Pleasure Deficit Disorder

tell me a story
Pleasure Deficit Disorder

Orgasm: The Cure for Hunger
in the Western Woman

TED Talk Speaker: Nicole Daedone

Post By Jennifer Kiley

Post Thursday 7th August 2014
 

WARNING: Material Not Appropriate for Children

The Female Orgasm: Pleasure Deficit Disorder (Cultural). Returned to the capacity to perceive and receive pleasure.

Pharma working on developing female Viagra. DSM5: new disorder: Hypoactive Female Sexuality Desire Disorder.

Cure is Orgasm. Not a fleeting moment of climax. Orgasm works with woman’s body. Who you are and how your particular Orgasm works.

Dalai Lama says: Western Women will change the world.

Nicole says: Women around the world will change the world.
Turned on women will change the world by feeling the desire for affection that we all have.

These are some of the topics Nicole talks about during her talk on this video. For most people, it is a delicate subject  to talk about or to listen to. With Nicole you feel quite relaxed. She uses humor to relax people into the subject of Female Orgasm. It is an important subject. To be able to let your body respond to the touch of pressure that releases a wave of physical spasms of pure pleasure is for a great many women a difficult process. For many women it is an impossibility. But it doesn’t have to be. It doesn’t have to trigger flashbacks for those adults who had been sexually abused as a child. There is a way to heal and to be able to reach a place where self-satisfying can become something pleasurable, frequent and something you do not have to fear. You may never want to share this with another human being. But you may want to eventually be able to experience this new found pleasure with a partner. Female Orgasm Therapy is a scary and probably an embarrassing prospect for a great many women. Listen to Nicole speak. She may help you to change your mind. <3 jkm

TED Talk: Nicole Daedone Orgasm:The Cure for Hunger in the Western Woman
TED posted: June 11, 2011

Nicole Daedone is a sought-after speaker, author, and educator focusing on the intersection between orgasm, intimacy, and life. She is the founder of OneTaste, a cutting-edge company bringing a new definition of orgasm to women. The practice at the heart of her work is called OM or Orgasmic Meditation. OM uniquely combines the tradition of extended orgasm with Nicole’s own interest in Zen Buddhism, mystical Judaism and semantics. Helping to foster a new conversation about orgasm —one that’s real, relevant, and intelligent—she has inspired thousands of students to make OM a part of their everyday lives.

Nicole graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in semantics and gender communication. She went on to found the popular avant garde art gallery 111 Minna Gallery in SoMa before moving on to OneTaste. Nicole is the author of Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm (Grand Central/Hachette, May 2011) and has appeared on ABC’s Nightline. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the New York Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and 7×7 Magazine, among others, and her writing has appeared in Tricycle magazine. In his #1 New York Times Bestseller The 4-Hour Body, Timothy Ferriss calls the OM practice “required education for every man on the planet.”

For more about OneTaste and OM, visit http://onetaste.us Nicole’s blog appears at http://nicoledaedone.com

Raised in Los Gatos, CA, Nicole now lives in San Francisco.

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“MACROSTRUCTURE” – A SHORT FILM

amazing visions
“MACROSTRUCTURE”

A Short Film

Post by Jennifer Kiley

Post Wednesday 16th July 2014

 

AMAZING LIGHTNESS OF VISION & BEING.
VISUALIZATION IS OUTSTANDING.
IMAGINATION OR REALITY. ARE WE SURE WHICH IS WHICH?

NOW IMAGINE YOU ARE FOUND.
IT IS NOT YOUR PLANET OR YOUR PEOPLE.
WHAT DO YOU DO?

WATCH THIS INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFULLY EXECUTED
ARTISTIC PRODUCTION. PREPARE TO BE BLOWN AWAY!!!

Here - I give you: “MACROSTRUCTURE”

“MACROSTRUCTURE” – Eric Schockmel

Inspired by science and video games, Macrostructure is the first episode in a micro-series and story world entitled “What If You Created Artificial Life And It Started Worshiping You”. We are taken on a 3D animated journey through a world inhabited by synthetic life forms and the self-aware machines who manufacture, control, and recycle them.

