Neil Gaiman is known as one of the most creative writers of modern culture. However like many other authors, Gaiman experiences creative hurtles and writer’s block. For Gaiman, breaking through these challenges and establishing a stable writing process is contingent on determination.
In an interview with Nerdist Podcast, Gaiman discussed how he breaks through writer’s block.
“For me, it’s always been a process of trying to convince myself that what I’m doing in a first draft isn’t important. One way you get through the wall is by convincing yourself that it doesn’t matter. No one is ever going to see your first draft. Nobody cares about your first draft. And that’s the thing that you may be agonizing over, but honestly, whatever you’re doing can be fixed. …For now, just get the words out. Get the story down however you can get it down, then fix it.”
Gaiman encourages writers to write when they don’t feel inspiration and to push through when it comes to writing scenes that don’t inspire them. Gaiman encourages writers to utilize their creativity and passion for writing, but to have the discipline to finish whatever it is they’re working on.
“You have to finish things,” Gaiman says. “You learn by finishing things.”
Writing is often viewed as an elusive, whimsical talent, but it is really the act of committing to an idea and pursuing it with consistency.
As Gaiman says, “The process of writing can be magical. … Mostly it’s a process of putting one word after another.”