Thursday, June 21, 2012

Zen In The Art Of Writing

A couple of weeks ago during the solar eclipse, I ordered Ray Bradbury's Zen in the Art of the Writing. I hadn't read it in a long time and thought it might have something I needed. Strangely, I found out the next morning that he had died. On Thursday, I received the book which has the best writing advice of any writing book I know. It's all about loving the work, full of pratical advice about working with your material, the things you love, the things you hate. Your passions. I think writers, myself included, tend to fall into thinking that writing is difficult. It is, but that's not all it is. It's exciting, thrilling, joyous, and hopeful. Go out and get this book! I've been in hiding for a few months, working on a new project. But I'm in the revision stretch which is kind of evil, but kind of thrilling. I'll be back soon, but until then, happy summer, the longest day of the year. The days get shorter from here. Thank goodness!


Charles Gramlich said...

You're looking very Silver today. I have Zen and the Art of WRiting on my shelves. I should probably give it a reread.

Ray Fan said...

Right on. Work with what you love. It is, after all is said done and documented, your choice. Science fiction has been much better to work with than literary fiction. Not so much emphasis on elitism. Good luck with the revisions and publication.

the walking man said...

Sort of like this? The only writing advice I have ever read.

BUKOWSKI-so you want to be a writer

if it doesn't come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don't do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don't do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
searching for words,
don't do it.
if you're doing it for money or
don't do it.
if you're doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don't do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don't do it.
if it's hard work just thinking about doing it,
don't do it.
if you're trying to write like somebody
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you're not ready.

don't be like so many writers,
don't be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring and
pretentious, don't be consumed with self-
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
over your kind.
don't add to that.
don't do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don't do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don't do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

Anonymous said...

The guy never even had a driver's license. Very suspect!--H. Ford

Paul said...

That Bradbury book is absolutely wonderful, full of energy and joy. A writer "should be a thing of fevers and enthusiasms," he tells us, and I couldn't agree more!