Zen in the Art of Writing

Ray Bradbury
TheImaginativeConservative.org

Ray Bradbury lived a long and creative life.  He died last week which sent me to my copy of Zen in the Art of Writing, Essays on Creativity, his 1990 book on the writing process.  Bradbury celebrates life and the mystery of imagination in these essays, as he did in public — at readings, lectures and impromptu autographing events.

His essays remind writers to relax and follow the fantastic notions that stalk our logic and reason.  In the urgent elaborations and emotional intensity that awaken our minds, we do our best writing.  Or maybe it’s sheer surprise at creativity  from the unknown dimension that captures our energy.  Sometimes it is pure luck and having enough time to get the words down before a writer’s attention wanes.  Bradbury’s Zen message to writers:  Just write and the rest will unfold.  Thank you, Ray Bradbury, for opening your prescient imagination to us.

I opened the collection  randomly, trusting serendipity and found this passage in the essay about Dandelion Wine:

Here is my celebration, then of death as well as life, dark as well as light, old as well as young, smart and dumb combined, sheer joy as well as complete terror written by a boy who once hung upside down in trees, dressed in his bat costume with candy fangs in his mouth, who finally fell out of the trees when he was twelve and went and found a toy-dial typewriter and wrote his first “novel.”    (page 86)

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