Monday, June 4, 2012

A kick in the butt

I came across this video last week. A bit long, at 19+ minutes, but I'm glad I watched. I think you will be, too.



If you don't have time, here are a few of Neil's points:

When you start out in a career in the arts, you have no idea what you’re doing. If you don’t know it’s impossible, it’s easier to do. And because no one’s done it before, they haven’t made up rules to stop anyone from doing it again.

If you have an idea of what you were put here to do, just go and do that.

Imagine your goal as a mountain, a distant mountain, and he knew that if he kept aiming for the mountain, he’d be all right. Sometimes he had to stop and consider whether he was walking toward the mountain or away from it, and passed up proper jobs with proper pay because it would have taken him away from the mountain.

Be thick-skinned. Not every project will survive.

Don’t write books just for the money. You’ll still have the work.

The things he did because he was excited and wanted to see them exist in reality never let him down.

Whatever terrible things happen to you in life, make good art.

Neil ignored a piece of advice from Stephen King years ago, but says it was the best advice he ever got. When Neil was writing The Sandman, King said: “This is really good. You should enjoy it.” Neil didn’t; instead, he worried about things going wrong. In this video, he advises students: Let go and enjoy the ride.

Things have been hard these past few years. But when it all comes down to it, I’m still writing, still doing what I love, and people are buying it, reading it, and send me wonderful messages about how much they love it.

So thanks, Neil. Reminders like this are exactly the kick in the butt I need. I’m off to write now, something that’s been exciting me for awhile.

7 comments:

Marta Szemik said...

That's some great advice.

LD Masterson said...

Yup. An excellent kick in the butt.

Cate Masters said...

Neil knows whereof he speaks, Marta. Except maybe in the "piracy is good" department!

It's good to have a reminder of the ultimate reason we write, isn't it, Linda? So our souls can say, ahhh.

Angela Brown said...

To be able to have a relationship with Stephen King and be able to get advice from him, well, what can I say.

It is good, though, to remember that along this road of writing and publishing, there are roses to sniff, flowers to hold and moments to enjoy. Best not to miss any of those.

Cate Masters said...

Yep, it's a great reminder to enjoy what you're doing, and why you do it.

Jess @ The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow said...

Hi Cate, That was incredible! Thank you for posting this video. I am a big fan of Neil : ) This was so well written and inspirational. Definitely sharing it within my circles. ~ Jess

Cate Masters said...

The video seems to have caught fire across the web, Jess! Neil spoke to the heart of many writers.