My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

10 Gems From Ray Bradbury

When I was in sixth grade (so probably 12 years old), I read a different KIND of book as part of my GATE program curriculum.  It was like nothing I'd ever read.  The world was familiar but at the same time, completely alien and strange.  The premise was a little crazy, but at the same time everything that kept happening seemed oddly close to home.  In the end I felt like I'd read some crazy bit of literature with all these meaningful symbols and metaphors (yes, even at 12--Las Virginas USD GATE program didn't fuck around) but I'd still read something that was fun and kept me turning the pages.  I knew, whatever happened, I had to have more of this science fiction stuff in my life, and that really began my journey into speculative literature that wasn't simply young adult fare.  That was the moment I knew that I could write what I wanted, and my subject matter was never going to have to "grow up."

It was about this guy who was a fireman.  Except he didn't fight fires, he started them...on books. 

Ray Bradbury passed away on Tuesday night, and like every other geek I am doing the blog equivalent of holding up a candle to try and remember him.  He was the closest thing a booky nerd like me ever gets to a hero.

Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers. 
You will have to write and put away or burn a lot of material before you are comfortable in this medium. You might as well start now and get the necessary work done. For I believe that eventually quantity will make for quality. How so? Quantity gives experience. From experience alone can quality come. All arts, big and small, are the elimination of waste motion in favor of the concise declaration. The artist learns what to leave out. His greatest art will often be what he does not say, what he leaves out, his ability to state simply with clear emotion, the way he wants to go. The artist must work so hard, so long, that a brain develops and lives, all of itself, in his fingers.
Don’t talk about it; write.  
I know you've heard it a thousand times before. But it's true - hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don't love something, then don't do it.
If you enjoy living, it is not difficult to keep the sense of wonder.
 If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.
I always say to students, give me four pages a day, every day. That’s three or four hundred thousand words a year. Most of that will be bilge, but the rest …? It will save your life!
Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life.
I spent three days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library, and it's better than college. People should educate themselves - you can get a complete education for no money. At the end of 10 years, I had read every book in the library and I'd written a thousand stories.
 We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.

Ray Douglas Bradbury (August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012)

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