Like or share if you want to see more episodes.
Preview how it continues: seditionart.com/eric_schockmel
Further infos: ericschockmel.net

About my Very Tortured Friend, Peter

poetry out loud - day title saturday About my Very Tortured Friend, Peter
Written by Charles Bukowski
Post Created by Jk the secret keeper
Post Created on Friday 27th September 2013
Posted On Saturday 5th October 2013

Poetry Out Loud

About my Very Tortured Friend, Peter by Charles Bukowski [read by Tom O’Bedlam]

About My Very Tortured Friend, Peter
By Charles Bukowski

he lives in a house with a swimming pool
and says the job is
killing him.
he is 27. I am 44. I can’t seem to
get rid of
him. his novels keep coming
back. “what do you expect me to do?” he screams
“go to New York and pump the hands of the
publishers?”
“no,” I tell him, “but quit your job, go into a
small room and do the
thing.”
“but I need ASSURANCE, I need something to
go by, some word, some sign!”
“some men did not think that way:
Van Gogh, Wagner—”
“oh hell, Van Gogh had a brother who gave him
paints whenever he
needed them!”

“look,” he said, “I’m over at this broad’s house today and
this guy walks in. a salesman. you know
how they talk. drove up in this new
car. talked about his vacation. said he went to
Frisco—saw Fidelio up there but forgot who
wrote it. now this guy is 54 years
old. so I told him: ‘Fidelio is Beethoven’s only
opera.’ and then I told
him: ‘you’re a jerk!’ ‘whatcha mean?’ he
asked. ‘I mean, you’re a jerk, you’re 54 years old and
you don’t know anything!’”

“what happened
then?”
“I walked out.”
“you mean you left him there with
her?”
“yes.”

“I can’t quit my job,” he said. “I always have trouble getting a
job. I walk in, they look at me, listen to me talk and
they think right away, ah ha! he’s too intelligent for
this job, he won’t stay
so there’s really no sense in hiring
him.
now, YOU walk into a place and you don’t have any trouble:
you look like an old wino, you look like a guy who needs a
job and they look at you and they think:
ah ha!: now here’s a guy who really needs work! if we hire
him he’ll stay a long time and work
HARD!”

“do any of those people,” he asks “know you are a
writer, that you write poetry?”
“no.”
“you never talk about
it. not even to
me! if I hadn’t seen you in that magazine I’d
have never known.”
“that’s right.”
“still, I’d like to tell these people that you are a
writer.”
“I’d still like to
tell them.”
“why?”
“well, they talk about you. they think you are just a
horseplayer and a drunk.”
“I am both of those.”
“well, they talk about you. you have odd ways. you travel alone.
I’m the only friend you
have.”
“yes.”
“they talk you down. I’d like to defend you. I’d like to tell
them you write
poetry.”
“leave it alone. I work here like they
do. we’re all the same.”
“well, I’d like to do it for myself then. I want them to know why
I travel with
you. I speak 7 languages, I know my music—”
“forget it.”
“all right, I’ll respect your
wishes. but there’s something else—”
“what?”
“I’ve been thinking about getting a
piano. but then I’ve been thinking about getting a
violin too but I can’t make up my
mind!”
“buy a piano.”
“you think
so?”
“yes.”

he walks away
thinking about
it.

I was thinking about it
too: I figure he can always come over with his
violin and more
sad music.

Confessions of a depressed comic

tell me a story
Confessions of a depressed comic
TEDTalk: Kevin Breel
Notations by Jennifer Kiley
Created 28th September 2013
Posted Thursday 3rd October 2013
TELL ME A STORY

Kevin Breel: Confessions of a depressed comic — TEDTalk

Published on Sept 27, 2013
Kevin Breel didn’t look like a depressed kid: team captain, at every party, funny and confident. But he tells the story of the night he realized that — to save his own life — he needed to say four simple words.

Mental Health is a serious situation in this country as well as in the rest of the world. People need to come out of the closet with what they are feeling and what they are dealing with on a daily basis. The people around them need to show more understanding and compassion and not judge how any one person is going to behave. Television, the news, media, fictional films and stories, distort how people are who suffer from depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, agoraphobia, panic disorders, the list is so long the DSM-5 has over 300 diagnoses. Before anyone judges anyone, be sure you are not amongst those who have their own mental condition in which to deal.

