Neil Gaiman Quotes

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Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman, April 2013
Born Neil Richard Gaiman
(1960-11-10) 10 November 1960 (age 56)
Portchester, Hampshire, England
Occupation Author, comic book creator, screenwriter, voice actor
Nationality British
Period 1980s–present
Genre Fantasy, horror, science fiction, dark fantasy
Notable works The Sandman, Neverwhere, American Gods, Stardust, Coraline, The Graveyard Book, Good Omens, The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Spouse

Mary McGrath (1985–2007)
Amanda Palmer (2011–present)

As far as I'm concerned, the entire reason for becoming a writer is not having to get up in the morning.
Neil Gaiman
A good writer should be able to write comedic work that made you laugh, and scary stuff that made you scared, and fantasy or science fiction that imbued you with a sense of wonder, and mainstream journalism that gave you clear and concise information in a way that you wanted it.
Neil Gaiman
I'll agonize over sentences. Mostly because you're trying to create specific effects with sentences, and because there are a number of different voices in the book.
Neil Gaiman
The joy of doing 'Sandman' was doing a comic and telling people, 'No, it has an end,' at a time when nobody thought you could actually get to the end and stop doing a comic that people were still buying just because you'd finished.
Neil Gaiman
When I was 7, my proudest possession would have been my bookshelf 'cause I had alphabetized all of the books on my bookshelf.
Neil Gaiman
I want to write a play. I'd like to do an original musical. I should probably put together a poetry collection.
Neil Gaiman
Life is always going to be stranger than fiction, because fiction has to be convincing, and life doesn't.
Neil Gaiman
I don't think I'm mainstream. I think what I am is lots and lots of different cults. And when you get lots and lots of small groups who like you a lot, they add up to a big group without ever actually becoming mainstream.
Neil Gaiman
So the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is out there preserving and fighting for, and sometimes winning and sometimes losing, the fight for First Amendment rights in comics and, more generally, for freedom of speech.
Neil Gaiman
My stuff gets published in some countries as fiction and in some countries as fantasy. It's just where they think it will do best in the bookshops.
Neil Gaiman
You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it.
Neil Gaiman
When I was a kid, we actually lived in a house that had been divided in two at one point, which meant that one room in our house opened up onto a brick wall. And I was convinced all I had to do was just open it the right way and it wouldn't be a brick wall. So I'd sidle over to the door and I'd pull it open.
Neil Gaiman
I've known ambitious people with no aptitude for the thing they did. Most of whom, rather terrifyingly, tended to succeed.
Neil Gaiman
My theory on genre is that while there are people out there who believe that genre tells people what to read, actually I believe that genre exists as a marketing tool to tell you what to avoid.
Neil Gaiman
I don't know if any single book made me want to write. C.S. Lewis was the first writer to make me aware that somebody was writing the book I was reading – these wonderful parenthetical asides to the reader.
Neil Gaiman
For me, the glory of my first 25 years as a writer was I could put things off as long as I wanted.
Neil Gaiman
One thing that I get from a lot of people with 'American Gods' is people saying that they would love some kind of glossary with a list of all the Gods and who they are, so that they can look them up.
Neil Gaiman
'Doctor Who' was the first mythology that I learned, before ever I ran into Greek or Roman or Egyptian mythologies.
Neil Gaiman
Empathy is a tool for building people into groups, for allowing us to function as more than self-obsessed individuals.
Neil Gaiman
I don't think there is such a thing as a bad book for children.
Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.
Neil Gaiman
When I was young, I was reading anything and anything I could lay my hands on. I was a veracious-to-the-point-of-insane reader.
Neil Gaiman
So I went out and bought myself a copy of the Writer and Artist Yearbook, bought lots of magazines and got on the phone and talked to editors about ideas for stories. Pretty soon I found myself hired to do interviews and articles and went off and did them.
Neil Gaiman
Like some kind of particularly tenacious vampire the short story refuses to die, and seems at this point in time to be a wonderful length for our generation.
Neil Gaiman
It is a fool's prerogative to utter truths that no one else will speak.
Neil Gaiman
Great, big, serious novels always get awards. If it's a battle between a great, big, serious novel and a funny novel, the funny novel is doomed.
Neil Gaiman
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something.
Neil Gaiman
I've been blogging since February of 2001. When I started blogging, it was a dinosaur blog. It was me and a handful of tyrannosaurs. We'd be writing blog entries like, 'The tyrannosaurus is getting grumpy.'
Neil Gaiman
I loved writing a book in which, in some ways, it's very, very classical, and in some ways I'm breaking lots of rules about what you can do and what you can't do.
Neil Gaiman
The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity.
Neil Gaiman
Going off the grid is always good for me. It's the way that I've started books and finished books and gotten myself out of deadline dooms and things.
