Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Zen in the Art of Writing

Availability: Ready to download

"Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a land mine. The land mine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces back together. Now, it's your turn. Jump!" Zest. Gusto. Curiosity. These are the qualities every writer must have, as well as a spirit of adventure. In this exuberant book, the incomparable Ray Bradbury shares the wisdom, expe "Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a land mine. The land mine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces back together. Now, it's your turn. Jump!" Zest. Gusto. Curiosity. These are the qualities every writer must have, as well as a spirit of adventure. In this exuberant book, the incomparable Ray Bradbury shares the wisdom, experience, and excitement of a lifetime of writing. Here are practical tips on the art of writing from a master of the craft—everything from finding original ideas to developing your own voice and style—as well as the inside story of Bradbury's own remarkable career as a prolific author of novels, stories, poems, films, and plays. Zen in the Art of Writing is more than just a how-to manual for the would-be writer: it is a celebration of the act of writing itself that will delight, impassion, and inspire the writer in you. Bradbury encourages us to follow the unique path of our instincts and enthusiasms to the place where our inner genius dwells, and he shows that success as a writer depends on how well you know one subject: your own life.


Compare
Ads Banner

"Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a land mine. The land mine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces back together. Now, it's your turn. Jump!" Zest. Gusto. Curiosity. These are the qualities every writer must have, as well as a spirit of adventure. In this exuberant book, the incomparable Ray Bradbury shares the wisdom, expe "Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a land mine. The land mine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces back together. Now, it's your turn. Jump!" Zest. Gusto. Curiosity. These are the qualities every writer must have, as well as a spirit of adventure. In this exuberant book, the incomparable Ray Bradbury shares the wisdom, experience, and excitement of a lifetime of writing. Here are practical tips on the art of writing from a master of the craft—everything from finding original ideas to developing your own voice and style—as well as the inside story of Bradbury's own remarkable career as a prolific author of novels, stories, poems, films, and plays. Zen in the Art of Writing is more than just a how-to manual for the would-be writer: it is a celebration of the act of writing itself that will delight, impassion, and inspire the writer in you. Bradbury encourages us to follow the unique path of our instincts and enthusiasms to the place where our inner genius dwells, and he shows that success as a writer depends on how well you know one subject: your own life.

30 review for Zen in the Art of Writing

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    WHOOP! POW! Ray Bradbury's book on writing is BAMMO! The man's enthusiasm leaps off the page, and if nothing else, that exuberance will carry you with a full head of steam straight from this book and into your own book. Reading Zen in the Art of Writing is like having the best kind of encouraging friend pat you on the back while shouting "YOU CAN DO IT!!!" Although some of his ideas and style is dated, there's still a great deal to be absorbed herein, after all, he is one of the best American writers o WHOOP! POW! Ray Bradbury's book on writing is BAMMO! The man's enthusiasm leaps off the page, and if nothing else, that exuberance will carry you with a full head of steam straight from this book and into your own book. Reading Zen in the Art of Writing is like having the best kind of encouraging friend pat you on the back while shouting "YOU CAN DO IT!!!" Although some of his ideas and style is dated, there's still a great deal to be absorbed herein, after all, he is one of the best American writers of the past century. Keep at it and write with the electricity that runs through you, that seems to be the words of wisdom Bradbury wants you to take away from Zen in the Art of Writing, a title that made me a reluctant reader. The application of zen, or maybe I mean its popularized conception, to the mechanics of writing had me worrying that it would be too much about spiritualism (I know, I know...) or that the approach to the craft would be meditative in technique. The only thing Bradbury wants you, the writer to meditate about is how best to get off your ass, stay off your ass, and keep on writing. Now stop reading reviews and get to it!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Zen in the Art of Writing, Ray Bradbury Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity is a collection of essays by Ray Bradbury and published in 1990. The unifying theme is Bradbury's love for writing. Essays included are: The Joy of Writing (1973) Run Fast, Stand Still, Or, The Thing At the Top of the Stairs, Or, New Ghosts From Old Minds (1986) How To Keep and Feed a Muse (1961) Drunk, and in Charge of a Bicycle (1980) Investing Dimes: Fahrenheit 451 (1982) Zen in the Art of Writing, Ray Bradbury Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity is a collection of essays by Ray Bradbury and published in 1990. The unifying theme is Bradbury's love for writing. Essays included are: The Joy of Writing (1973) Run Fast, Stand Still, Or, The Thing At the Top of the Stairs, Or, New Ghosts From Old Minds (1986) How To Keep and Feed a Muse (1961) Drunk, and in Charge of a Bicycle (1980) Investing Dimes: Fahrenheit 451 (1982) Just This Side of Byzantium: Dandelion Wine (1974) The Long Road to Mars (1990) On The Shoulders of Giants (1980) The Secret Mind (1965) Shooting Haiku in a Barrel (1982) Zen in the Art of Writing (1973) ...On Creativity (No Date Given) This book attempts to give creative ideas and inspiration to writers. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و هشتم ژانویه ماه سال 2017 میلادی عنوان: ذن در هنر نویسندگی؛ ری بردبری؛ مترجم: پرویز دوایی (دوائی)؛ تهران، موسسه فرهنگی هنری جهان کتاب، 1389 در 110 ص؛ شابک: 9789642533602؛ موضوع: ذن؛ خلاقیت - سده 20 م ری بردبری: شاعر آمریکایی، و نویسنده ی گونه‌ های خیال‌پردازی، وحشت، و علمی تخیلی است. بردبری را در کشور ما، بیشتر به خاطر اثر مشهورش: فارنهایت 451، می‌شناسند. اثر مشهور دیگر ایشان: حکایت‌های مریخ است، ذن در هنر نویسندگی، از نوشتن و ریزه کاریهایش میگوید، نسخه ی فارسی کتاب هشت فصل است در یکصد صفحه: کودک درونم؛ رمان دوپولی نسخه ای برای زیستن؛ نوشتن ... نشاط نوشتن؛ ذن در هنر نویسندگی؛ اندر آداب نگهداری از فرشته الهام؛ بر دوش غولها؛ شراب قاصدک نقل از همین کتاب: - البته که هنوز غم وحسرت (نوستالژی ) بچگی هایم را دارم! همچه که شروع به بزرگ شدن کردی با مسائلی رو به رو میشوی که از عهده شان برنمیآیی. ( صفحه 10)؛ در این دنیا دو تا حرفه ی شریف هست: پزشکی و نویسندگی. پزشک تن را درمان میکند و نویسنده جان را. ( صفحه 11 )؛ آدم برای پول یا شهرت نمینویسد. مینویسد که زنده بماند. ( صفحه 11 )؛ پایان نقل. ا. شربیانی

