Regardless if you're familiar with Neil Gaiman's work, this speech is amazing/inspiring/captivating and is filled with advice for any person aspiring to be creative/work in the arts. For those who are unfamiliar, Neil is an English author of basically everything (novels, short fiction, graphic novels, comic books, films, theatre, etc.) and he is worth taking the time to familiarize yourself with.
Some of my favorite take aways of his speech are below:
When you start out on a career in the arts, you have no idea what you're doing. This is great. People who know what they are doing, know the rules. And they know what is possible and what is impossible. You do not. And you should not. The rule on what is possible and impossible in the arts were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them. And you can. If you don't know it's impossible, it's easier to do. And because no one has done it before they haven't made up rules to stop anyone doing that particular thing again.
Nothing I did, were the only reason for doing it was the money, was ever worth it except as bitter experience. The things I because I was excited and I wanted to see them exist in reality have never let me down and I have never regretted the time I spent on any of them.
There was a day when I looked up and realized that I had become someone who professionally replied to e-mail and wrote as a hobby. I started answering fewer emails and was relieved to find I was writing much more.
I hope you'll make mistakes. If you make mistakes it means you're out there doing something. And the mistakes in themselves can be very useful.
People get hired because, somehow, they get hired. When I was asked by editors who I'd written for, I lied. I listed a hand full of magazines that sounded likely and I sounded confident and I got jobs. I then made it a point of honor to have written something for each of the magazines I had listed to get that first job. So that I hadn't actually lied, I'd just been chronologically challenged.
People keep working in a freelance world, and more and more of today's world is freelance, because their work is good, and because they're easy to get along with, and because they deliver the work on time. And you don't even need all three. Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are, if you work is good and you deliver it on time. People will forgive the lateness of your work, if it's good and they like you. And you don't have to be as good as everyone else, if you're on time and it's always a pleasure to hear from you.
"This is really great. You should enjoy it." Best advice I every got that I ignored.