“You fail only if you stop writing.” ~Ray Bradbury
The above quote has long been my mantra for writing. I keep it at the top of my daily writing document. So, as inspired as I am by this one statement of Bradbury’s, I was delighted to come across an entire book of such words. Zen in the Art of Writing is a collection of essays that Ray Bradbury has written, ranging in publication date from 1961 to 1986. The collection, published in 1990, is still relevant today. The messages just as true.
The essays are as follows:
- The Joy of Writing
- Run Fast, Stand Still, Or, The Thing at the Top of the Stairs, Or, New Ghosts from Old Minds
- How to Keep and Feed a Muse
- Drunk, and in Charge of a Bicycle
- Investing Dimes: Fahrenheit 451
- Just This Side of Byzantium: Dandelion Wine
- On the Shoulders of Giants
- The Secret Mind
- Zen in the Art of Writing
- … On Creativity
In these, Bradbury shares his experiences with life and writing, and shows how entwined the two are. He takes inspiration from his own life, his own passions.
When I picked up this book and started reading, it was impossible to put down. It spoke to my own passions, reignited my zest for writing. A reminder of why I do what I do. He does share advice, some how-to for writers, but what I took most was the underlying celebration of the art. The book’s subtitle is Releasing the Creative Genius Within You, and it lives up to that task.
“When honest love speaks, when true admiration begins, when excitement rises, when hate curls like smoke, you need never doubt that creativity will stay with you for a lifetime.”
~Ray Bradbury, from How to Keep and Feed a Muse
I definitely recommend this book, both for aspiring writers and those who’ve been long in the trenches. It is a joy to read, and will take you back to the roots of not just the how-to write, but the why. If you’ve lost that love, found the passion dimming, rediscover it here.
Next time on Mary’s Expression: More on the Creative Genius.