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shane

    There are a lot of reviews written about this short but excellent book written in the tradition of Stephen King's "On Writing", or the other way around, given that Bradbury wrote his tome first. Yet there is an energy in this book that is infectious and it points the finger to us as writers to say - "get serious about this art or get out." His prescriptions for writing are no less demanding: 1) Write one short story a week for 5 years. Perhaps after this rigour, some good stuff might come o There are a lot of reviews written about this short but excellent book written in the tradition of Stephen King's "On Writing", or the other way around, given that Bradbury wrote his tome first. Yet there is an energy in this book that is infectious and it points the finger to us as writers to say - "get serious about this art or get out." His prescriptions for writing are no less demanding: 1) Write one short story a week for 5 years. Perhaps after this rigour, some good stuff might come out (Bradbury wrote one short story a week for 10 years before writing "The Lake"). Quantity leads to quality. 2)Engage in word association games to provide plots 3) Let events simmer for years - 20 to 30 years is okay - before writing about them 4) Draw from childhood where most of the skeletons in the closet lie. And yet there were lines of inspiration that I have memorized for use when I am at my lowest: "We(writers) are trying to release the truth in all of us" "Slanting for the commercial or literary markets are unhappy ways for writers to live in the world" On writing - "you grow ravenous", "you run fevers". "You must stay drunk on writing so reality does not destroy you" He also lived at a time when he could sell his prodigious output to pulp magazines, even as an emerging writer at the age of 24, for $20-40 per story, way back in 1944 - enough to make a living off his work. I've seen going rates for stories these days as low as $10.00; sometimes reward is just the honour of being published - inflation seems to have gone in reverse in the publishing business, at least, where writer compensation is concerned. This is certainly an inspiring book for today's aspiring writer to keep by his side as a testament to a great author who was totally dedicated to his craft and who consequently reaped the rewards of that total immersion.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paperback

    Short version: This is the best writing book I have ever read. Long version: This isn't going to be a very eloquent review. Good books on writing are difficult to find. For several of my classes, professors have assigned books about writing techniques, and all of them have been terrible. Some of them have graphs, others have ways of mapping out character development, but generally these books try to break writing down to its skeletal form and make a biology lesson of it. It ends up being o Short version: This is the best writing book I have ever read. Long version: This isn't going to be a very eloquent review. Good books on writing are difficult to find. For several of my classes, professors have assigned books about writing techniques, and all of them have been terrible. Some of them have graphs, others have ways of mapping out character development, but generally these books try to break writing down to its skeletal form and make a biology lesson of it. It ends up being overly technical and discouraging for new writers. Bradbury's book, on the other hand, deals more with how your imagination can work for you. He starts off Zen by stating that you only need two things in writing: "zest and gusto." According to him, once you lose your zest for writing, your stories will fall apart. He insists on writing what you're passionate about, and suggests ways of keeping your passion going. This may seem like common sense, but it's the most helpful advice I've ever received from a How-To writing book. (One piece of advice he offers is to put your nightmares in your stories. He says that if you're writing suspense, what scares you will scare your readers. He gives examples of how he drew on his fears and translated them into his novels. I tried it, and it definitely worked for me.)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kenny