Neil Gaiman
There's a glorious sense of freedom in comedy, just allowing myself to tell jokes, allowing myself to interrupt myself and tell old African folk stories that I made up – or didn't – and Jamaican stories.
Neil Gaiman
I wanted to write something that would be a comedy in the sense of making people feel happier when they finish it than they did when began it.
Neil Gaiman
Sometimes the best way to learn something is by doing it wrong and looking at what you did.
Neil Gaiman
I like reading. I prefer not reading on my computer, because that makes whatever I am reading feel like work. I do not mind reading on my iPad.
Neil Gaiman
Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and adventures are the shadow truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes and forgotten.
Neil Gaiman
I think the short story is a very underrated art form. We know that novels deserve respect.
Neil Gaiman
Anything that keeps you happy and writing is part of my writing ritual: I like music, so I tend to have it playing in the background. But if I'm interested, I can write in an airport waiting areas.
Neil Gaiman
I believe that stories are incredibly important, possibly in ways we don't understand, in allowing us to make sense of our lives, in allowing us to escape our lives, in giving us empathy and in creating the world that we live in.
Neil Gaiman
And there never was an apple, in Adam's opinion, that wasn't worth the trouble you got into for eating it.
Neil Gaiman
I'm one of those writers who tends to be really good at making outlines and sticking to them. I'm very good at doing that, but I don't like it. It sort of takes a lot of the fun out.
Neil Gaiman
I was always so relieved that anyone wants to publish anything I've written.
Neil Gaiman
I started out writing much more science fictiony stuff and writing about science fiction.
Neil Gaiman
The only people I ever get irritated with are the ones who announce, using my Twitter handle, that they are no longer following me and why.
Neil Gaiman
It's a wonderful thing, as a writer, to be given parameters and walls and barriers.
Neil Gaiman
As a kid, I would get my parents to drop me off at my local library on their way to work during the summer holidays, and I would walk home at night. For several years, I read the children's library until I finished the children's library. Then I moved into the adult library and slowly worked my way through them.
Neil Gaiman
I don't know if proud is the right word, but I am somebody who does not, on the whole, have the highest regard for my own stuff in that when I look all I get to see are the flaws.
Neil Gaiman
In many ways, it was much, much harder to get the first book contract. The hardest thing probably overall has been learning not to trust people, publicists and so forth, implicitly.
Neil Gaiman
Continuity isn't actually something that I ever worry about. You use it where you need to, and you don't use it where you don't need to.
Neil Gaiman
I was one those kids who had books on them. Before weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, funerals and anything else where you're actually meant to not be reading, my family would frisk me and take the book away. If they didn't find it by this point in the procedure, I would be sitting over in that corner completely unnoticed just reading my book.
Neil Gaiman
We all not only could know everything. We do. We just tell ourselves we don't to make it all bearable.
Neil Gaiman
Oh, tweeting prolifically is the most easy thing in the world. Tweeting prolifically is like somebody saying, 'Boy, you're a really good walker around,' you know. It's not really hard.
Neil Gaiman
My guiltiest pleasure is Harry Stephen Keeler. He may have been the greatest bad writer America has ever produced. Or perhaps the worst great writer. I do not know. There are few faults you can accuse him of that he is not guilty of. But I love him.
Neil Gaiman
I'm never, I hope, stupid enough to believe that Twitter or blogging or any of this stuff is a substitute for actually doing the work or writing a book.
Neil Gaiman
Because, if one is writing novels today, concentrating on the beauty of the prose is right up there with concentrating on your semi-colons, for wasted effort.
Neil Gaiman
This is a work of fiction. All the characters in it, human and otherwise, are imaginary, excepting only certain of the fairy folk, whom it might be unwise to offend by casting doubts on their existence. Or lack thereof.
Neil Gaiman
It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor.
Neil Gaiman
American Gods is about 200,000 words long, and I'm sure there are words that are simply in there 'cause I like them. I know I couldn't justify each and every one of them.
Neil Gaiman
I wish being a beekeeper, which I am, gave you a free pass on the carbon footprint, but it doesn't.
Neil Gaiman
A library is a place that is a repository of information and gives every citizen equal access to it. That includes health information. And mental health information. It's a community space. It's a place of safety, a haven from the world.
Neil Gaiman
You know, it's weird being interviewed! Because the weird thing about being interviewed is you get asked these questions that you've never thought about, and you find out what you think as you answer.
Neil Gaiman
I'm a fairly undisciplined writer.
I think of myself as a very lazy author.
The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before.
Neil Gaiman
The first author I remember being obsessed by, actually realizing 'I like the way he writes and I like the way he tells stories,' was C.S. Lewis and the 'Narnia' books.
Neil Gaiman
Write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.
