After rereading Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing …

Ray Bradbury, 1997 (Photo Credit: Steve Castillo/Associated Press)

Ray Bradbury, 1997
(Photo Credit: Steve Castillo/Associated Press)

I’ve just finished rereading Ray Bradbury’s brilliant but brief book on writing – about how he wrote, and what he thought writing should mean to all authors – and I must say that I feel particularly exhilarated, refreshed, and ready to write again! It’s like receiving a much-needed kick in the seat of my pants to be refocused by his words.

And there are any, many quotes I’ve underlined in my print edition (Bantam Books, 1992) and I will trot them out as necessary. Some you’ve probably read before in those lovely quote boxes that circulate on Facebook and other social media. But I wanted to mention one in particular, because what he says here reminds me of a blog post I wrote previously.

What is the greatest reward a writer can have? Isn’t it that day when someone rushes up to you, his face bursting with honesty, his eyes afire with admiration and cries, “That new story of yours was fine, really wonderful!”

Then and only then is writing worthwhile.

And here’s my take on this: Why Do You Write? Sept. 2014, and Why Do You Write? July 2014.

So … pick up a copy of Bradbury’s book, you lot! Read it, study it, underline pertinent passages – if it’s a print copy you own! – and feel the writing energy flow once again from your brain into your fingers and begin writing … with a new-and-improved attitude towards your art. A Zen attitude!

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17 responses

  1. I haven’t read that, but I adore Bradbury and will. Thanks

    1. Short and sweet! But packed full to the brim with great advice.

  2. Reblogged this on Stuart Aken and commented:
    One I must read. Added to my ‘to read’ list and bought!

    1. Thanks for reblogging, Stuart! Please come back when you finish reading the book and tell us what you think of it.

  3. Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog and commented:
    Along with ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King, this one is worth reading.

    1. King’s book is also on my list of recommended books to read on writing and next up on my list to be re-read. Thanks for reblogging, Don!

  4. Coming soon… “One Woman’s Island”… 😉

  5. There was a knock on my door the other day, it was a neighbour. The first words out of her mouth were – it’s all your fault. You kept me up til 3 a.m. reading your book. She babbled for half an hour about it.

    I teared at her first sentence. Best compliment ever.

    1. Great compliment! Thanks for reading this and telling us, Janice!

  6. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Susan Toy inspired by the wonderful author Ray Bradbury…

  7. Author Rebecca Heishman

    I knew I was doing something worthwhile when one of my readers asked if she could buy copies of my books to place in the school library where her recently-deceased eleven-year-old grandson had gone to school. He had lost a long battle with cancer. She wanted to donate them in his memory because he was a lover of animals and nature. I mailed a box full of signed copies to her home and refused her money. It was the most precious endorsement a writer of children’s books could ever have. Whenever I feel the writing fire going out, I think of her and the boy whose memory I honor every day.

    1. That’s a wonderful endorsement, Becky! Thanks for sharing the story with us.

  8. So that’s what it took, huh?

    1. Yeah, sorry! I’m willing to listen to Ray more than you, it seems …

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