Ray Bradbury was a writer and one of the most famous authors of science-fiction that has ever lived. I have read numerous of his short stories, to which my father introduced me when I was about ten years old. I was really surprised recently when I discovered one of his non-fiction books: Zen in the Art of Writing (link to Goodreads).
I decided to become a writer many years ago. Not because it is cool (it is not). Not to become rich (I am not … yet). And not because I have a lot of free time (I don’t). I did it because I could not not do it.
In this article, I will show you a few of the tips which Ray Bradbury shares about writing. Most of them really resonate with me and with my decision to pick up writing.
What is it to be writer?
To be a writer means to be alive. To be alive is a gift of privilege, not a right. Writers earn life by practicing what was awarded to us. If you practice a skill enough, even if you originally suck at it, gives you experience. Once you have a lot of experience, quality will start appearing. You will learn what to let out.
To be a writer is to have fun
You are not a writer if you are not having fun while writing. If you are keeping an eye on the market, you are not yourself.
Do not desire fame and fortune but outcomes of your work well and truly done. The secret of creativity is to walk away as soon as things get difficult. You make your ideals follow you.
Write with passion
Today, don’t stop to take you breath, write in one go. Let the character and the story explode in million pieces. The plot is secondary to the characters. Let the characters do what they want to do and the plot will emerge.
Tomorrow, pause, review, edit, correct.
The muse is your subconscious
If you want to be a writer, keep a list of topics about which you would like to write some day. The Muse for a writer is nothing different than what other people call Subconscious. We are so busy looking for ideas and inspiration outside, when all we have to do is look in.
To feed your muse, read poetry every day because it flexes muscles you would not normally flex. The value of poetry for an author is that it teaches you to find the right metaphor and learn to condense your writing to the essential. Then, read essays, non-fiction. Read those authors who write the way you hope to write. But also read those who do not think the way you think.
Writing is releasing the truth
Writing is about releasing the truth inside you. We are not born with the concept of ugliness. It is something we acquire later in life.
You just chip away everything that doesn’t look like David.Michelangelo
Before closing this window and switching to another task, commit to sitting down and writing just one paragraph tomorrow. It can be a journal, it can be a though, it can be an idea.
What are the next steps?
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