Instructions: Everything You’ll Need to Know On Your Journey, Neil Gamain, illustrated by Charles Vess

Just a reminder that during November, I’ll be reviewing short stories instead of novels. This adjustment will hopefully allow me to complete both the manuscript due December 1st and 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month. 

Once every November, I read Instructions.

This month is the one time of the year when I abandon all reason and try to be a novelist. The rest of the year, I write more practically. I dream smaller. I tell stories I know the endings to. I replace characters of my own with those written by more talented, or at least more persistent hands.

I am less myself from December through October, and I have not yet figured out how to change that. In November, I am frazzled, distracted, overwhelmed. I make mistakes and don’t bother to correct them. I let stories become more important than anything else, waking early and going to bed late just so that I can have a few extra hours in this filled-with-holes world I have created. I feel intensely alive the entire month. It is glorious.

And this journey I undertake for thirty days once a year necessitates that I reread this book. It reminds me to approach the words with a sense of wonder, to allow for adventure, to have stupid amounts of fun. Come the first of December, I will have to accept the flaws, the editing, the ridiculous plot – but for now, I am allowed to write with all the abandon of a child. It is a worthwhile thing.

You should find this book and spent time looking at the pictures, because they are wonderful, but until then, here is Gaiman reading the whole thing to you, because the internet is excellent that way.

For more about Gaiman, head over here.

8 thoughts on “Instructions: Everything You’ll Need to Know On Your Journey, Neil Gamain, illustrated by Charles Vess

  1. Best wishes on your writing endeavor! I love this book you had posted. Thank you for sharing:D I will be sure to get a physical copy… Namaste!

    1. Isn’t it beautiful? I’m so glad someone took the time to record and post the images; they’re even more beautiful on the page, but I love getting to listen to them while one of my favorite authors reads the story!

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