I am bipolar and have co-morbidity with several other diagnoses. Nothing stops me from living my life. I do not hide who I am. It is important to be truthful to myself and the world I live in. Secrets only bury one deeper into the darkness. I write myself out of the darkness when I get depressed and when I am feeling manic I write poems, work on other creative projects, I create posts for my blog “the secret keeper.” It keeps me alive and gives me something to do that makes me feel I am contributing to changing the way things are seen and maybe making something new recognized as a possibility.

Depression is a serious issue and a difficult state of mind that overwhelms the persons who experience it. Suicide is often the solution chosen by those who cannot tolerate the pain any longer. It is a wretched state to be in. The darkness surrounds you and pulls you under so deep, you feel like you will be smothered by the need to destroy yourself, to rip yourself apart. It makes me angry there is so little understanding of how devastating the feelings are when you are overwhelmed by depression. How anyone can tell you to control it, you have not reason to feel depressed. It is as though they feel you have any control. To think where you are in life or how much you have or how rich you might be, should make it impossible for you to feel depressed. Like those things have anything to do with it.

All the treasures of the world cannot stop depressions from happening. If they are holding on to you, you have to let the depression works its way out of you. It doesn’t do it by command. Meds don’t always effect it. With myself, they do absolutely nothing. I’ve tried so many different pills and combinations, I got tired of my brain feeling like it was being held under sedation and water at the same time. The ability to think was null and void. At least with depression, if one struggles, it is a creative tool with great depth. If one is able to channel the energy of depression, the creative muse delivers gifts of such depth, one would not expect to find while feeling so destructive towards one’s self. It opens up a magic doorway to knowledge not available through any other source.

I am not advocating for depression. But using it while it is punishing you, have benefits you won’t find any other time. I would let go of the depression if it were possible, even with what is produced from within the depth of their darkness. There are things in the dark one needs sometimes to find for a better understanding of life.

So speak out to end the stigma. Help people to understand what depression feels like. Talk to everyone who will listen. End the oppression from the outside to help the depression inside of you.  by Jennifer Kiley

smoky light leads to center light of universewhite light luring the spirit away

Related Site: You Can NOT Be Replaced: LINK

Related Site: Alone In the Darkness: LINK

Spontaneous — A Need To Talk

Spontaneous — A Need To Talk
Tupac Shakur Wrote His Own Death

Written by Jennifer Kiley
Post Created Monday 2nd September 2013
Posted on Monday 2nd September 2013
SPECIAL EDITION

While searching out something to help me understand what I am feeling at this moment, I came upon an article on Tupac Shakur, who wasn’t diagnosed but there are beliefs he was bipolar. It shows in his lyrics and street-rap. The up and down moods. I have been in my own up and down spiral. Manic and now depressed. There is not direct reason or evidence you notice. It comes on suddenly and smashes the world inside and around you.

Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur

Every thing becomes so heavy. The pain shuts you down. Nothing else matters. Pushing the world away. Wanting to run away, feels like the only thing to do. There’s been too much stimulation from the high I have been in. Playing games with Shawn. Making them up as we go along. Being inventive. It was exciting and fun. I let myself enjoy the moment. Rather then being so driven. But now the energy has been pulled away from me. The excitement has disappeared. Now I just want to poof! disappear into nothingness.

 It took five attempts till they killed him

It took five attempts till they killed him

Here is a small section of what I read from the first article, which inspired this post, I chose in PsychCentral’s Blog Post: Tupac Shakur & Bipolar Disorder

Wordsworth and Coleridge define poetry as, “The spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings,” and written by someone “possessed of more than usual organic sensibility, but also thought long and deep.” Tupac Shakur’s confessional poetry swims in powerful emotion mixed with straight truth found in his sensibility brought forth through deep thought and contemplation coupled with observation of the world around him. The need to seek and manifest truth sits at the heart of Shakur who was often loathed for his hard core vision of truth rooted in his ongoing “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings,” which flow in his rhythmic lyrics, his beats, and his tone. Honest self-expression that overflows with emotion and carries “organic sensibility” and “thought long and deep are unveiled:”

IN THE EVENT OF MY DEMISE

Now as I stand here, a man here

Not a perfect one, but a searching one

Seek in another, blazing time

Sound crazy but I’m actually trying to escape my mind….

