Sunday, June 19, 2011

neil gaiman

You once said that your biggest influence, for your writing, was punk rock—the idea that you could do something just by doing it.
It still is. You have to be willing to make mistakes, and you have to be willing to make mistakes in public. Sometimes the best way to learn something is by doing it wrong and looking at what you did. When I was 15 going on 16, punk rock, the idea of here’s a chord, here’s another, here’s one more chord, now form a band, is one that sort of always stayed with me. I remember recruiting the drummer in my punk band because he used to hit things. And he used to hit me! [Laughs] I thought, If he’s really good at hitting me, he’s obviously got a lot of aggression. I sort of sidled over to this guy, who later became my best friend. Up until this point, he had been somebody who punched me on the way to class. And I said, you want to be a drummer? He said, oh yeah I want to be a drummer. So I said, cool. I’m starting a punk band. He said, great! We’ll start it in my parent’s garage. It still seems to be the smartest, most glorious way to do anything: You do it. People who want to be writers say, what should I do? And you say, write! [Laughs] And they’ll say, then what? And you say, well, finish things! And they say, well, then what? Well, write something else. That’s how you do it. If you do it over and over, sooner or later you’re going to be writing stuff that’s publishable. And if you keep doing it, you’ll probably get fairly good. You have, you know, a million lousy words inside you, and you’ve got to get them out. I think there’s something very real and very true in that. How do you do it? You do it. Look at other people. Learn everything you can from everywhere. The most important thing is to do it.

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