100+ Best Neil Gaiman Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, nonfiction, audio theatre, and films. Profoundly inspirational Neil Gaiman quotes will make you look at life differently and help you live a meaningful life.

Famous Neil Gaiman Quotes

Don’t ever apologize to an author for buying something in paperback or taking it out from a library (that’s what they’re there for. Use your library). Don’t apologize to this author for buying books second hand or getting them from bookcrossing or borrowing a friend’s copy. What’s important to me is that people read the books and enjoy them, and that, at some point in there, the book was bought by someone. And that people who like things, tell other people. The most important thing is that people read. – Neil Gaiman

Parameters are the things you bounce off to create art. – Neil Gaiman

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself. – Neil Gaiman

While clothes do not, as the saying would sometimes have it, make the man, and fine feathers do not make fine birds, sometimes they can add a certain spice to a recipe. – Neil Gaiman

It’s not irrelevant, those moments of connection, those places where fiction saves your life. It’s the most important thing there is. – Neil Gaiman

We have the right, and the obligation, to tell old stories in our own ways, because they are our stories. – Neil Gaiman

Note for Americans and other aliens: Milton Keynes is a new city approximately halfway between London and Birmingham. It was built to be modern, efficient, healthy, and, all in all, a pleasant place to live. Many Britons find this amusing. – Neil Gaiman

Books were safer than other people anyway. – Neil Gaiman

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. – Neil Gaiman

All we have to believe with is our senses, the tools we use to perceive the world: our sight, our touch, our memory. If they lie to us, then nothing can be trusted. And even if we do not believe, then still we cannot travel in any other way than the road our senses show us; and we must walk that road to the end. – Neil Gaiman

Fiction gives us empathy: it puts us inside the minds of other people, gives us the gifts of seeing the world through their eyes. Fiction is a lie that tells us true things, over and over. – Neil Gaiman

I was writing the kind of comic that would make me, at age 26 or 27, go down to a comic bookstore every month and spend my $2. That was my starting point. I wanted to write a comic that I would read. And that’s still my agenda. – Neil Gaiman

The future came and went in the mildly discouraging way that futures do. – Neil Gaiman

It has been said that civilization is twenty-four hours and two meals away from barbarism. – Neil Gaiman

Normally, in anything I do, I’m fairly miserable. I do it, and I get grumpy because there is a huge, vast gulf, this aching disparity, between the platonic ideal of the project that was living in my head, and the small, sad, wizened, shaking, squeaking thing that I actually produce. – Neil Gaiman

I believe we have an obligation to read for pleasure, in private and in public places. If we read for pleasure, if others see us reading, then we learn, we exercise our imaginations. We show others that reading is a good thing. – Neil Gaiman

I think I’ll dismember the world and then I’ll dance in the wreckage. – Neil Gaiman

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. – Neil Gaiman

I’m somebody who considers happiness a journey, not a destination. – Neil Gaiman

What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore it knows it’s not fooling a soul. – Neil Gaiman

I do not believe that all books will or should migrate onto screens: as Douglas Adams once pointed out to me, more than 20 years before the Kindle turned up, a physical book is like a shark. Sharks are old: there were sharks in the ocean before the dinosaurs. And the reason there are still sharks around is that sharks are better at being sharks than anything else is. – Neil Gaiman

Stories you read when you’re the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you’ll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit. – Neil Gaiman

It’s easier to lie to yourself when you say things out loud. – Neil Gaiman

Anyone who believes what a cat tells him deserves all he gets. – Neil Gaiman

Most books on witchcraft will tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft were written by men. – Neil Gaiman

Some hats can only be worn if you’re willing to be jaunty, to set them at an angle and to walk beneath them with a spring in your stride as if you’re only a step away from dancing. They demand a lot of you. – Neil Gaiman

She seems so cool, so focused, so quiet, yet her eyes remain fixed upon the horizon. You think you know all there is to know about her immediately upon meeting her, but everything you think you know is wrong. Passion flows through her like a river of blood. She only looked away for a moment, and the mask slipped, and you fell. All your tomorrows start here. – Neil Gaiman

When writing a novel, that’s pretty much entirely what life turns into: ‘House burned down. Car stolen. Cat exploded. Did 1500 easy words, so all in all it was a pretty good day. – Neil Gaiman

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something. – Neil Gaiman

We owe it to each other to tell stories. – Neil Gaiman

To be honest, I think love is complete bullshit. I don’t think anyone ever loves anyone. I think the best people ever get is horny; horny and scared, so when they find someone who makes them horny, and they get too scared of the world outside, they stay together and they call it love. – Neil Gaiman

I like the stars. It’s the illusion of permanence, I think. I mean, they’re always flaring up and caving in and going out. But from here, I can pretend…I can pretend that things last. I can pretend that lives last longer than moments. Gods come, and gods go. Mortals flicker and flash and fade. Worlds don’t last; and stars and galaxies are transient, fleeting things that twinkle like fireflies and vanish into cold and dust. But I can pretend. – Neil Gaiman