From out the darkness I struggle to see the light ….

But all of them will dream

That I did it my way

In the event of my demise

VIOLENCE
by Tupac Shakur

They claim that I’m violent, just cause I refuse to be silent

These hypocrites are having fits, cause I’m not buying it

Defying it, envious because I will rebel against

Any oppressor, and this is known as self defense

I show no mercy, they claim that I’m the lunatic.

I CRY
by Tupac Shakur

Sometimes when I’m alone I Cry, Cause I am on my own.
The tears I cry are bitter and warm. They flow with life but take no form
I Cry because my heart is torn.I find it difficult to carry on.
If I had an ear to confiding, I would cry among my treasured friend,
but who do you know that stops that long,to help another carry on.
The world moves fast and it would rather pass by.
Then to stop and see what makes one cry,so painful and sad.
And sometimes…I Cry and no one cares about why.

My feelings are he knew he was going to die. Several attempts had been made before his life ended, being taken out in an ambush. He was beautiful and sensitive. Tupac Shakur’s words were honest, sensitive and direct.

What is the point of life if you don’t live it honestly, sensitively and direct. Don’t waste your time trying to make life pass by filling it with ways to “pass the time.” BE REAL IN THE MOMENT. Going mindless and numb from car crashes, to near drownings inside, what is the point of being alive if you aren’t alive.

At this moment, I am in a depressed state. A bipolar depressed state, which comes with a side of thoughts and strong urges to commit suicide. I feel like I have pulled back from who I am. Trying to be someone else. I have no real idea of what that means but I feel like I have lost myself. The sky is falling like a meteorite. It’s going to crash through the earth’s atmosphere and like the scene in the film ‘Donnie Darko,’ a jet engine falls from the sky and crashes in through the roof over his bedroom. It kills him. Don’t worry, it’s a weird film and you know this from moment one of the film. Highly recommend if you like quirky and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The place I am going is where life happens. We are never expecting some of what happens. It can be sudden and drastic, life altering change. I love who Tupac Shakur was. His life was real. He lived real. It can be dangerous but it is also exhilarating. It makes you want to live but it makes you want to die, too. At least for those bipolar and some other forms of brain malfunctions.

I have lived the life of a cat and used up many of my lives through car crashes so bad, no way should have survived. I did through the acts of miracles. One person didn’t and another friend and I broke our necks. He is a painter/artist with exhibitions behind him and before him but breaking his neck incapacitated him. He is now able to draw and do some artwork. Mine has effected me by giving me extreme pain. I finally had to endure neck surgery and had a disc removed and a plate put in to secure my neck from paralyzing me. I came split seconds away from almost drowning three times. Was rescued each time, just before I would have inhaled water.

One is never assured a perfect and safe life but we have been given this unusual opportunity to experience all of our senses, at least most of us have. Being depressed and feeling suicidal is an intense experience. In Bipolar In Order, you learn to accept these feelings of being down as part of the experience of being bipolar. Learning to go through the feelings are part of your being alive. Let the feelings be with you. Instead of a curse, I’d rather see them as an intense learning experience.

Ride the wave of depression, just watch out for the under toad, as the son in ‘The World According to Garp’ would say. He always thought the undertow in the ocean sounded like the under toad. That’s what it became to Walt, who ended up having a very short but loving life with a great imagination that was nurtured. The author of ‘Garp,’ John Irving, also, wrote the book ‘Hotel New Hampshire.’ One of the characters, Lily, had a particular saying. It was: “Keep passing the open windows.” Obviously, this line is a euphemism for don’t kill yourself.

It really isn’t a good idea even though it seems so at the time. It does bring on a powerful urge to want to check out from this life but it is only temporary as a bad idea for a solution. Most of the time it is because you can’t handle the strength and intensity of the overwhelming feelings of being lost, feeling hopeless, and feeling like there is no one out there, when deep down you know there is. If you feel you need a hotline, I will post some contacts at the bottom of this post. Don’t give up. You think if you don’t matter, why put yourself through horrible feelings of pain you know are always going to make return visits and always bring new more horrible surprises of deeper and darker downward spirals. “This to shall pass.”

