Falafelosophy: Some Advice from Arthur and Neil Gaiman

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.

gaiman falafel

You live your life like you’re not in control, like you’re playing a role

If I may be sentimental/introspective for a post…

I haven’t done a “Writing Wednesday” post in a while. Laziness is mainly to blame, but I’m also currently in the middle of a minor re-invention (that’s what I’m calling it, anyway).

On a technological level: I finally replaced my (almost) 6-year-old laptop because I needed to be able to carry it around without always having it plugged in (I popped the battery out of the old one about a year ago). And my phone contract was up, so I replaced that too.

On a superficial level: On my 24th birthday, I got a piercing and a tattoo (an event that can either be seen as a quarter-life crisis or as wish fulfillment) and yesterday, I picked up my new glasses.

On a personal level: Friday is my last day of work. I’ve been at this office job for what seems like forever (I’d have hit 2 years in August), and, while I love my boss and like my co-workers, I’ve never really liked my actual job (customer service, among other things). I never pictured myself working in a cubicle, and I always figured, if I ended up with a desk job, it would be in the book industry. That seemed a far off dream until a few months ago when I – to quote John O’Callaghan – “grabbed the world by its loins”. And by “world”, I mean “my future”.

Over the past few months, I’ve (slowly) started entering writing contests and researching possible literary agents.  In mid-March, I registered for a publishing certificate program – it starts on Monday (classes run from 9am-4pm). Last week, I registered for the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York, which takes place the first weekend of August.

Basically, I’m giving up on a steady job that I never really wanted in the first place to chase my dreams. Is it a risk? Well, I won’t be making money for at least 3.5 months this summer, so for Pete’s sake, can someone firmly talk me out of buying concert merch? Otherwise, I think I’ll be fine. I’ll be a little poorer and a little more tired, but if I can come out the other side with a better understanding of the publishing industry (and maybe even a job? With, like, Penguin? Or Random House?!), I’ll count it as a win.