    What a fantastic book, and a quick read to boot.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Riku Sayuj

    Nothing particularly new is told but Ray writes with such a passion and gusto that the book becomes a joy to read. References to stories and novels that I have not read abound and hence it was difficult to follow the train of thought. The poems at the end were a real bonus.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    "You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Barbara (The Bibliophage)

    No one writes quite like Ray Bradbury. Perhaps that’s an understatement, but as I was reading Zen in the Art of Writing, I was again reminded of his brilliance. He has impeccable control of the English language. But at the same time, his sentences are playful and colorful. His thinking is philosophical and, at the same time lighthearted. “But ideas lie everywhere, like apples fallen and melting in the grass for lack of wayfaring strangers with an eye and a tongue for beauty, whether absurd,/>“But No one writes quite like Ray Bradbury. Perhaps that’s an understatement, but as I was reading Zen in the Art of Writing, I was again reminded of his brilliance. He has impeccable control of the English language. But at the same time, his sentences are playful and colorful. His thinking is philosophical and, at the same time lighthearted. “But ideas lie everywhere, like apples fallen and melting in the grass for lack of wayfaring strangers with an eye and a tongue for beauty, whether absurd, horrific, or genteel.” Picking up this book, at this moment was kismet for me. As I said out loud to someone recently, I’d like to write more and maybe even get paid for it again. In this collection of essays, Bradbury reminds me that I have to do my work first. Writing a thousand words every day is a given. And Bradbury talks about what it was like for him to develop the discipline. But he also describes how he created writing prompts based on his world, past, present, and future. “When people ask me where I get my ideas, I laugh. How strange—we’re so busy looking out, to find ways and means, we forget to look in.” Full review at TheBibliophage.com.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kate Savage

    Do I want to try to write like Ray Bradbury? No, I don't think so. But I once sat in that middle school English class listening to a cassette tape with the gravelly-voice narration of The Veldt and thought the shudder in my spine was some holy spirit saying I had found the apex of the literary arts. And anyway I'm desperate and will take advice anywhere. Here's a list of his most compelling pointers: 1) Write every day. 2) Make a list of nouns that get at you in some way. These will be t/>1) Do I want to try to write like Ray Bradbury? No, I don't think so. But I once sat in that middle school English class listening to a cassette tape with the gravelly-voice narration of The Veldt and thought the shudder in my spine was some holy spirit saying I had found the apex of the literary arts. And anyway I'm desperate and will take advice anywhere. Here's a list of his most compelling pointers: 1) Write every day. 2) Make a list of nouns that get at you in some way. These will be the centers of the stories you write (Bradbury's own lists include "THE MEADOW. THE TOY CHEST. THE MONSTER. TYRANNOSAURUS REX. THE TOWN CLOCK. THE OLD MAN. THE OLD WOMAN. THE TELEPHONE. THE SIDEWALKS. THE COFFIN. THE ELECTRIC CHAIR. THE MAGICIAN." And of course: "THE THING AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS.") 3) Experience whatever you can. You're feeding your subconscious, which is your muse. 4) Read poetry every day. 5) Make your readers use all of their senses (which will make the most far-fetched stuff believable) 6) Write FAST. Bradbury's own schedule at some point was: write a 1st draft of a story on Monday, 2nd draft on Tuesday, 3rd on Wednesday, etc., and mail it off at noon on Saturday. Bradbury wrote the first draft of Fahrenheit 451 on a library typewriter that cost 10 cents every 30 minutes. He would feed it a dime and race to spit out as much as possible with the clock ticking. 7) Don't be embarrassed. Or anyway act in spite of your embarrassment. You won't write and maybe you'll do away with yourself if you try to hide the shameful bits that make you feel alive. For Bradbury this is the thrill of the circus and interstellar space and dinosaurs. Snobbery will destroy you. This also means writing without concern for the market or literary praise. Most of this advice is given in the first three essays. The remaining made me begin despairing: did the time spent building Disney's gee-whiz World of the Future addle Bradbury's dystopianism, torque him into someone a little too nauseatingly happy? Give me Bradbury the crank over Bradbury the booster any day. It doesn't seem very motivating to write if you think that the best that could happen is you'll make it big and begin to believe, dewy-eyed, in Disney and America and progress.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    A short, (obviously) gorgeously written little collection of essays on the topic of writing. If you are looking for a practical guide, this is not the book for you: I think that in collecting those little snippets, Mr. Bradbury was looking for to inspire and encourage rather than to actually give a master class on writing. In fact, it seems evident to me reading it that his own process was so spontaneous that he could not have given much practical advice had he been pressed to. < A short, (obviously) gorgeously written little collection of essays on the topic of writing. If you are looking for a practical guide, this is not the book for you: I think that in collecting those little snippets, Mr. Bradbury was looking for to inspire and encourage rather than to actually give a master class on writing. In fact, it seems evident to me reading it that his own process was so spontaneous that he could not have given much practical advice had he been pressed to. Mostly, these essays are made to assure people interested in writing that they should write about what they feel passionate about, keep exploring the stuff that excites them as it will create a subconscious mulch from which ideas will eventually grow, and that genre literature is just as important as so-called literary fiction. I underlined many eloquent and inspiring passages that I will probably need to re-read a few times in my attempts at finally squeezing a story out of my brain; but it gets 3 stars because as lovely as it is to read, I really wished Mr. Bradbury has written advice that was a bit less lyrical and a bit more practical for aspiring writers of speculative fiction. Oh, also, there's nothing in here about Zen in the Buddhism sense of the word ;-)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    If you're looking for the book that finally teaches you everything you ever wanted to know about writing - the book that will finally give you the key to the famous author's success - this one isn't for you. On one hand, no such book exists. On the other, Ray Bradbury's "Zen and the Art of Writing" is less about the craft and mechanics of writing than one man's passion and zeal for good old-fashioned fun stories. Bradbury has been criticized for being overly sentimental and rightfully so. At tim If you're looking for the book that finally teaches you everything you ever wanted to know about writing - the book that will finally give you the key to the famous author's success - this one isn't for you. On one hand, no such book exists. On the other, Ray Bradbury's "Zen and the Art of Writing" is less about the craft and mechanics of writing than one man's passion and zeal for good old-fashioned fun stories. Bradbury has been criticized for being overly sentimental and rightfully so. At times this book reads like a wistful eulogy for his lost childhood, and that his writing career has always been in pursuit of that. But even if that's true, so what? Bradbury has left us with some classics, and while this book may not be all that insightful or instructional, it reflects a man's (or a boy's)passion for what he does - about looking at the ordinary and seeing the extrordinary, and if that doesn't inspire you to take up your own pen, typewriter, or laptop, nothing will.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Larraine