It makes me wonder if Tupac wasn’t setting himself up with his words and songs. These are just my own observations coming from how intense he was in everything he did. He was right out there. He may have set himself up subconsciously to be killed rather than having to do it himself. I am just theorizing. My thoughts are not based on anything I know for a fact. I just know how it feels to be self-destructive.

I have written myself out of the dark place I was falling into. It can be worked through. Everyone needs to find the way that works for them. Some people run or walk their dog. Others paint or cook. What you need to do is find a constructive way to be with your depression and the strong urges to want to end your life. That is what suicide is, besides just a call for help or an escape from the pain or a hopeless situation. You want to feel you’re not alone.

If you are being bullied because you’re different, gay, lesbian, transgender or any other feeling different, you are not alone. We, who are different are here and we all want to help one another. Bullies enjoy feeling the power over others and try to steal yours by insulting you, putting you down, trying to make you feel less about yourself, or they may even get violent. They need to be stopped and you need to turn to someone to help you through this. There are many people you can contact who will help you. It may be a matter of needing someone to help you understand what is happening inside you and how you feel inside about what is happening to you.

Just do not choose the option to kill yourself. Take away killing yourself as an answer to making the pain and hurt go away. I promise I will post numbers and other choices of contacts. Use them if you need help.

If You Need Help. You Are Being Bullied. Or If You Are Feeling Depressed And Thinking About Harming Yourself Or Thinking About Suicide. Please Do Not Harm Or Kill Yourself. There Are Better Ways To End The Pain And Hurt. I Have Listed IMALIVE. A Site Online Where You Can Chat With Someone If You Are In A Bad Place.

Other Ways To Help Yourself Through The Depression Or Feeling Pain And Hurt Is Through Creating. Find What You Like To Do That Helps To Calm You Down And Find Relief From The Pressure You Are Feeling. Please Contact A Hotline Or Go To The Online Chat. I Hope You Find This Helps. Just Stay Safe. Don’t Let The Bullies Win. They Are Not Worth Letting In. You Are More Important Than They Are. A Great Film To Watch If You Are Being Bullied Is The Movie “Bully.” Please Let The Good People In Who Want To Help You. Be Careful. Remember You Are Not Alone. We Care. Reach Out. Let Someone Reach Back.

The Numbers to Contact are below:
TALK: 800-273-8255
SUICIDE HOTLINE: 800-784-2433

logo imalive  chat

chatnow  iamalive

The ONLINE CONTACT IS:

https://www.imalive.org

IMALIVE — Live Chat

Please if you feel in crisis and need someone to talk to use anyone of the above contacts.

Sometimes You Just Feel Invisible

a divider for post no. 5 love fav new one thinner

Sometimes You Just Feel Invisible
Written by Jennifer Kiley
Illustrations of Family Companion Animals
Photographs by Shawn MacKenzie
Post Created Wednesday 17th July 2013
Posted On Saturday 20th July 2013
X-Treme Haiku Saturday

Schroeder-the Jekyll & Hyde of Cats-kisses & snuggles switching instantaneously to bites & growls. And then there's Saki-our Amazon Parrot-my protector-she bites me when she thinks I am in danger. OUCH!!! One of her satisfactions is when she imitates Snoopy on his Sopwith Camel dive-bombing The Red Baron-in this instance replace TRB with Shawn-cannot get near me when Saki is sitting on my shoulder or near me in anyway. A true love/hate relationship with Shawn who gives her peanut treats whenever Saki asks. Now look at the love between S & S. It is a labour of love. In this photograph, Saki has only just started to fly over to us. Her life before us was trauma filled & neglect. Loved Shawn first but switched over to me. Now we are symbiotic & copacetic & share everything-Food & Love & Snuggles & I get a Heroic Protector who sleeps/sits on me when I write or doing anything at all. A Love Note for My Two Favorite Cuddlers.  1280x960

