Inspiration Friday #4

As it’s Friday and the end of another week, we can often be accused of not really wanting to give a ****. If that feels a bit like you today, then why not get inspired by listening to somebody clever talk about fun stuff.

Inspiration Friday #4 is from one of the great authors of our time, Neil Gaiman@neilhimself. Neil has written a multitude of books, hopefully a few of which you’ll know – Stardust, The Sandman comics, Coraline, and Neverwhere. This speech is from the commencement address at University of the Arts in 2012. It’s packed full of advice for young people heading out into the world to start their careers creating stuff. But as with all these Inspiration Friday talks, its got something for all of us in the middle of our careers too.

Here’s a few notes I jotted down from it.

1. You’ll have no idea what you’re doing at the start. People who know what they’re doing know the rules.They know what is possible and what is impossible. If you don’t know something is impossible, it’s easier to do and because nobody’s done it before, they haven’t made up rules to stop people doing that particularly thing again!

2. If you have an idea of where you want to be, what you want to do, just go and do that.

3. Imagine where you want to be and set that as a goal. Then keep thinking about that goal. Is what you are doing keeping you on the path to that goal?

4. Do the work not just for the money but for the work itself.

5. Ability to make stuff up is the ultimate life saver.

6. When things get tough, make good art.

7. Do the stuff that only you can do, because the only thing that makes you unique is you. The point at which you feel naked, and feel you’ve revealed too much, that’s the point at which you know something is going right.


Secret Freelancer Knowledge

People get hired because somehow they get hired. If you have to lie to get hired that’s ok. Just as long as you then later rectify that lie…

Freelancers must deliver on two of the three following things to keep work flowing:

Do good work
Deliver on time
Have people like you

Two out of three will do!

Best piece of advice ever given (but he failed to follow it) from Stephen King: Enjoy the ride.

The old rules are crumbling, so make up your new rules.
Make glorious mistakes. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.