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60 Neil Gaiman quotes that are sure to inspire you

Neil Gaiman is everywhere, doing everything. Owing to his genre-defying skills, the internationally bestselling author is an enigmatic chameleon figure. From writing children’s books to graphic novels, captivating a million followers on Twitter, and managing a phenomenally popular blog – he can do it all.

Add his charm and wit, and he’s a guy everybody relates to. He’s an impressively quotable celebrity scholar.

So here are 60+ Neil Gaiman quotes that will either make you think deeply or laugh out loud.

On Being Yourself

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”

“You can take for granted that people know more or less what a street, a shop, a beach, a sky, an oak tree look like. Tell them what makes this one different.”

“Life is always going to be stranger than fiction, because fiction has to be convincing, and life doesn’t.”

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“The moment that you feel that just possibly you are walking down the street naked… that’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.”

“It’s like the people who believe they’ll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn’t work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you. If you see what I mean.”

“You’re always you, and that doesn’t change, and you’re always changing, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

“You don’t pass or fail at being a person, dear.”

“We do what we do, because of who we are. If we did otherwise, we would not be ourselves.”

On Life and Meaning

“You get what anybody gets – you get a lifetime.”

“Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”

“Life is always going to be stranger than fiction, because fiction has to be convincing, and life doesn’t.”

“It’s part of growing up, I suppose… You always have to leave something behind you.”

“Write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.”

“Life – and I don’t suppose I’m the first to make this comparison – is a disease: sexually transmitted, and invariably fatal.”

“It’s a given that we exist in a world where we have to live in continuity every day; no one is immune to that, in life or romance novels. By the same token, it’s not something I find terribly important.”

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“We all not only could know everything. We do. We just tell ourselves we don’t to make it all bearable.”

“I lost some time once. It’s always in the last place you look for it.”

“May your coming year 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 forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”

“I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.”

“It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.”

On Fear and Mistakes

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“Monsters come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are things people are scared of. Some of them are things that look like things people used to be scared of a long time ago. Sometimes monsters are things people should be scared of, but they aren’t.”

“Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.”

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes…you’re Doing Something.”

“When you’re scared but you still do it anyway, that’s brave.”

“Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.”

On Love

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.”

“There are so many fragile things, after all. People break so easily, and so do dreams and hearts.”

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“In a perfect world, you could fuck people without giving them a piece of your heart. And every glittering kiss and every touch of flesh is another shard of heart you’ll never see again.”

On Success

“When I started out, there were a lot of things I knew I couldn’t do, and a lot of things I only found out I couldn’t do by going and doing it. And no-one was watching, and nobody cared.”

“I’ve known ambitious people with no aptitude for the thing they did. Most of whom, rather terrifyingly, tended to succeed.”

“And there never was an apple, in Adam’s opinion, that wasn’t worth the trouble you got into for eating it.”

“It is a fool’s prerogative to utter truths that no one else will speak.”

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“Continuity isn’t actually something that I ever worry about. You use it where you need to, and you don’t use it where you don’t need to.”

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

“It is sometimes a mistake to climb; it is always a mistake never even to make the attempt. If you do not climb, you will not fall. This is true. But is it that bad to fail, that hard to fall?”

“Always worth it to have tried, even if you fail, even if you fall like a meteor forever. Better to have flamed in the darkness, to have inspired others, to have lived, than to have sat in the darkness, cursing the people who borrowed, but did not return, your candle.”

“If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and then just behave like they would.”

On Reading, Learning and Creativity.

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“The imagination is a muscle. If it is not exercised, it atrophies.”

“Stories you read when you’re the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you’ll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit.”

“I believe that it is difficult to kill an idea because ideas are invisible and contagious, and they move fast.”

“Sometimes the best way to learn something is by doing it wrong and looking at what you did.”

“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.”

“Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and adventures are the shadow truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes and forgotten.”

“You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.”

“People think dreams aren’t real just because they aren’t made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.”

“I believe that stories are incredibly important, possibly in ways we don’t understand, in allowing us to make sense of our lives, in allowing us to escape our lives, in giving us empathy and in creating the world that we live in.”

“The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity.”

“Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and dreams. They are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner.”

“It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor.”

“And remember that whatever discipline you are in, whether you are a musician or a photographer, a fine artist or a cartoonist, a writer, a dancer, a designer, whatever you do you have one thing that’s unique. You have the ability to make art.

“And for me, and for so many of the people I have known, that’s been a lifesaver. The ultimate lifesaver. It gets you through good times and it gets you through the other ones.

“Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do.

“Make good art.”

“I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school. They don’t teach you how to love somebody. They don’t teach you how to be famous. They don’t teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.”

“Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent.”

On Humanity

“Empathy is a tool for building people into groups, for allowing us to function as more than self-obsessed individuals.”

“Why are we talking about this good and evil? They’re just names for sides. We know that.”

“Sometimes we can choose the paths we follow. Sometimes our choices are made for us. And sometimes we have no choice at all.”

***Do you want to be a stronger person? Do you want to stare down your challenges and overcome any obstacles? If so, check out our eBook: The Art of Resilience: A Practical Guide to Mental Toughness.

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Written by Genefe Navilon

Genefe Navilon is a writer, poet, and blogger. She graduated with a degree in Mass Communications at the University of San Jose Recoletos. Her poetry blog, Letters To The Sea, currently has 18,000 followers. Her work has been published in different websites and poetry book anthologies. She divides her time between traveling, writing, and working on her debut poetry book.

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