduated from university — in fact, he never even enrolled in university — yet he earned his place in literary culture as one of the most celebrated and prolific writers today. Sharing about creativity, bravery and strength, Gaiman encouraged aspiring writers and musicians to break rules, make mistakes and think outside the box. And above all, to make good art. Check out some of the key takeaways from Gaiman’s speech below, and click on this link to see the video and transcript of his speech http://www.uarts.edu/neil-gaiman-keynote-address-2012
- Approach your creative work with joy, or else it becomes work.
- Embrace your fear of failure. You need to be thick-skinned, to learn that not every project will survive.
- When things get tough –in life, in love, in career, or in health – channel this to make good art.
- Find your own style and voice, make your art — even if you begin by copying others.
- Enjoy your work and your small victories. Don’t get swept up into the next thing before being fully present with the joys of this one.
- Make mistakes. If you’re making mistakes, it means you’re out there doing something. And the mistakes in themselves can be useful.
- Fulfilling two out of these three conditions is good enough to get you work in the freelance world: your work is good, you deliver the work on time and you are easy to get along with. For example, people will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. They’ll forgive the lateness of the work if it’s good, and if they like you. And you don’t have to be as good as the others if you’re on time and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you.