    "Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a land mine. The land mine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces back together. Now, it's your turn. Jump!" I'm not sure what prompted me to read this book. There's a part of me that's always wanted to write, but I've lacked the self discipline. Of course, I also lack self confidence. Unlike most writers, I have never felt the need to write every day. At least, I didn't think I did. I remember being ask "Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a land mine. The land mine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces back together. Now, it's your turn. Jump!" I'm not sure what prompted me to read this book. There's a part of me that's always wanted to write, but I've lacked the self discipline. Of course, I also lack self confidence. Unlike most writers, I have never felt the need to write every day. At least, I didn't think I did. I remember being asked to write a story in school. My teacher gave me a good grade and said it was very imaginative. That was the last time we ever got that assignment. It didn't make me write. When I was a little girl, I would fill the blank pages of books with drawings - usually ballerinas. I was obsessed with ballerinas despite being tall and chunky and not in the least graceful. Unfortunately, my writing and illustrations were unappreciated by my parents especially my father who accused me of wasting my time drawing "dolls." I wish I had read this book years ago. Who knows what I could have accomplished. Maybe nothing. Maybe something. Maybe everything. I went through my scifi phase when I was in college and in my early to mid 20's. That included reading Ray Bradbury who is less science fiction than a sort of fantasy, but not the fantasy that's big nowadays. His was sometimes gentle, sometimes raw with a lot simmering under the surface. I devoured the Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man and Something Wicked This Way Comes and Fahrenheit 451 and so much more. Yet one of my all time favorites is his very sweet and wonderful Dandelion Wine. I also remember a story called The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit that was so utterly enchanting. I got a copy of this slim little book of essays from our local library and read it in one sitting, sipping coffee, water, eating lunch, having a snack. The essays were written over many years and express Bradbury's views on writing and creativity. You won't really be satisfied unless you stop trying to be a "money writer" and write just for the pure abandonment and joy. (I wonder how many people are doing that right now.) There was no Pulitzer Prize for literature announced this year. Is it because there are no good writers? Or is it because publishers would rather not take a chance with literature? (Chickens and eggs, anyone?) If I knew a young person who had ambitions to write - actually I do know one right now - I might give them a copy of this book. (If I can find a copy at a cheap price, I may send her one!) In the essay, "Drunk and In Charge of a Bicycle," Bradbury talks about how one project lead to another, all starting with his love of dinosaurs. From noting that a collapsed pier looked like a dinosaur to writing a story of a dinosaur who hears a fog horn and thinks that it is another dinosaur and dies of a broken heart to being asked by John Huston to write the screen play for Moby Dick after Huston read that story, to reintroducing a new translation of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea which led to his conceptualizing the entire second floor of the United States Pavilion at the New York World's Fair in 1964 which, in turn, led to Disney asking him to help with Epcot Center designs. Phew! How can you NOT love this imagery: "Bees do have a smell you know, and if they don't, they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers." (Having just returned from Longwood Gardens, I can especially appreciate that image!) I love his passionate explanation of why science fiction is relevant. It is a "History of Ideas," he says. And he's RIGHT. Very often, I will see something or hear something and remember a short story or novel I read that predicted what I'm seeing now. (And it's not always pretty either, but it's true.) He tells the writer not to be tempted by literary reviews or the money that may be available in mass circulation. (Not an easy temptation to walk away from which is, perhaps, why pseudonyms were born!) Ask yourself "What do I REALLY think of the world, what do I love, fear, hate?" Then he advises that you put it all on paper. In his early days, he wrote a bunch of words that intrigued him. They became his starting points. Can you imagine him as your creative writing teacher. He would probably get in big trouble and wouldn't last long, but if you had him for a few glorious months, who knows what you could write! The last chapter, "On Creativity," is a series of poems. One of them is called Troy: "My Troy was there of course, thought people said not so....Go Dig the Troy In You!" Optimist that he is, Bradbury seems to think that we all have Troy in us waiting to be dug up. What a wonderful thought that is!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    Will review later. A nice set of essays on writing.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Meh. I was bored. I know I am committing a sacrilege by saying that this book was boring. The book is a collection of essays on the craft of writing Bradbury wrote over the years for various publications. Bradbury comes off self-aggrandizing and pretentious. The most interesting part of the book were his inspirations for his greater known work. Don't get me wrong, I like Bradbury but just not this book. I'm well aware others may disagree but my two cents are being proffered for free.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dee Arr

