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Neil Gaiman’s “Eight Rules for Writing”

Neil Gaiman by Kyle Cassidy CC BY-SA 3.0

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” Neil Gaiman, Coraline [recommended]

Neil Gaiman (10 November 1960) is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre, and films. His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. He has won many awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, as well as the Newbery and Carnegie medals. He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work, The Graveyard Book (2008). In 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards. [Wikipedia] Neil’s Amazon page is HERE.

If you are viewing this post from an email subscription, it’s likely your have to link through to the site to view the video: An Interview witih Neil Gaiman.


Jamie Dedes

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,  Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.

THE POET BY DAY: What’s it all about?

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
Mary Oliver

What’s it all about?  

In a quiet way, this site is a rebellion against elitism in the world of poetry. It specializes in featuring talented but lesser know poets and underrepresented voices. It also features poetry initiatives for peace, sustainability and social justice and poetry news, events and publication opportunities. It supports freedom of expression.

Its purpose is to gratify my own pleasure in the world of poetry, to acknowledge poets, to encourage poets and writers (including those just finding their voices) and to explore the world of poetry, to honor the space in which poetry bares witness and offers us comfort and vision.

The name “The Poet by Day” is not a reference to me. It is in part to remind myself not to stay up all night reading and writing. However fun that might be, it’s just not healthy.

“The Poet by Day” gives a nod to a desire I believe we share: that our art is/could be our day job. The name, however, is primarily meant as encouragement to take it a day at a time, to be present in this moment and in our work, and to regularly exercise the writing muscle.

I hope people write whatever the spirit moves them to write about in whatever form/s feel natural to them and without comparing their work to that of others or worrying unduly about publication.

“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” Allen Ginsberg years and years ago in Writer’s Digest 

The daily order is to free your creative spirit, to find yourself in your art. Your poetry – or whatever subtle alchemy calls to you – is first a gift you give to yourself. All else will follow.

© 2018, text, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved



in his text, the writer sets up his own house …

“In his text, the writer sets up house … For a man who no longer has a homeland: Writing becomes a place to live …” Theodor W. Adorno in Minima Moralia: Relections of Damaged Life

The world’s gone mad, but we still have books and writing for refuge, strength and inspiration.

Jamie’s THE WORDPLAY SHOP: books, tools and supplies for poets, writers and readers




A drizzle, not wild rain
No drenching torrents
No puddles forming under
the palm and the birch
No soaking the dry brown earth
while I sit cozy inside
No squall, friend of solitude
to embrace the writing itch, just
a parched blue midnight
an effete sprinkle in the air
Nothing to stir the pen
or green the lawns

This must have been the poetic equivilant of a rain dance. Right after I wrote it we had a soaking downpour.

© 2016, poem, Jamie Dedes; photo courtesy of axelle b,