Things I Love: Ray Bradbury’s Joy in Writing

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Ray Bradbury wrote about the love of his life in Zen in the Art of Writing, one of my current reads. It’s a wonderful book: nine essays in which he raptures over the pleasures of writing.

The essays read like they were written by a lovesick boy to his forever gal. Bradbury enjoyed nothing more than getting up in the morning, letting his thoughts pour out of his head, and creating something new with his past experiences, his amazing imagination, and his trusty typewriter.

I read some of Bradbury when I was young. He was a favorite author of my older siblings and they along with my high school teachers tried to convince me of his worth. I thought he was too creepy.

I didn’t appreciate his writing until I restarted my writing life decades later and challenged myself to read “outside of my box”. I chose The Martian Chronicles to give science fiction another chance and discovered much more than science in Ray Bradbury’s fiction.

Here’s a beauty from one of the book’s essays, “The Secret of Minds”:

Bradbury read poetry every day. No wonder his writing style is so lyrical:

From "Zen in the Art of Writing" by Ray Bradbury

The man has a way with words, yes?

And then there’s this precious moment he shares from his essay “Run Fast, Stand Still, or, The Thing at the Top of the Stairs, or, New Ghosts From Old Minds”:

I finally found it one afternoon when I was twenty-two years old. I wrote the title “The Lake” on the first page of a story that finished itself two hours later. Two hours after that I was sitting at my typewriter out on a porch in the sun, with tears running off the tip of my nose, and the hair on my neck standing up.

 

Why the arousal of hair and the dripping nose?

 

I realized that I had at last written a really fine story. The first, in ten years of writing.

Ah, Ray Bradbury, with your extraordinary writing, your passion, and your witty encouragements. What type of writer doesn’t come away from your words feeling like her writing dreams can come true?


 

Darla McDavid

I'm Darla, a writer of stories about family, friends, goodness, and God. I love cats, coffee, gardening, and tall stacks of books. Click here to subscribe to my blog. You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram. In my other life, I'm an administrative professional, a Sunday School teacher for preschoolers, and the proud mother of Dan.

4 Comments Write a comment

  1. ZEN IN THE ART OF WRITING is my favorite book of essays about writing. Bradbury is an exceptional writer, and this book shares more about the writing process at the technical and spiritual level, and makes me feel more in “the presence” of a master writer than any book I’ve ever read.

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  2. Darla,
    Thank you for reminding me of Ray Bradbury. I listened to him speak a few years back at the Lobero, but I first fell in love with his writing after listening to one of his short stories on tape. I think I will write about it on my blog!
    xo MB

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