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Secret Freelancer Knowledge from Neil Gaiman

In May, HarperCollins will publish Make Good Art, a Chip Kidd-designed book version of a Neil Gaiman commencement address. Gaiman’s speech at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia went viral last year, sharing “secret freelancer knowledge” that all kinds of writers, editors and freelance workers can use.

We’ve embedded a video of his speech above–it also contains the best advice he ever received, delivered by the great novelist Stephen King. Here is Gaiman’s secret freelancer knowledge:

You get work however you get work, but keep people keep working in a freelance world (and more and more of today’s world is freelance), because their work is good, because they are easy to get along with and because they deliver the work on time. And you don’t even need all three! Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. People will forgive the lateness of your work if it is good and they like you. And you don’t have to be as good as everyone else if you’re on time and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you.

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