    Ray Bradbury’s book is actually a collection of previously published essays, pulled together under one roof. Some of the essays were originally book intros while others were published in other books or magazines. I purchased the book without reading the advertising blurb, seeking to learn secrets from one of my favorite authors. Alas, there is no secret, and one of the most prolific and descriptive writers is extremely mundane in his advice to aspiring writers. In short, WORK, RELAXATION, DON’T Ray Bradbury’s book is actually a collection of previously published essays, pulled together under one roof. Some of the essays were originally book intros while others were published in other books or magazines. I purchased the book without reading the advertising blurb, seeking to learn secrets from one of my favorite authors. Alas, there is no secret, and one of the most prolific and descriptive writers is extremely mundane in his advice to aspiring writers. In short, WORK, RELAXATION, DON’T THINK (caps are Mr. Bradbury’s). Obviously, work is the operative word here, and if you haven’t already been writing on a regular basis, he suggests one to two thousand words a day, every day, for the next twenty years. Have an initial goal of one short story a week, fifty-two a year. What does Mr. Bradbury believe this will bring about? “…I believe that eventually quantity will make for quality.” So if the book is not a teaching manual, why should one purchase it? Fans of Ray Bradbury will enjoy the intuitive methods he used to create his stories and books. It was interesting to see how everyday events could produce a spark that he would turn into something wonderful. Writers reading between the lines will learn that each writer must discover his own road to creativity. Mr. Bradbury can point in the right direction, but it is each prospective author’s duty to forge his or her own way. Along the way, the author shares with us his experiences as he worked his way into becoming a writer as well as the people who helped and shared and celebrated those success with him. Very enjoyable read. Recommended to all aspiring writers, poets, and Ray Bradbury fans. Five stars.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    Read this while sitting in the basement of the Camden, NJ courthouse, wearing my Juror badge, and trying not to hear CNN's droningly repetitive news coverage (although, have you seen the image of all the dead birds in Arkansas? Jesus, the plagues have begun) and I picked it because it was pocket-sized and figured to be an easy read. Which it was. Not to say it was particularly fulfilling or interesting. There are a handful of pages in here that have legitimate, useful writing advice, although mo Read this while sitting in the basement of the Camden, NJ courthouse, wearing my Juror badge, and trying not to hear CNN's droningly repetitive news coverage (although, have you seen the image of all the dead birds in Arkansas? Jesus, the plagues have begun) and I picked it because it was pocket-sized and figured to be an easy read. Which it was. Not to say it was particularly fulfilling or interesting. There are a handful of pages in here that have legitimate, useful writing advice, although mostly for novices and not for people like me who have been through the whole creative writing workshop wringer. But, okay, fine, there's some good stuff in there. The rest is overwrought in a very Bradburian way, and littered with exclamation points, usually punctuating sentences about how amazing it is to be writing. The stories behind his writing kind of cheapen the actual work a bit, ie- "Did you know that in the [Irish] cinemas each night just an instant before the Irish National Anthem is due to explode its rhythms, there is a terrible surge and outflux as people fight to escape through the exits so as not to hear the dread music again? It happens. I saw it. I ran with them. Now I have done it as a play. 'The Anthem Sprinters.' " Forgive me if I suggest that that play is probably terrible. But I know Bradbury is a little hit-and-miss by design anyway and the whole point of this book seems to be to just share the infectious energy of loving writing, and in that respect it succeeds, kind of. The terrible poetry at the end, though, that was a mistake.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kogiopsis