You’ve a good heart. Sometimes that’s enough to see you safe wherever you go. But mostly, it’s not. – Neil Gaiman

It’s not the fish you catch, it’s the peace of mind you take home at the end of the day. – Neil Gaiman

I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else. – Neil Gaiman

Leave no stone unturned. Deeply explore the beauty of your life. – Neil Gaiman

Go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. – Neil Gaiman

Of course you don’t believe in fairies. You’re fifteen. You think I believed in fairies at fifteen? Took me until I was at least a hundred and forty. Hundred and fifty, maybe. Anyway, he wasn’t a fairy. He was a librarian. All right? – Neil Gaiman

But he did not understand the price. Mortals never do. They only see the prize, their heart’s desire, their dream… But the price of getting what you want, is getting what you once wanted. – Neil Gaiman

A world in which there are monsters, and ghosts, and things that want to steal your heart is a world in which there are angels, and dreams and a world in which there is hope. – Neil Gaiman

You have to finish things – that’s what you learn from, you learn by finishing things. – Neil Gaiman

It’s still National Library Week. You should be especially nice to a librarian today, or tomorrow. Sometime this week, anyway. Probably the librarians would like tea. Or chocolates. Or a reliable source of funding. – Neil Gaiman

Let us begin this letter, this prelude to an encounter, formally, as a declaration, in the old-fashioned way: I love you. You do not know me (although you have seen me, smiled at me). I know you (although not so well as I would like. I want to be there when your eyes flutter open in the morning, and you see me, and you smile. Surely this would be paradise enough?). So I do declare myself to you now, with pen set to paper. I declare it again: I love you. – Neil Gaiman

I think hell is something you carry around with you, not somewhere you go. – Neil Gaiman

We don’t have a clue what’s really going down, we just kid ourselves that we’re in control of our lives while a paper’s thickness away things that would drive us mad if we thought about them for too long play with us, and move us around from room to room, and put us away at night when they’re tired, or bored. – Neil Gaiman

I’m writing. The pages are starting to stack up. My morale is improving the more I feel like a writer. – Neil Gaiman

I don’t know. I had to be something, didn’t I? – Neil Gaiman

Whatever it takes to finish things, finish. You will learn more from a glorious failure than you ever will from something you never finished. – Neil Gaiman

Nobody looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everybody. – Neil Gaiman

You’re no help, he told the lime. This was unfair. It was only a lime; there was nothing special about it at all. It was doing the best it could. – Neil Gaiman

She was the storm, she was the lightning, she was the adult world with all its power and all its secrets and all its foolish casual cruelty. – Neil Gaiman

Sometimes the best way to learn something is by doing it wrong and looking at what you did. – Neil Gaiman

There are stories within stories, whispered in the quiet of the night, shouted above the roar of the day, and played out between lovers and enemies, strangers and friends. But all are fragile things made of just twenty-six letters arranged and re-arranged to form tales and imaginings which will dazzle your senses, haunt your imagination and move you to the very depths of your soul. – Neil Gaiman

Nothing’s changed. You’ll go home. You’ll be bored. You’ll be ignored. No one will listen to you, really listen to you. You’re too clever and too quiet for them to understand. They don’t even get your name right. – Neil Gaiman

The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before. – Neil Gaiman

There are lots of artists in the world. But there’s only one you. And the only person who has your point of view is you. If you decide not to make things, all you’ve done is deprive the world of all the stuff that only you could have brought to it. – Neil Gaiman

Things bloosom in their time. They bud and bloom, blossom and fade. Everything in its time. – Neil Gaiman

We make choices. No one else can live our lives for us. And we must confront and accept the consequences of our actions. – Neil Gaiman

There’s a but, isn’t there? said Coraline. I can feel it. Like a rain cloud. – Neil Gaiman

I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind. – Neil Gaiman

Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child’s love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian improving literature. You’ll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant. – Neil Gaiman

This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard. – Neil Gaiman

I would like to see anyone, prophet, king or God, convince a thousand cats to do the same thing at the same time. – Neil Gaiman

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

Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one. – Neil Gaiman

I think I fell in love with her, a little bit. Isn’t that dumb? But it was like I knew her. Like she was my oldest, dearest friend. The kind of person you can tell anything to, no matter how bad, and they’ll still love you, because they know you. I wanted to go with her. I wanted her to notice me. And then she stopped walking. Under the moon, she stopped. And looked at us. She looked at me. Maybe she was trying to tell me something; I don’t know. She probably didn’t even know I was there. But I’ll always love her. All my life. – Neil Gaiman

Writing is flying in dreams. When you remember. When you can. When it works. It’s that easy. – Neil Gaiman

I don’t want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted just like that, and it didn’t mean anything? What then? – Neil Gaiman

You’re alive. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. – Neil Gaiman

Face your life, its pain, its pleasure, leave no path untaken. – Neil Gaiman

She says nothing at all, but simply stares upward into the dark sky and watches, with sad eyes, the slow dance of the infinite stars. – Neil Gaiman

