17 of the Best Neil Gaiman Quotes

Neil Gaiman Quotes | Sporcle

If you’re any type of nerd, you probably know Neil Gaiman. Whatever form of media you consume, he’s probably been involved; with novels, children’s books, comics, movie adaptations, radio adaptations, and TV adaptations. He’s also open with advice and thoughts, giving graduation speeches, answering questions on Tumblr, and doing readings with his wife Amanda Palmer. He also writes a New Year’s Wish annually, for anyone looking for a new tradition.

Here Are 17 of the Best Neil Gaiman Quotes


On Writing:

“Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.”

“If you’re only going to write when you’re inspired, you may be a fairly decent poet, but you will never be a novelist — because you’re going to have to make your word count today, and those words aren’t going to wait for you, whether you’re inspired or not. So you have to write when you’re not “inspired.” … And the weird thing is that six months later, or a year later, you’re going to look back and you’re not going to remember which scenes you wrote when you were inspired and which scenes you wrote because they had to be written.”

“If you like fantasy and you want to be the next Tolkien, don’t read big Tolkienesque fantasies — Tolkien didn’t read big Tolkienesque fantasies, he read books on Finnish philology. Go and read outside of your comfort zone, go and learn stuff.”

“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.”


On Society:

“[I]f you don’t stand up for the stuff you don’t like, when they come for the stuff you do like, you’ve already lost.”

“Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different.”

“It has been said that civilization is twenty-four hours and two meals away from barbarism.”

“Gods, religions and national boundaries are absolutely imaginary. They don’t tend to exist. As soon as you pull back half a mile and look down at the Earth there are no national boundaries. There aren’t even national boundaries when you get down and walk around. They’re just imaginary lines we draw on maps. I just get fascinated by people who assume that things that are imaginary have no relevance to their lives.”


On Reading:

“Books are the way that we communicate with the dead. The way that we learn lessons from those who are no longer with us, that humanity has built on itself, progressed, made knowledge incremental rather than something that has to be relearned, over and over.”

“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.”

“We have an obligation to support libraries. To use libraries, to encourage others to use libraries, to protest the closure of libraries. If you do not value libraries then you do not value information or culture or wisdom. You are silencing the voices of the past and you are damaging the future.”

“Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child’s love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian “improving” literature. You’ll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant.”

“Fiction gives us empathy: it puts us inside the minds of other people, gives us the gifts of seeing the world through their eyes. Fiction is a lie that tells us true things, over and over.”


On New Year’s:

“I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.”

“May your 2002 be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t to forget make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in 2002, you surprise yourself.”

“It’s been a strange, hard year for so many of us. I find myself thinking of the old Jack Benny radio shows. Particularly during World War Two they’d do a new year’s sketch, where the old year (played by Jack, with an old man voice) would give advice to the new year (played by a child). They weren’t funny: they were a mixture of hope and sentiment, optimism, realism and resilience. We are going to need all of these things in 2017.”

“So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave — let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we’re faking them.”


Did you like these Neil Gaiman quotes? For more insight, check out Beverly Cleary Quotes or Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes.

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