    All due respect to Mr. Bradbury, but quite frankly I don't really see the point of this book. The thing is that doing something and teaching others how to do it are vastly different skills, and they don't necessarily overlap. I spent the past year tutoring kids in reading, and the first thing I learned was how difficult it was to translate a skill that came naturally to me into something that would help beginners. Ray Bradbury was clearly someone for whom writing came naturally (he has a lot to sa All due respect to Mr. Bradbury, but quite frankly I don't really see the point of this book. The thing is that doing something and teaching others how to do it are vastly different skills, and they don't necessarily overlap. I spent the past year tutoring kids in reading, and the first thing I learned was how difficult it was to translate a skill that came naturally to me into something that would help beginners. Ray Bradbury was clearly someone for whom writing came naturally (he has a lot to say about books or stories 'finishing themselves' in the course of a day), but the advice he has to offer here is, at best, vague. From what I can tell, his main points - repeated throughout the book - are this: 1. Write what you know, a catechism which is often misinterpreted to mean 'write your own limited experiences endlessly'. Bradbury, instead, is talking about using your own experiences and strong emotional reactions to fuel your writing, regardless of what exact resemblance it may have to what you experienced. 2. Have passion for what you do. He is emphatic and uncompromising when it comes to the idea that you have to write every day for years, probably decades, before achieving substantial success. While these specific recommendations don't apply to everyone (not everyone who writes wants to work exclusively or predominantly in short stories), the general idea is definitely applicable. It is here where I think Bradbury comes through clearest, because his own passion for the craft comes through even when his advice seems muddied. 3. Get out of your own way. The titular essay of this collection, 'Zen in the Art of Writing', is close kin to the advice given during NaNoWriMo to 'turn off your internal editor'. Bradbury advocates working, but not being wound up about it, until the words simply begin to flow on their own. Nowadays, this is an actual, recognized psychological concept. One minor annoyance: though this is unsurprising for the time, Bradbury treats male as a universal default throughout the text. Everything is about 'the man' or 'the boy', including one sentence in which he refers to the reader, specifically, as a man: ...so you are that precious commodity, the individual man, the man we all democratically proclaim, but who, so often, gets lost or loses himself, in the shuffle. (Emphasis mine.) Later, he references a book by Dorothea Brande, saying that it details "many of the ways a writer can find out who he is and how to get the stuff of himself out on paper". Now, I get that male-default is an archaic writing convention only recently overturned, but assuming that the writer-persona is inherently male in a description of a book written by a woman seems particularly rich. Several of the essays in this book are just about the genesis of particular works, which might be interesting if Bradbury were a little more reflective on the topic, but he glosses over a lot of the mechanical aspects of writing. I suspect this book may be more interesting to people who are seeking inspiration and motivation as writers; if you're looking for actual craft tools, it's not a very rich resource. There are some great quotes, though: We never sit anything out. We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

    I spent my college years reading Ray Bradbury, but probably haven't read anything of his since. My loss. Reading Bradbury again, in this case his writing memoir, Zen in the Art of Writing, reminds me both of that time – and also gives me a peak at his views on creativity and his writing process. What's his process? He sums it up as:WORK. That’s the first one. RELAXATION. That’s the second. Followed by two final ones: DON’T THINK! (p. 103) Bradbury worked hard, day in and day out. He is credited withas:WORK. I spent my college years reading Ray Bradbury, but probably haven't read anything of his since. My loss. Reading Bradbury again, in this case his writing memoir, Zen in the Art of Writing, reminds me both of that time – and also gives me a peak at his views on creativity and his writing process. What's his process? He sums it up as:WORK. That’s the first one. RELAXATION. That’s the second. Followed by two final ones: DON’T THINK! (p. 103) Bradbury worked hard, day in and day out. He is credited with 27 novels and 600 short stories – as well as plays and screenplays. The man was prolific. Bradbury was also passionate and excited, relaxed and mindful in his writing. As he said,If you are writing without zest, without gusto, without love, without fun, you are only half a writer. It means you are so busy keeping one eye on the commercial market, or one ear peeled for the avant-garde coterie, that you are not being yourself. You don’t even know yourself. For the first thing a writer should be is — excited. He should be a thing of fevers and enthusiasms. Without such vigor, he might as well be out picking peaches or digging ditches; God knows it’d be better for his health. (p. 2)Bradbury's excitement is infectious – I chose to read Zen in the Art of Writing at bedtime rather than the novel I was reading. When that happens, it says something. I finished Zen in the Art of Writing during the middle of the night and was thinking about a friend's dislike of science fiction (which I think she conflates with space opera). Her loss. As Bradbury observed: All science fiction is an attempt to solve problems by pretending to look the other way....Science fiction pretends at futures in order to cure sick dogs lying in today’s road. Indirection is everything. Metaphor is the medicine. (pp. 77-78)Science fiction helps us see doors rather than only walls. An observation. Many of the reviews of Zen in the Art of Writing are in Arabic, where he seems to be resonating with readers and writers. I'm not sure what this means, but it's interesting. I'm not surprised he resonates there, but Zen in the Art of Writing deserves to resonate to the same degree here.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Leo Robertson