Schroeder-the Jekyll & Hyde of Cats-kisses & snuggles switching instantaneously to bites & growls. And then there’s Saki-our Amazon Parrot-my protector-she bites me when she thinks I am in danger. OUCH!!! One of her satisfactions is when she imitates Snoopy on his Sopwith Camel dive-bombing The Red Baron-in this instance replace TRB with Shawn-cannot get near me when Saki is sitting on my shoulder or near me in anyway. A true love/hate relationship with Shawn-who gives her peanut treats whenever Saki asks. Now look at the love between S & S. It is a labour of love. In this photograph-Saki has only just started to fly over to us. Her life before us was trauma filled & neglect. Loved Shawn first but switched over to me. Now we are symbiotic & copacetic. We share everything-Food-Love & Snuggles. I get an Heroic Protector who sleeps/eats/sits/snuggles/dances on me when I write or do anything. A Love Note for My Two Favorite Cuddlers. Kisses-Jk [One of Their Two Mums] ps. I am not Invisible to them. They need me as I need them & want me in their lives.

Sometimes You Just Feel Invisible
By Jennifer Kiley
17th July 2013

Sometimes you just feel
Invisible no sight no
Depth of shape no dimensions

Vision forward moves
Past forgotten locked in lost
Memories committed done

Frozen locked in time
Tripping tricking psyche deep
Confusion delusions thoughts

Trapping murderers
Vanquish shadows’ reflection
Innocence stolen destroyed

Perversion alive
Evil plans continue then
New images prevailing

Subconscious nightmares
Dreams retold when awakened
Bulldozers crashing breaking

Home protects safe place
Breathe panic out with symptoms
Expand light growing healing

© Jk 2013

Lakme-Delibes: Flower Duet — Joan Sutherland
Combining Art With Love
— Music Video — All Digital Art Created by Jennifer Kiley

a divider for post no. 5 love fav new one thinner

Make Good Art

colours multi psychedelic divider for posts new

Make Good Art
Fantastic Mistakes
Neil Gaiman Speaks
Post Created by Jk the secret keeper
Illustrated by j. kiley
Created Post June 9th 2013
Posted June 30th 2013

make glorious mistakes by j.kiley © jennifer kiley 2013

Philadelphia University of the Arts — 134th Commencement Speech — May 17th 2012 — Neil Gaiman — Make Good Art — Fantastic Mistakes

Neil Gaiman — Make Good Art

I never really expected to find myself giving advice to people graduating from an establishment of higher education. I never graduated from any such establishment. I never even started at one. I escaped from school as soon as I could, when the prospect of four more years of enforced learning before I’d become the writer I wanted to be was stifling.

I got out into the world, I wrote, and I became a better writer the more I wrote, and I wrote some more, and nobody ever seemed to mind that I was making it up as I went along, they just read what I wrote and they paid for it, or they didn’t, and often they commissioned me to write something else for them.

Which has left me with a healthy respect and fondness for higher education that those of my friends and family, who attended Universities, were cured of long ago.

Looking back, I’ve had a remarkable ride. I’m not sure I can call it a career, because a career implies that I had some kind of career plan, and I never did. The nearest thing I had was a list I made when I was 15 of everything I wanted to do: to write an adult novel, a children’s book, a comic, a movie, record an audiobook, write an episode of Doctor Who… and so on. I didn’t have a career. I just did the next thing on the list.

So I thought I’d tell you everything I wish I’d known starting out, and a few things that, looking back on it, I suppose that I did know. And that I would also give you the best piece of advice I’d ever got, which I completely failed to follow.

neil gaiman tree hugging  633x446

neil gaiman tree hugging

First of all: When you start out on a career in the arts you have no idea what you are doing.

This is great. People who know what they are doing know the rules, and know what is possible and impossible. You do not. And you should not. The rules 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 nobody’s done it before, they haven’t made up rules to stop anyone doing that again, yet.

neil gaiman quote on projects

Secondly, If you have an idea of what you want to make, what you were put here to do, then just go and do that.

And that’s much harder than it sounds and, sometimes in the end, so much easier than you might imagine. Because normally, there are things you have to do before you can get to the place you want to be. I wanted to write comics and novels and stories and films, so I became a journalist, because journalists are allowed to ask questions, and to simply go and find out how the world works, and besides, to do those things I needed to write and to write well, and I was being paid to learn how to write economically, crisply, sometimes under adverse conditions, and on time.

