Writer. Adventurer. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a series of steampunk novels and short stories.

Neil Gaiman Says “Tell Your Story”

English author Neil Gaiman has enjoyed a level of success most of us don’t even dream of — winning awards such as the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, Newberry Medal, and Carnegie Medal. And I guess it is only fair, since I’ve already talked about Amanda Palmer this month, to also mention her husband and some of his insights into the creative process.

Neil Gaiman on Writing

Nobody ever sees your first draft.  Just get the words on the page.  You have to make your word count each day, and you have to write even when you aren’t inspired.

For those days when I need the extra encouragement, I’m going to come back to this post.  It is one thing to know it in your brain, but it is completely another to hear someone else says it.  And when that person is Neil Gaiman, there’s a certain weight behind it.

Neil Gaimon on Piracy and the Internet

He shares some great insights about the early days of e-book sales on the internet, about selling things for free and also what happens when you have stuff on the Internet.  You really aren’t losing sales the way that you might expect.

I think this also ties into my post from yesterday, where I included a link to 10 Winning Strategies for Your Self-Published Book. The best way to get your first book sold is to write the second book. Each of the books you sell will cascade to the other titles.

Dresden Dolls

And for anyone not familiar with the Dresden Dolls, I wanted to share my one of my favorite song of theirs, “Coin Operated Boy,” although “The Kill” is great too.  Enjoy!

23 comments on “Neil Gaiman Says “Tell Your Story”

  1. Deneé J.
    March 18, 2013

    Love Neil Gaiman! Thanks!

  2. Nate Pebbles
    March 18, 2013

    First off Neil Gaiman is bad ass… But you knew that already… Second keep working hard… At the absolute very least you will have great pieces of work you can be proud of.

    • tracycembor
      March 19, 2013

      Wow, I really appreciate the encouragement!! I’ve actually been having a few tough days of writing — my mind has been worrying about rl stuff — so thank you for reminding me of goal. I do want to have a novel I can be proud of.

  3. FH7 Productions
    March 18, 2013

    Reblogged this on fh7productions.

  4. Ryan Brooks
    March 19, 2013

    Gaiman’s the bomb, yo. Great article. :)

    • tracycembor
      March 19, 2013

      I respect Gaiman as an author; he is an incredibly creative person. Glad you enjoyed the post. :)

  5. leahmary
    March 19, 2013

    Reblogged this on A Mirage passes by… and commented:
    I admire the way he writes stories. I really do. :)

    • tracycembor
      March 19, 2013

      His craftsmenship is remarkable. It always amazes me how broad a range of books Gaiman has written.

      • leahmary
        March 21, 2013

        I do agree with you. I’m trying to have a collection of his books. :)

  6. krisdw76
    March 19, 2013

    I have loved “Coin Operated Boy” for quite awhile lol. Good post!

    • tracycembor
      March 19, 2013

      Yeah, it’s not a new song, but it’s a good one. ;)

  7. beautifulorange
    March 19, 2013

    Thanks for sharing. Neil’s story is a pretty inspiring one… a true artist following his own, unique vision.

    • tracycembor
      March 19, 2013

      If I am honest, sometimes his vision is a bit too unique for my tastes, but that’s my problem, not his. I do respect everything he has accomplished and enjoy all the wisdom he has passed along to the next generation of writers.

  8. phillyd3
    March 19, 2013

    Reblogged this on phillideethree.

  9. beautycalyptique
    March 19, 2013

    speaking of encouragement, have you watched his speech “make great art”, I wonder? made me cry – and I’m not a sentimental person. at all.

    • tracycembor
      March 19, 2013

      Ooo, I will have to check that out. Thanks for the reccommendation!!

  10. Przemek Kucia
    March 19, 2013

    Great post, great content design decision to make it the way you did it :)

    Oh my, I will borrow this structure sometime in the future if I may :D

    • tracycembor
      March 19, 2013

      You are quite welcome to borrow the design and structure. It’s fun to share with friends. I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

      Frankly, I feel like if something is put on the Internet, then it is fair game. If you don’t want someone to “steal” your stuff, then don’t put it online. Maybe that’s just me. /shrugs

      • yoshipuffer
        March 20, 2013

        Never a truer statement said. Why are we under delusion that content digitised is still ‘owned’ by the original uploader? You can say the picture you painted on a canvas is yours; the novel you wrote putting ink to paper is yours. But once you cast it into the www, it’s like a message in a bottle. You’ve no idea who’s going to find it and use it.

        Arguably part of the attraction.

      • Przemek Kucia
        March 20, 2013

        WordPress ate my parenthesis about how I try to pull off biggest and most charming smile to get that “yes, you may” xD // I don’t have firm opinion about “sharing” on Internets, but post design you used struck me (and the response you created with it) and it would be really useful for me sometimes when I don’t have the time to make outlines, rethink them and write ;) so I’m giving the credit where it’s due ;)

        Take care!

  11. wrampage
    March 20, 2013

    Reblogged this on wrampage and commented:
    This man is one of my biggest inspirations. For exactly the reason he says in the last few moments of this video. I don’t want to be Neil Gaiman, nor do I wish to be better than Neil Gaiman. Simply because neither of those things are possible, He is Neil Gaiman and I am me. His works make me want to be my best version of myself, put to paper.

    Enjoy this people. It’s gold.

  12. Terry Bandy
    October 17, 2013

    I was suggested this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post
    is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my trouble.

    You’re incredible! Thanks!

Comments are closed.

Posting Schedule for 2014-15

Monday through Friday I will be posting about writing as business and craft, the science of creativity, all things steampunk, and progress on The Dreamless City.

Weekends are reserved for my Music Playlist.

Writers of the Future Honorable Mention

About the Author

Tracy Cembor attempts to juggle a preschooler and a baby, a full-time job, random geekery, and the writing life. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a steampunk urban fantasy novel. Come join the adventure.
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