    Bradbury was a good-natured mad man and a hard worker. I haven't read a single thing of his fiction that I have yet liked, but he does have some good advice: "It is a lie to write in such a way as to be rewarded by money in the commercial market. It is a lie to write in such a way as to be rewarded by fame offered you by some snobbish quasi-literary group in the intellectual gazettes." "You just say, 'Well, hell, I don't need depression. I don't need worry. I don't nee Bradbury was a good-natured mad man and a hard worker. I haven't read a single thing of his fiction that I have yet liked, but he does have some good advice: "It is a lie to write in such a way as to be rewarded by money in the commercial market. It is a lie to write in such a way as to be rewarded by fame offered you by some snobbish quasi-literary group in the intellectual gazettes." "You just say, 'Well, hell, I don't need depression. I don't need worry. I don't need to push.' The ideas will follow me. When they're off-guard and ready to be born, I'll turn around and grab them." "If you can find the right metaphor, the right image, and put it in a scene, it can replace four pages of dialogue."

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ana-Maria Petre

    Thoroughly enjoyable and easily compelling.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Sherriff

    This is an antidote to the current belief in writing to market, that if you just know your tropes, put in the hours and market like there's no tomorrow, you too will be a success. Bradbury says phooey to that. In these 11 essays and selection of poems -- yes, poems -- Bradbury articulates a business model, er, I mean philosophy, that focuses on trusting and feeding your subconscious, then producing work you are passionate about that will find a market because it is good, dang it. And if it doesn This is an antidote to the current belief in writing to market, that if you just know your tropes, put in the hours and market like there's no tomorrow, you too will be a success. Bradbury says phooey to that. In these 11 essays and selection of poems -- yes, poems -- Bradbury articulates a business model, er, I mean philosophy, that focuses on trusting and feeding your subconscious, then producing work you are passionate about that will find a market because it is good, dang it. And if it doesn't, repurpose it or just hold on to it until the market changes. I went through each essay and tried to summarise the take-away points (I hope that reductionist approach doesn't have Mr Bradbury turning in his grave). And here's what I gleaned: 1. Write what you love or hate, not what you think sells. 2. Collect lists of nouns that you brainstorm. These nouns and their odd associations are a shortcut to your subconscious where all your best stories and ideas are stored. 3. Feed your muse. Read poetry! Creativity likes contrasts, not more of the same. 4. Write at least 1,000 words every day. That's one short story a week. Sell two short stories a month and that's a living (or it used to be if you are frugal). 5. The first draft of Fahrenheit 451 was written over nine days on a university library typewriter that cost 10 cents for 30 minutes to rent. 6. You can make your own life experiences into as rich a story as you like. With imagination and a lively subconscious (that you feed with stories and experiences) you have all the raw materials to build a great story from. 7. The Martiian Chronicles was outlined in a night when a NY editor said to Bradbury he had a bunch of short stories, but no novel. The moral of the story is, take your chances and push your luck when the chance arrives. Oh, and work quickly. 8. Don't let anyone tell you genre fiction is unimportant. Science fiction is popular because it is an exercise in problem solving the intractable dilemmas of the present. 9. You may think you've wasted years doing nothing much, but your subconscious has been awake the whole time taking notes. Your job is to find those notes. 10. Screenwriting is metaphor. Ideas are like cats. Stop trying to herd them and they will come to you of their own accord. 11. Work, relax, don't think. That is the zen in writing; a way to enter your creative subconscious. (what folk today have called entering the flow state). Download my starter library for free here - http://eepurl.com/bFkt0X

  22. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    Dear uncle Ray! I am once again bewitched by the magic of your words, which you left for me and millions of other readers. Thank you for combining all your essays and creating such an inspiring speech not only for future writers, but for any person who wants to do something in this world. Most of all I liked these ideas: - You don't complain about the hardships of writing, but stress that one should have fun with anything one does. If you're not having fun and if you'r Dear uncle Ray! I am once again bewitched by the magic of your words, which you left for me and millions of other readers. Thank you for combining all your essays and creating such an inspiring speech not only for future writers, but for any person who wants to do something in this world. Most of all I liked these ideas: - You don't complain about the hardships of writing, but stress that one should have fun with anything one does. If you're not having fun and if you're not joyful when you create something and express your thoughts in words, nothing good will come out of it. - Don't wait for inspiration with folded hands. You should do everything you like, get inspired and moved by other people, participate in everything and LIVE. And then ideas and inspiration will come running to you themselves. - Stay true to yourself. If your friends and close ones don't support your passions, make fun of you and don't take your aspirations seriously, it means those are not your people. Look for others and leave these ones behind. Following other peoples' wishes will always make you unhappy. Thank you for sharing your poems about art. Shame on me, but before reading this book I never knew you were good at poetry as well. Thank you for your love of fantasy and imagination. There aren't many people who realize the full value of these for each one of us. Thank you for your Zen. Your devoted reader, Victoria 👧 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ❗ If Bradury is your author, I really recommend watching his speech on Youtube: «An Evening with Ray Bradbury 2001». It's inspiring, thought-provoking and funny, too.

