I’ve never worked a day in my life…

ray bradburyRay Bradbury, 91, died on Tuesday.  Bradbury, a celebrated fiction writer, is best known for Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles & The Illustrated Man.  Brain Pickings had a terrific post on a speech he gave at a writer’s symposium.  While his speech was directed to writers, there is an important message here for all of us.  A few choice excerpts:

…Writing is not a serious business. It’s a joy and a celebration. You should be having fun with it…It’s not work. If it’s work, stop and do something else…

…People are always saying “Well, what do we do about a sudden blockage in your writing?…You’re being warned…Your subconscious is saying “I don’t like you anymore. You’re writing about things I don’t give a damn for”.

…I’ve never worked a day in my life…The joy of writing has propelled me from day to day and year to year. I want you to envy me, my joy. Get out of here tonight and say: “Am I being joyful?” And if you’ve got a writer’s block, you can cure it this evening by stopping whatever you’re writing and doing something else. You picked the wrong subject.

Ray Bradbury (August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012)

If you are interested in a personal perspective on Bradbury, check out Christian Fahey’s post at The Upside: Ray Bradbury: An Appreciation

Sources: Quote explore-blog; Artwork by Lou Romano via louromano.blogspot.com via Mme Scherzo

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  1. Alex Jones says:

    That is a great goal, to act, enjoy doing that act and make money from that act.


  2. Yes, when it comes together, you have the Bradbury success story or its equivalent.


  3. Now there’s an individual who found the balance. Bravo to him and the literary gifts he left for legions of readers.


  4. Such an amazing man, and a true talent… I devoured his work from a young age.


  5. Sage advice. What a lucky guy, spending his years doing what he loved. Not everyone is so fortunate.


  6. Much admired.


  7. When you’re as genius a writer as Ray Bradbury, you probably only have to write one draft of your novel or short story. The first draft is great fun, but most of us lesser mortals (whilst honing our craft) need to revise each piece of work at least five times. Also, when Bradbury was starting out, there were a lot more publishers to go round. I get in a really bad mood with the opening page of whatever I write, knowing that I must grab a publisher’s interest straight away, if they’re to read on. It’s hell.


    • Yes, I can imagine the frustration. Now, put on another pair of shoes and walk (in say mine). I would love to have at least written 1 page, opening or otherwise, that would be deemed worthy of publisher review. Plod on Sarah. We look up to writers like you…


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