Writer’s Log: 1732 Neil Gaiman

EXCERPT FROM “The View from the Cheap Seats”:

“I was, as I said, twenty-five years old, and I had an idea for a book and I knew it was a real one.

I tried writing it, and realized that it was a better idea than I was a writer. So I kept writing, but I wrote other things, learning my craft. I wrote for twenty years until I thought that I could write The Graveyard Book–or at least, that I was getting no better.

I wrote it as best I could. That’s the only way I know how to write something. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be any good. It just means you try. And, most of all, I wrote the story that I wanted to read.


And then, whether the work was good or bad, whether it did what you hoped or it failed, as a writer you shrug, and you go on to the next thing, whatever the next thing is. That’s what we do.


We who make stores know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story. Someone who will grow up with a different landscape, who without that story will be a different person. And who with that story may have hope, or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort.

And that is why we write.”


The above was from Neil’s acceptance speech for the 2009 Newbery Medal.

  • I had an idea for a book and I knew it was a real one.
    There you go. You sometimes just KNOW that an idea is a good one.
  • It was a better idea that I was a writer.
    Wisdom told him that he shouldn’t write this story ‘just yet’. Wow. How many of us would just blunder into it and write it anyway?
  • I wrote it as best I could.
    Is that not all everyone of us can hope for? To write as best we can — at-the-time?
  • I wrote a story that I wanted to read.
    Please yourself as a writer. Do that, and what you produce /may/ become something that will please others.
  • You go on to the next thing.
    Write. Edit. Perfect (to the best of your ability) — and move one. That is the single biggest lesson here. Just. Keep. Writing.
  • Someone there needs your story.
    The world is huge. And if you have a TRUE story to tell, unique, well conceived, and well executed — then there WILL be an audience for it. Maybe not in your lifetime. But someday. Would you deny them, that one person, in the near/far future who benefits and is changed by your story? No!Write your Story!

On the gold standard vs fiat currency

During the entire quantitative easing session of the last 2+ years where trillions of extra dollars have been injected into a broken system gold has fallen. How could this be? The dollar was continuously debased yet gold fell! The inflation that was supposed to accompany devaluing the dollar never materialized. The QE that was injected never made it into the M1 and M2 stream, the huge investment banks that received the QE continue to covet those dollars. The velocity of the dollar never increased. The US government in team with the FED sought to inflate the stock market which became the only game in town. Other world currencies also debased which artificially propped up the dollar. And so gold fell. In this hindsight it seems rational. Yet at the time gold’s descent seemed unfathomable.

So, for the future, will the seemingly irrational now come to pass? When tapering finally kicks in (Yellen most certainly will start, and soon), which boost interest rates and drive the dollar up – will gold ALSO rise, irrationally? Or will we finally see a return to historic expectations and see gold driven lower and lower. The equity markets seem indomitable. Or is this recent flurry of IPOs of companies with no income a sign that a 2001’esque venture capital exit strategy is now taking over? Will the stock market ever reset? Who knows. But the times of irrationality look to continue.

Note on returning to a gold standard…

There’s a reason a pure gold standard does not work in a huge, or even large, economy. Seek out and watch “The Secret of Oz” – Bill Still on YouTube. Using physical metal as the basis of currency throttles the velocity of money. And affords the bankers and uber rich the ability to hoard and manipulate inflation such that they drive the poor and middle class in and out of their meager assets (their homes and small businesses). Now, I’m no fan of the FED, they do nothing but kowtow to the Rothschild’s of the world (and the investment banks they own and run). But fiat currency, done right, is the only way to lubricate and facilitate a 7-10 billion soul economy. Unfortunately, no culture has yet “done it right.”


My point, as I did not complete it re: fiat currency, is that neither the gold standard, a return to the gold standard nor the current manipulation of wealth through quantitative easing and the maniacal saturation of fiat currency are what any society should strive for nor exist under.

A gold standard does favor the rich. Flagrant mismanagement of fiat currency also favors the rich. So far all the world’s governments have accomplished financially is to weaken the very foundation of humanity’s ability to exchange value for value with this willy-nilly printing of money.

To continue my thread on fiat currency, or legal tender or promissory note or cheque or IOU (all just paper promising that there is value attached to it – somewhere), what societies need is more akin to BitCoin.

It’s true that a gold standard can throttle the velocity of money and allow hoarding by the rick. It’s true that fiat currency facilitates the liquid exchange of value for value and will be necessary in our immense world economy. Yet it’s also true that unbridled printing of paper or digital paper currency defeats the whole purpose of a fiat currency (Zimbabwe).

What the US needs is a constitutional amendment that brings the issuance of $dollars back into the government itself. And then within that amendment the establishment of a relational equation that fixes the amount of fiat currency than can enter (or exit) the economy over time. This is similar to BitCoin where the expectations of the float is set in stone and nothing nor no one can change it.

The FED has WAY too much power. There is not a man I despise more than Chairman Bernanke. The FED has failed and unfortunately there is no way to prove that its recent policies helped or hindered recovery. But no doubt Greenspan’s treatment of interest rates helped cause the problem. The swirly-whirly, topsy-turvy mess we’re in now is so screwed up that a fix is probably impossible.

But, a Congressional act to take over the power of the country’s money, establish rules for the issuance of dollars, and rules for the alteration of interest rates (just as important as fiat flooding) would go miles to re-establishing order and normalcy to this monetary morass we’re in now.