Friday, April 25, 2008

Writerly Advice

Neil Gaiman has mentioned how nervous he is about teaching at the next Clarion workshop. Why? you ask. He thinks he's still figuring out this writing thing himself. (This encourages me to no end.) He recently tried to recall the best piece of advice he got from a writer:

It was Harlan Ellison about a decade ago.

He said, "Hey. Gaiman. What's with the stubble? Every time I see you, you're stubbly. What is it? Some kind of English fashion statement?"

"Not really."

"Well? Don't they have razors in England [...]?"

"If you must know, I don't like shaving because I have a really tough beard and sensitive skin. So by the time I've finished shaving I've usually scraped my face a bit. So I do it as little as possible."

"Oh." He paused. "I've got that too. What you do is, you rub your stubble with hair conditioner. Leave it a couple of minutes, then wash it off. Then shave normally. Makes it really easy to shave. No scraping."

I tried it. It works like a charm. Best advice from a writer I've ever received.
I can relate.

(Picture: CC 2008 by

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