  23. 5 out of 5

    John

    Zen in the Art of Writing is a collection of Bradbury essays garnered from a wide variety of publications over a span of twenty years or so--making it a very uneven little book indeed. A couple of the essays were written as introductions to his novels, and reading them without that context makes them feel rather misplaced and self-congratulatory. Much of the book is autobiographical in nature, and, other than giving you a glimpse into Bradbury's own creative process (which I don't think would wo Zen in the Art of Writing is a collection of Bradbury essays garnered from a wide variety of publications over a span of twenty years or so--making it a very uneven little book indeed. A couple of the essays were written as introductions to his novels, and reading them without that context makes them feel rather misplaced and self-congratulatory. Much of the book is autobiographical in nature, and, other than giving you a glimpse into Bradbury's own creative process (which I don't think would work for most people), it doesn't offer a whole lot of practical writing advice. It is passionately written, however; and the enthusiasm he has for writing, writers, and art in general is both incredibly palpable and contagious. Bradbury writes everything from novels to short stories to plays to poems, so his style can drastically alter from one piece of writing to the next. Most of his writing I like, but I'm put off whenever he goes into slam poetry mode, which happens a couple of times during the course of the book. It's not a book I'm rushing out to recommend to everyone, but a worthwhile read, nonetheless.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Halley Sutton

    I will undoubtedly reread this, oh, weekly. I think I'm actually in love with Ray Bradbury, not even figuratively-- it's the great Hamlet of my life that he's dead so we could never date. Could have done without some of the poems at the end, but I loved it and found it pretty inspiring overall.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Florin Pitea

    A pleasant and instructive read. Recommended especially to writers.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Karrar

    I am a bit disappointed with this book. I read many reviews and many said it was superb. Well for me I have a different opinion. The book in general was well written, . It was like a memoir or something like that . The ideas were nice but you have to find them and extract the, since it was hidden and presented in indirect way. This book is for beginners. If u have a previous knowledge and read many books about writing then this book is not for you.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Zoe Cannon

    I picked this off my stack of writing-related nonfiction because I was really not in the mood to read Yet Another Marketing Book. In a way, there isn't much to this book - all the essays basically boil down to the same couple of bits of advice - but I found it worth reading anyway. It's one of those books that's more for the heart than the mind, more inspirational than instructional. And it's the perfect antidote to all the marketing books and the spreadsheeted despair they induce.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Liz Fenwick

    This has been my bath book for some time and it's ideal as it is a series of essays on creativity and writing. I love looking into other writer's minds and seeing how their process works. This is brilliant for that and also for looking at your own process and possibly trying something new. Highly recommend.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Raimey Gallant

    Spanning decades, this is a collection of Bradbury's odds and ends on the topics of creativity and writing. The writer's-life philosophies he preaches, they're not anything new, this having been published in the 90s, but I do feel, because of Bradbury's way with words, the lessons got a little deeper under my skin. His journey is inspiring, and I'm more determined than ever to pick up Farenheit 451 as well as a couple of his fiction anthologies.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Halleck

    Bradbury writes with enthusiasm and is prone to passion, often punctuating his examples with metaphors like great swirling pen flourishes, deliberately grand but lovely with a wink and, often, a hint of cheek. He writes about capturing and maintaining that very special childhood wonder we all have and most of us smother in adulthood, nurturing it, and allowing it to be a writer's Muse and guide. He promotes the tireless practice of writing, writing, writing for years to find one's footing, as he Bradbury writes with enthusiasm and is prone to passion, often punctuating his examples with metaphors like great swirling pen flourishes, deliberately grand but lovely with a wink and, often, a hint of cheek. He writes about capturing and maintaining that very special childhood wonder we all have and most of us smother in adulthood, nurturing it, and allowing it to be a writer's Muse and guide. He promotes the tireless practice of writing, writing, writing for years to find one's footing, as he did. Quantity until quality. Write until the process is so comfortable, so natural, that the playground for a writer's creativity is built and ready for the Muse to swing with abandon over the page, hand over hand, unrestricted by self-consciousness or hang-ups about technicalities or style. Bradbury champions, above all, love of the craft, and the essays collected in Zen in the Art of Writing largely boil down to: if you love it, you can do it! DO IT! Your entire life is your resource! Write! Write! WRITE! It's infectious. With such an enthusiastic cheerleader, it's impossible to read these essays and not feel like yes, I'm at the bottom of the hill and oh, it's so far to go...but you know what? I can do this. I can do this and enjoy it! The last essay in the book, the eponymous "Zen in the Art of Writing", is the essay most directed at writers looking for writerly advice. Whereas the others have bits and pieces that are helpful (the word association lists in particular are an intriguing exercise idea), all of "Zen" is highlightable, good sense advice from a man whose walk as a writer was just as strong as his talk.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.