Sometimes the way to do what you hope to do will be clear cut, and sometimes it will be almost impossible to decide whether or not you are doing the correct thing, because you’ll have to balance your goals and hopes with feeding yourself, paying debts, finding work, settling for what you can get.

Something that worked for me was imagining that where I wanted to be – an author, primarily of fiction, making good books, making good comics and supporting myself through my words – was a mountain. A distant mountain. My goal.

And I knew that as long as I kept walking towards the mountain I would be all right. And when I truly was not sure what to do, I could stop, and think about whether it was taking me towards or away from the mountain. I said no to editorial jobs on magazines, proper jobs that would have paid proper money because I knew that, attractive though they were, for me they would have been walking away from the mountain. And if those job offers had come along earlier I might have taken them, because they still would have been closer to the mountain than I was at the time.

I learned to write by writing. I tended to do anything as long as it felt like an adventure, and to stop when it felt like work, which meant that life did not feel like work.

neil-gaiman-quotes-even nothing cannot last forever

Thirdly, When you start off, you have to deal with the problems of failure. You need to be thick-skinned, to learn that not every project will survive. A freelance life, a life in the arts, is sometimes like putting messages in bottles, on a desert island, and hoping that someone will find one of your bottles and open it and read it, and put something in a bottle that will wash its way back to you: appreciation, or a commission, or money, or love. And you have to accept that you may put out a hundred things for every bottle that winds up coming back.

The problems of failure are problems of discouragement, of hopelessness, of hunger. You want everything to happen and you want it now, and things go wrong. My first book – a piece of journalism I had done for the money, and which had already bought me an electric typewriter from the advance – should have been a bestseller. It should have paid me a lot of money. If the publisher hadn’t gone into involuntary liquidation between the first print run selling out and the second printing, and before any royalties could be paid, it would have done.

And I shrugged, and I still had my electric typewriter and enough money to pay the rent for a couple of months, and I decided that I would do my best in future not to write books just for the money. If you didn’t get the money, then you didn’t have anything. If I did work I was proud of, and I didn’t get the money, at least I’d have the work.

neil gaiman quote important people read edit

Every now and again, I forget that rule, and whenever I do, the universe kicks me hard and reminds me. I don’t know that it’s an issue for anybody but me, but it’s true that nothing I did where the only reason for doing it was the money was ever worth it, except as bitter experience. Usually I didn’t wind up getting the money, either. The things I did because I was excited, and wanted to see them exist in reality have never let me down, and I’ve never regretted the time I spent on any of them.

The problems of failure are hard.

The problems of success can be harder, because nobody warns you about them.

The first problem of any kind of even limited success is the unshakable conviction that you are getting away with something, and that any moment now they will discover you. It’s Imposter Syndrome, something my wife Amanda christened the Fraud Police.

Neil Gaiman quote wrong right

In my case, I was convinced that there would be a knock on the door, and a man with a clipboard (I don’t know why he carried a clipboard, in my head, but he did) would be there, to tell me it was all over, and they had caught up with me, and now I would have to go and get a real job, one that didn’t consist of making things up and writing them down, and reading books I wanted to read. And then I would go away quietly and get the kind of job where you don’t have to make things up any more.

The problems of success. They’re real, and with luck you’ll experience them. The point where you stop saying yes to everything, because now the bottles you threw in the ocean are all coming back, and have to learn to say no.

I watched my peers, and my friends, and the ones who were older than me and watch how miserable some of them were: I’d listen to them telling me that they couldn’t envisage a world where they did what they had always wanted to do any more, because now they had to earn a certain amount every month just to keep where they were. They couldn’t go and do the things that mattered, and that they had really wanted to do; and that seemed as a big a tragedy as any problem of failure.

And after that, the biggest problem of success is that the world conspires to stop you doing the thing that you do, because you are successful. There was a day when I looked up and realised that I had become someone who professionally replied to email, and who wrote as a hobby. I started answering fewer emails, and was relieved to find I was writing much more.

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Fourthly, I hope you’ll make mistakes. If you’re making mistakes, it means you’re out there doing something. And the mistakes in themselves can be useful. I once misspelled Caroline, in a letter, transposing the A and the O, and I thought, “Coraline looks like a real name…”

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’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn’t matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.

