While I was doing them, I had no idea.

The things I’ve done that worked the best were the things I was the least certain about, the stories where I was sure they would either work, or more likely be the kinds of embarrassing failures people would gather together and talk about until the end of time.  They always had that in common: looking back at them, people explain why they were inevitable successes.  While I was doing them, I had no idea.

-Neil Gaiman, The View from the Cheap Seats

1 thought on “While I was doing them, I had no idea.”

  1. Love this quote. So true.

    Also: this is what Robert Frost was actually saying in the poem, “The Road Not Taken.” Totally drives me nuts, how consistently the last line is misconstrued, how the whole premise is lost. Over and over, he tells us, the two ways were “as just as fair,” both wanting equal wear, both unknown. The poem is an ode to the things we didn’t do, knowing way would lead on to way and we wouldn’t get around to backtracking and trying again, in another direction. For crying out loud, see what he named this poem? What we might say later on, and what actually happened–two very different things. Bless Neil Gaiman for honestly pointing out the truth of that early-on moment.

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