This one I’m stealing from a commencement speech Neil Gaiman delivered (you can find it floating around on YouTube):
Make mistakes. Make big mistakes.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get handcuffed by trying to be careful, by trying not to mess up. And when I get careful, I think small. And thinking small deprives my work of its genuine self. Which is what makes it my work, and not somebody else’s.
My passion is historical fiction. “They” say it doesn’t sell. But I happen to love it and find only life and juiciness when I read about what people did in the past. It’s so lively and juicy, I can’t help wanting to share bits of it with contemporary readers, even though “they” have issued the genre’s death knell.
So I’m already following Neil Gaiman’s advice — how about you?!