Neil Gaiman
When I started out, there were a lot of things I knew I couldn't do, and a lot of things I only found out I couldn't do by going and doing it. And no-one was watching, and nobody cared.
Neil Gaiman
The current total of countries in the world with First Amendments is one. You have guaranteed freedom of speech. Other countries don't have that.
Neil Gaiman
It's a given that we exist in a world where we have to live in continuity every day; no one is immune to that, in life or romance novels. By the same token, it's not something I find terribly important.
Neil Gaiman
Make good art.
I was the kind of kid whose parents would drop him off at the local town library on their way to work, and I'd go and work my way through the children's area.
Neil Gaiman
I suspect there are two kinds of novelists. Those who have a point of view and have something to say and then write a novel in order to say that thing, and those of us who write the book in order to find out what we think about that thing.
Neil Gaiman
In the case of 'Ocean at the End of the Lane,' it's a book about helplessness. It's a book about family, it's a book about being 7 in a world of people who are bigger than you, and more dangerous, and stepping into territory that you don't entirely understand.
Neil Gaiman
Is the chemical aftertaste the reason why people eat hot dogs, or is it some kind of bonus?
Neil Gaiman
I had started to feel that somewhere in the second half of the 20th century, the idea of page-turning as a good thing had been lost. You were getting books that were the equivalent of absolutely beautifully prepared dishes of food that didn't taste like anything much.
Neil Gaiman
Life – and I don't suppose I'm the first to make this comparison – is a disease: sexually transmitted, and invariably fatal.
Neil Gaiman
I started blogging a decade ago because I like blogging. Writing's a kind of lonely thing to do, and I liked the idea of demystifying the process because I loved it as a kid and teenager and as somebody who wanted desperately to write.
Neil Gaiman
With 'Stardust', I hope what I was doing is giving 30-year-olds and 40-year-olds and 25-year-olds and 60-year-olds a chance to get the same sense of wonder, the same feeling, the same magic, that they got in reading the classic fairy tales as children.
Neil Gaiman
I lost some time once. It's always in the last place you look for it.
I kept starting 'Anansi Boys' as a movie and stopping, and eventually wrote the novel and was happy.
Neil Gaiman
Partly because I get such astonishingly nice fans.
When you're starting off as a young writer, you look at all the stuff that's gone before and the stuff that's influenced you, and you reach the ladle of your imagination into this bubbling stew pot of all of this stuff, and you pour it out. And that's where you start from.
Neil Gaiman
'American Gods' was designed to be, if not open-ended, at least a trilogy kind of shape, so there's definitely one more book, probably another couple of books there to get written.
Neil Gaiman
I started writing when I was about 20, 21 maybe.
You can take for granted that people know more or less what a street, a shop, a beach, a sky, an oak tree look like. Tell them what makes this one different.
Neil Gaiman
What I'd love to do is every now and then go, 'Oh my God, I've got this amazing idea for 'Doctor Who.'
Neil Gaiman
The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.
Neil Gaiman
The moment that you feel that just possibly you are walking down the street naked… that's the moment you may be starting to get it right.
Neil Gaiman
The short story is still like the novel's wayward younger brother, we know that it's not respectable – but I think that can also add to the glory of it.
Neil Gaiman
I'm English, and 'Doctor Who' was this thing that I've been watching since I was three.
Neil Gaiman
As a teenager I wrote to R.A. Lafferty. And he responded, too, with letters that were like R.A. Lafferty short stories, filled with elliptical answers to straight questions and simple answers to complicated ones.
Neil Gaiman
The great thing about Batman and Superman, in truth, is that they are literally transcendent. They are better than most of the stories they are in.
Neil Gaiman
Rock and roll stars have it much better than writers when they're on a tour.
Neil Gaiman
Also, I've already won all the awards.
A nice, easy place for freedom of speech to be eroded is comics, because comics are a natural target whenever an election comes up.
Neil Gaiman
Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and dreams. They are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner.
Neil Gaiman
The biggest difference between England and America is that England has history, while America has geography.
Neil Gaiman
As an author, I've never forgotten how to daydream.
The imagination is a muscle. If it is not exercised, it atrophies.
I've never known anyone who was what he or she seemed; or at least, was only what he or she seemed. People carry worlds within them.
Neil Gaiman
Every now and then I'll do little things, a short story or something, that doesn't have any fantastical elements, but mostly I like the power of playing God and I like to imagine things.
Neil Gaiman
It's not a bad thing for a writer not to feel at home. Writers – we're much more comfortable at parties standing in the corner watching everybody else having a good time than we are mingling.
Neil Gaiman
I was a scholarship minor public school day boy at Ardingly College and later Whitgift School. Then, straight into work as a journalist – a wonderful thing for a writer.
Neil Gaiman