I know I haven’t done a “Writing Wednesday” in like 400 years, but I recently found out that NEIL GAIMAN was on an episode of Arthur a few years ago, and I just had to talk about it.
I’ve always enjoyed Arthur; I read the books and watched the show when I was younger. There have even been a few times (recently) when my nieces stay over on a Friday and wake me up at some ungodly time on Saturday (like 9am!! The horror!!) and I’ll insist that we watch Arthur during/after breakfast.
So this was basically a dream-come-true episode. I’ve already watched it 1.5 times, but I might have to watch it again.
In true Neil Gaiman fashion, he drops a whole lot of truth bombs and some sound advice on Sue Ellen, who is struggling with her writing (at his suggestion, she considers writing a graphic novel).
Here are some of my favourite lines:
“Don’t judge your story, you just started it.”
“You’ve got a story to tell and you’re the only one who can tell it.”
“…sometimes it takes a while for people to appreciate something new.”
And, my new personal mantra:
“You can’t just abandon your falafel like that!”
Granted, he was talking about an actual falafel at the time, but this sentence works two ways:
First and foremost, you’d be a fool if you ran away from a perfectly good falafel (I mean, look at it! It looks delicious. And the food truck guy was all “I give you hot sauce”, so you know it’s going to be spicy-but-tasty).
But, if you want to over-analyze this seemingly simple statement (and if you’re an English major like me, analyzing simple statements is instinctive) you can also think of it a metaphorical way: don’t abandon your project. Even if you get distracted or plagued by self-doubt, keep at it. Add some more “hot sauce” (“spice/change it up” if you will), but don’t just leave it to the side because you’ll never get back to it and that would be a shame.
That’s just my take on this, I could be making mountains out of molehills or whatever that saying is. But it was still hella fun trying to come up with a deeper meaning from this episode!
And, of course, he offered some genuinely good advice, so I recommend taking the 10 minutes to watch it, especially if you’re a writer. Sometimes all we need is a chat with our Inner Neil when we’re feeling insecure about our work.
Sidenote: I’d pay an obscene amount of money to have Neil Gaiman hand me a falafel. Authorly advice would just be a bonus.
Sidenote 2: “Neil Gaiman? What are you doing in my falafel?” is one of the greatest sentences I’ve ever heard. It’s going to be my new catchphrase.