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Random Reading: Ray Bradbury


I recently finished a wonderfully inspiring book all about the craft of writing.

It was short, precise and exactly what I needed to hear.

The book in question was Zen in the art of writing by Ray Bradbury.

Now despite my ignorance of the science fiction worlds created by Bradbury I found this slim volume of essays to be so satisfying and encouraging.

It was as if Ray (yes, I feel we are on a first name basis) was talking directly to me. And what a wonderful mentor the great, wise Zen master of writing Ray Bradbury is.

My little 130 page book is filled with highlights, notes, questions and conversations with this amazing writer.

Bradbury was born in 1920 and is considered to be one of the greatest science fiction and fantasy writers of all time. He published his first short story at the age of 20 and went on to publish some 500 short stories, novels, plays, scripts and poems until his death in 2012 at the age of 91.

His biography is impressive for his output alone, literally a lifetime dedicated to the craft of writing. His writing is delightful and his perspective on creativity is simple, fresh and extremely motivating.

Needless to say, I have gone out and bought the first volume of his short stories, which is a whopping 956 pages. And I’ve put Fahrenheit 451 on my to-read list.

Some of my favorite take away quotes from Zen in the art of writing are:

“Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together.

Now it’s your turn.


“By living well, by observing as you live, by reading well and observing as you read, you have fed your most original self. By training yourself in writing, by repetitive exercise, imitation, good example, you have made a clean, well lighted place to keep the muse. You have given her, him, it is whatever room to turn around in. And through training you have relaxed yourself enough not to stare discourteously when inspiration comes into the room.”


‘I was rich and I didn’t know it. We all are rich and ignore the buried fact of accumulated wisdom.’


‘Work. Relaxation. Don’t think.’


‘So stand aside, forget targets,let the characters, your fingers, body, blood and heart do. Contemplate not your navel then, but your subconscious with what Wordsworth called ‘a wise passiveness.’


Coleridge puts it thus: ‘The streaming nature of association, which thinking curbs and rudders.’


‘If you do, I think you might easily find a new definition for work. And the word is LOVE.’

Ray Bradbury’s career and dedication to writing is an outstanding example for any writer. This little volume dedicated to essays about writing should be a part of any new writer’s motivational kit.

I am planning to write a whole heap of his quotes down and refer to them every time my enthusiasum is lagging. I think one of the above quotes will be a perfect bumper sticker.

I will keep Zen in the Art of writing on my writing desk, to dip into when ever the motivation leaves me or if I need to be reminded of how to trust myself while being eaten alive by self critisism.

The main point Bradbury makes is how writing should be plesant work, as you read, observe and live life then the work or muse will come. Keep feeding your mind and soul and the knowledge and experiences you have made in life will bring the stories to you. And above all creativity is an act of faith based on love.

I hate to be long-winded, so I will stop here for now.

I’ll keep writing something worthwhile, well thought out and new here every once in a while, perhaps more often if I get into a karmic writing zone.

Thanks for reading along and be sure to send this to a friend or someone you think might enjoy it.

Speak again soon.

With love and light


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