Some amazing advice.
I fucking love this.
Words to fucking live by.
You can’t be a wimp. You can’t stand around bitching about how hard it is and how indignant you are that no one appreciates your work, about how no one will publish you, or how people at parties make you feel stupid, about how you’re really not only a waitress or whatever job you’ve taken, about how your parents don’t understand you, or any of the stuff I bitched about plenty myself. I don’t say this from a place of condemnation, but rather allegiance. You really have to buck the fuck up, do the work, and know that you’re probably going to have to do more work than you imagined you’d have to do to get to the place that you imagined as successful. And when you get there, you’ll see that “successful” feels less successful than you thought it would. Success in writing is about keeping the faith over a long, long stretch of time. This isn’t something you just do a little bit and then get a reward at the end of—it’s a life’s work.
Be wise, because the world needs more wisdom, and if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would. And now go make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes, break rules, and leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.
- Neil Gaiman in his 2012 commencement address at the University of the Arts.