The two main messages I took from his words were: it's okay to fail and he got to be a good writer by writing. I even used one of his quotes as my Daily Image (it's gone now but you can check today's out if you want).
It was the second one that hit me more. I was getting so tied up worrying if what I was writing was the best it could be that I was stagnating and my work wasn't moving forward. I was forgetting another important piece of wisdom from Hemingway - "The first draft of everything is shit."
With that in mind, I am about to do the second draft of a story I wrote yesterday (just a short 1500 word exploration of the post-zombie apocalypse culture). I was immensely proud of it when I went to bed last night. In the shower this morning, as I cleaned myself ready for what may be a rough day, I had some great ideas on how to improve the piece before submitting it.
That was a lesson I thought I had learned a while ago. The published story is most definitely NOT what you wrote in your first draft. I need to concentrate more on getting the draft complete and less on correcting every mistake on the first pass.
So, with Gaiman and Hemingway guiding the way, I am about to go into an editing phase.