Neil Gaiman Gives His Fans Writing Advice Through Tumblr

By Maryann Yin 

Neil Gaiman Portrait (GalleyCat)One of the perks of new technology is the access that readers now have to some of their favorite authors. Recently, Neil Gaiman (pictured, via) has taken to sharing tips about the writing craft on his Tumblr page.

Below, we’ve collected some of Gaiman’s wisdom and advice. Do you have any other recommendations to add?

Five Writing Tips From Neil Gaiman

(1) In response to one 14 year old aspiring writer’s question, Gaiman advised devoting the time to “read everything you can lay your hands on.”

(2) To the same 14 year old, Gaiman also suggested trying to “live as much as you can. The more things you see, the more places you go, the more lives you touch, the more you will be able to write truthfully, and the more memories you will have to make your imaginings real.”

(3) To help one fan who is concerned with following the rules of grammar, Gaiman urges that one not “obsess over grammar. If you have to obsess, obsess over clarity.”

(4) To assist one fan who is dealing with self-loathing, Gaiman prescribes that one “remember that everyone who writes anything good wrote a lot of bad stuff first. You are learning, be kind to yourself, just as you would be kind to anyone learning to do something hard, like juggling or ballroom dancing or surgery. Learn from your mistakes, and get better, and one day you’ll write something you won’t loathe.”

(5) In an answer to one 24 year old fan who fears that it may be too late to launch a writing career, Gaiman proposed the following: “Tell your brain to hush, and start writing. It’s never too late.”