Make it on the good days too.

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neil gaiman from stardust

And Fifthly, while you are at it, make your art. Do the stuff that only you can do.

The urge, starting out, is to copy. And that’s not a bad thing. Most of us only find our own voices after we’ve sounded like a lot of other people. But 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.

The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.

The things I’ve done that worked the best were the things I was the least certain about, the stories where I was sure they would either work, or more likely be the kinds of embarrassing failures people would gather together and talk about until the end of time. They always had that in common: looking back at them, people explain why they were inevitable successes. While I was doing them, I had no idea.

I still don’t. And where would be the fun in making something you knew was going to work?

And sometimes the things I did really didn’t work. There are stories of mine that have never been reprinted. Some of them never even left the house. But I learned as much from them as I did from the things that worked.

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Sixthly. I will pass on some secret freelancer knowledge. Secret knowledge is always good. And it is useful for anyone who ever plans to create art for other people, to enter a freelance world of any kind. I learned it in comics, but it applies to other fields too. And it’s this:

People get hired because, somehow, they get hired. In my case I did something which these days would be easy to check, and would get me into trouble, and when I started out, in those pre-internet days, seemed like a sensible career strategy: when I was asked by editors who I’d worked for, I lied. I listed a handful of magazines that sounded likely, and I sounded confident, and I got jobs. I then made it a point of honour to have written something for each of the magazines I’d listed to get that first job, so that I hadn’t actually lied, I’d just been chronologically challenged… You get work however you get work.

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 are 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 your work is good and you deliver it on time. They’ll forgive the lateness of the work if it’s good, and if they like you. And you don’t have to be as good as the others if you’re on time and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you.

When I agreed to give this address, I started trying to think what the best advice I’d been given over the years was.

And it came from Stephen King twenty years ago, at the height of the success of Sandman. I was writing a comic that people loved and were taking seriously. King had liked Sandman and my novel with Terry Pratchett, Good Omens, and he saw the madness, the long signing lines, all that, and his advice was this:

“This is really great. You should enjoy it.”

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And I didn’t. Best advice I got that I ignored.Instead I worried about it. I worried about the next deadline, the next idea, the next story. There wasn’t a moment for the next fourteen or fifteen years that I wasn’t writing something in my head, or wondering about it. And I didn’t stop and look around and go, this is really fun. I wish I’d enjoyed it more. It’s been an amazing ride. But there were parts of the ride I missed, because I was too worried about things going wrong, about what came next, to enjoy the bit I was on.

That was the hardest lesson for me, I think: to let go and enjoy the ride, because the ride takes you to some remarkable and unexpected places.

And here, on this platform, today, is one of those places. (I am enjoying myself immensely.)

To all today’s graduates: I wish you luck. Luck is useful. Often you will discover that the harder you work, and the more wisely you work, the luckier you get. But there is luck, and it helps.

We’re in a transitional world right now, if you’re in any kind of artistic field, because the nature of distribution is changing, the models by which creators got their work out into the world, and got to keep a roof over their heads and buy sandwiches while they did that, are all changing. I’ve talked to people at the top of the food chain in publishing, in bookselling, in all those areas, and nobody knows what the landscape will look like two years from now, let alone a decade away. The distribution channels that people had built over the last century or so are in flux for print, for visual artists, for musicians, for creative people of all kinds.

neil giaman at writing desk  718x300

neil giaman at writing desk

Which is, on the one hand, intimidating, and on the other, immensely liberating. The rules, the assumptions, the now-we’re supposed to’s of how you get your work seen, and what you do then, are breaking down. The gatekeepers are leaving their gates. You can be as creative as you need to be to get your work seen. YouTube and the web (and whatever comes after YouTube and the web) can give you more people watching than television ever did. The old rules are crumbling and nobody knows what the new rules are.

So make up your own rules.

Someone asked me recently how to do something she thought was going to be difficult, in this case recording an audio book, and I suggested she pretend that she was someone who could do it. Not pretend to do it, but pretend she was someone who could. She put up a notice to this effect on the studio wall, and she said it helped.

So be wise, because the world needs more wisdom, and if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and then just behave like they would.

And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.

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