Sunday Video: Neil Gaiman on creativity and mountain climbing
During graduation season, we turn our Sunday Video Series to the notable commencement speeches happening on college campuses throughout the country. On May 17, author and graphic novelist Neil Gaiman addressed the graduates of The University of Arts in Philadelphia on the theme of creativity. While he was speaking to a crowd of musicians, fine artists and performers, his words are inspirational to anyone looking to define their own career path.
He explained six pieces of advice, from the problems of success to some "secret freelancer knowledge," but ultimately, his message was simple: enjoy the ride. Gaiman said that was the best advice he ever got—and failed to follow.
"Instead, I worried about it," he said. "I worried about the next deadline, the next idea, the next story. There wasn't a moment for the next 14 or 15 years that I wasn't writing something in my head or wondering about it. And I didn't stop and look around and go, 'this is really fun.' I wish I'd enjoyed it more."
Gaiman challenged the graduates to think beyond what is possible, embrace mistakes and never take a job just for money. He said he pictures his goals as a mountain, and makes every decision based on whether it will get him closer to the peak.
"The old rules are crumbling, and nobody knows what the new rules are. So make up your own rules," he said. "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."
Credits: Video from The University of Arts on Vimeo