Zen in the Art of Writing

Zen in the Art of Writing coverZen in the Art of Writing
Ray Bradbury
RosettaBooks (May 2, 2017), 126 pages
originally published in 1990
Kindle edition $14.99
Purchased during an Early Bird Books sale for $1.99

I am always looking for ways to improve my writing, so when this title turned up on Early Bird Books for $1.99 I grabbed it.

Zen in the Art of Writing is a collection of essays Bradbury wrote over a period of years on the topic of, obviously, writing.  He writes about the importance to him of writing every day. He also describes how he would simply make lists of words, nouns mostly, and how much of his work came out of a word that got his attention on the list.

Bradbury writes about the importance of reading broadly. He writes, “I have known Bertrand Russell and I have known Tom Mix, and my Muse has grown out of the mulch of good, bad, and indifferent.”

He makes one point that particularly struck me:

quoteThis does not mean to say that one’s reaction to everything at a given time should be similar. First off, it cannot be. At ten, Jules Verne is accepted, Huxley rejected. At eighteen, Thomas Wolfe accepted, and Buck Rogers left behind. At thirty, Melville discovered, and Thomas Wolfe lost.

Just because I loved Tom Robbins in my twenties doesn’t mean I will enjoy his work today.

Some great stuff here from one of America’s most respected authors.



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