Book Review: Zen in the Art of Writing

zenLet me start by saying that I am a huge fan of Ray Bradbury’s writing. Something about his writing speaks to my inner being. It makes my soul dance, my heart ache, and my eyes leak rivulets of tears.

This book is a fascinating tale of his life and times, his troubles and the process he went through in becoming a writer. No – he was always a writer, it’s the process of becoming a paid writer.

This is not a ‘how-to’ book. There are some real gems of advice, for instance – write down nouns and ideas. Keep them for inspiration. Pick one if you’re stuck and write about it.

The part that resonated most strongly with me, however, was the revelation of ‘the child within’. Ray never lost his childhood sense of wonder – and yes, even fear. The tennis shoes have not lost their magic, the carnival is still mysterious, Mars is still a place of adventure, and the world is indeed fearfully and wondrously made.

Never again will I feel guilty to stand and watch a butterfly, to stroke a bee, to pick a flower, jump in puddles and throw leaves around – because, for me, these things still hold their magic. I still go outside on clear nights and marvel at the night sky, I still wish upon a shooting star. If someone as august as Ray Bradbury can feed the child within, then so can I.

Zen in the Art of Writing, Ray Bradbury, Copyright 1994

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