Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury


I picked up this book a couple of years ago on the advice of many Amazon reviews because I am very weary of the “how to write” books. When I first set out to write in my early twenties, I combed through the local library for every “how to write” book I could find. In my mind, I was obsessed with the idea that there was a formula that I hadn’t quite worked out. I wrote a lot but I thought I needed something extra to unlock that door to becoming a proper writer. Each book I picked up was so dull and uninspiring so it was an amazing feeling (although 15 year later) I would find this book; with a writer such as Raymond Bradbury you would hope the last thing you could call this book is dull.

Raymond certainly has a way with words and his advice is very thorough and straightforward. He tells it from the inside, giving writers advice that isn’t set in stone but is left for them to take away and make it their own. He is very focussed on keeping this a book for you to explore as an individual and for it not to be a “how to” book. One size does not fit all. Rewards do not come with fame and with such an individual gift as creativity inside you, why would you just be a copy of another author? All of this is explored and makes for a very interesting read which will allow you to reflect on yourself as a writer.

I would highly recommend this book if you want to be inspired. As times change from rigid publishing to bursts of DIY self-publishing, zines and blogs – this book is perfect for the writer of today. It certainly stands the test of time. It isn’t a step-by-step workbook. It is packed full of simple advice that leaves you pondering. This is about using your imagination and your experiences and getting it down on paper. To be a writer, you have to write. Right?

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