Ray Bradbury’s Practical and Inspiring Writing Advice

"Don’t talk about it; write."

The late, great Ray Bradbury, a master of modern science fiction, was born on this day in 1920. Bradbury was full of wit and wisdom when it came to dishing out practical writing advice. His 1990 book Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity is a must read for writers who need a jolt of inspiration. “A prescient lyrical writer with an abiding hatred for intolerance, Bradbury influenced generations of readers and many of our most famous dreamers, from Stephen King to Steven Spielberg,” wrote Junot Díaz in 2012. Celebrate the author’s life and literary career with some of his best advice about creativity, the writing process, and the importance of libraries.

“You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads.”

“You fail only if you stop writing.”

“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.”

“I absolutely demand of you and everyone I know that they be widely read in every damn field there is; in every religion and every art form and don’t tell me you haven’t got time! There’s plenty of time. You need all of these cross-references. You never know when your head is going to use this fuel, this food for its purposes.”

“Be pragmatic, then. If you’re not happy with the way your writing has gone, you might give my method a try. If you do, I think you might easily find a new definition for Work. And the word is LOVE.”