Hearts may break, but hearts are the toughest of muscles, able to pump for a lifetime, seventy times a minute, and scarcely falter along the way. Even dreams, the most delicate and intangible of things, can prove remarkably difficult to kill. – Neil Gaiman

You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it. – Neil Gaiman

I really don’t know what I love you means. I think it means Don’t leave me here alone. – Neil Gaiman

Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody. All of the people in the whole world, I mean everybody — no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside. Inside them they’ve all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds… Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe. – Neil Gaiman

Stories are like spiders, with all they long legs, and stories are like spiderwebs, which man gets himself all tangled up in but which look pretty when you see them under a leaf in the morning dew, and in the elegant way that they connect to one another, each to each. – Neil Gaiman

I went away in my head, into a book. That was where I went whenever real life was too hard or too inflexible. – Neil Gaiman

Are we human because we gaze at the stars or do we gaze at the stars because we are human? – Neil Gaiman

I make art, sometimes I make true art, and sometimes it fills the empty places in my life. Some of them. Not all. – Neil Gaiman

His name is Marcus: he is four and a half and possesses that deep gravity and seriousness that only small children and mountain gorillas have ever been able to master. – Neil Gaiman

People tend to find books when they are ready for them. – Neil Gaiman

And life is a good thing for a writer. It’s where we get our raw material, for a start. We quite like to stop and watch it. – Neil Gaiman

I will write in words of fire. I will write them on your skin. I will write about desire. Write beginnings, write of sin. You’re the book I love the best, your skin only holds my truth, you will be a palimpsest lines of age rewriting youth. You will not burn upon the pyre. Or be buried on the shelf. You’re my letter to desire: And you’ll never read yourself. I will trace each word and comma As the final dusk descends, You’re my tale of dreams and drama, Let us find out how it ends. – Neil Gaiman

Sister Mary chose that moment to come in with the tea. Satanist or not, she’d also found a plate and arranged some iced biscuits on it. – Neil Gaiman

Why do they blame me for all their little failings? They use my name as if I spent my entire days sitting on their shoulders, forcing them to commits acts they would otherwise find repulsive. ‘The devil made me do it.’ I have never made one of them do anything. Never. They live their own tiny lives. I do not live their lives for them. – Neil Gaiman

When I was a kid and a young man, I read everything. When I was about 23, I was incredibly lucky in that I wound up with several book review columns, which meant that I had to read huge amounts of stuff that was outside my experience and outside my comfort zone. I think every young writer should be forced to read the kind of stuff they would not normally read for pleasure. – Neil Gaiman

Take one, and you cannot take the other. But neither path is safe. Which way would you walk — the way of hard truths or the way of fine lies? – Neil Gaiman

The best thing—in Shadow’s opinion, perhaps the only good thing—about being in prison was a feeling of relief. The feeling that he’d plunged as low as he could plunge, and he’d hit bottom. He didn’t worry that the man was going to get him, because the man had got him. He was no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, because yesterday had brought it. – Neil Gaiman

I know that this is the internet, and we’re all anonymous and all that, but really. It doesn’t hurt to try to be nice. – Neil Gaiman

You are obvious, boy. You are difficult to miss. If you came to me in company with a purple lion, a green elephant, and a scarlet unicorn astride which was the King of England in his Royal Robes, I do believe that it is you and you alone that people would stare at, dismissing the others as minor irrelevancies. – Neil Gaiman

If you were close enough to her ruby-red lips you would hear her say, ‘I will rise now and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek the one I love.’ She is whispering that, and she whispers, ‘By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth. Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth. My beloved is mine and I am his. – Neil Gaiman

Being brave doesn’t mean you aren’t scared. Being brave means you are scared, really scared, badly scared, and you do the right thing anyway. – Neil Gaiman

Let her tell stories and dance in the rain, somersault, tumble and run, her joys must be high as her sorrows are deep, let her grow like a weed in the sun. – Neil Gaiman

Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly. – Neil Gaiman

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 a mutated boa constrictor — make good art. IRS on your trail — make good art. Cat exploded — make good art. Someone on the Internet thinks what you’re doing is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before — make good art. – Neil Gaiman

All fiction is a process of imagining: whatever you write, in whatever genre or medium, your task is to make things up convincingly and interestingly and new. – Neil Gaiman

How do I know you’ll keep your word? asked Coraline. I swear it, said the other mother. I swear it on my own mother’s grave. Does she have a grave? asked Coraline. Oh yes, said the other mother. I put her in there myself. And when I found her trying to crawl out, I put her back. – Neil Gaiman

None of us exist in a world that is the same world that any of the rest of us live in. The world that’s important is the world behind each of our eyes, which is something that none of the rest of us can access. – Neil Gaiman

Of course, everyone’s parents are embarrassing. It goes with the territory. The nature of parents is to embarrass merely by existing, just as it is the nature of children of a certain age to cringe with embarrassment, shame, and mortification should their parents so much as speak to them on the street. – Neil Gaiman

There are a number of paths that lead to this place. I have been avoiding them for some small time, now. – Neil Gaiman

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