Zen in the Art of Writing
How much do I want to read more? 7/10
An author talking about his passion for writting. We get lost in his many stories from his many books. But when he steps back and talk about the act of creation, that sounds good. Overall, it reads fast.
Ray Bradbury wrote the screenplays for "Moby Dick".
HOW TO CLIMB THE TREE OF LIFE, THROW ROCKS AT YOURSELF, AND GET DOWN AGAIN WITHOUT BREAKING YOUR BONES OR YOUR SPIRIT: A PREFACE WITH A TITLE NOT MUCH LONGER THAN THE BOOK
I am stunned at my capacity as a nine-year-old. Where did that judgment and strength come from? Where did I find the courage to rebel, change my life, live alone?
I love that nine-year-old, whoever in hell he was. Without him, I could not have survived to introduce these essays.
Part ofthe answer, ofcourse, is in the fact that I was so madly in love with Buck Rogers, I could not see my love, my hero, my life, destroyed. It is almost that simple.
So I collected comics, fell in love with carnivals and World's Fairs and began to write. And what, you ask, does writing teach us?
First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right. We must earn life once it has been awarded us. Life asks for rewards back because it has favored us with animation.
So while our art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us.
Secondly, writing is survival. Any art, any good work, of course, is that.
Not to write, for many of us, is to die.
Remember that pianist who said that if he did not practice every day he would know, if he did not practice for two days, the critics would know, after three days, his audi- ences would know.
If you did not write every day, the poisons would accumulate and you would begin to die, or act crazy, or both.
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
For writing allows just the proper recipes of truth, life, reality.
I have learned, on my journeys, that if I let a day go by without writing, I grow uneasy. Two days and I am in tremor. Three and I suspect lunacy. Four and I might as well be a hog, suffering the flux in a wallow. An hour's writing is tonic.
" . . . to gently lie and prove the lie true . . . everything is finally a promise . . . what seems a lie is a ramshackle need, wishing to be born. …"
Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The I landmine is me.
After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together.
THE JOY OF WRITING
favorite writers: Dickens, Twain, Wolfe, Peacock, Shaw, Molière, Jonson, Wycherly, Sam Johnson. Poets: Gerard Manley Hopkins, Dylan Thomas, Pope. Painters: El Greco, Tintoretto. Musicians: Mozart, Haydn, Ravel, Johann Strauss
They all knew the joy of creating in large or small forms. They knew fun in their work.
Only this: if you are writing without zest, without gusto, without love, without fun, you are only half a writer.
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.
When was the last time you were stopped by the police in your neighborhood because you like to walk, and perhaps think, at night? It happened to me just often enough that, irritated, I wrote "The Pedestrian," a story of a man arrested and taken off for clinical study because he insists on looking at un-televised reality, and breathing un-air- conditioned air.
What do you want more than anything else in the world? What do you love, or what do you hate?
Find a character, like yourself, who will want something or not want something, with all his heart.
The character, in his great love, or hate, will rush you through to the end of the story.
Life is short, misery sure, mortality certain. But on the way, in your work, why not carry those two inflated pig- bladders labeled Zest and Gusto. With them, traveling to the grave.
RUN FAST, STAND STILL, OR, THE THING AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS, OR, NEW GHOSTS FROM OLD MINDS
Observe almost any survival creature, you see the same. Jump, run, freeze.
The faster you blurt, the more swiftly you write, the more honest you are. In hesitation is thought. In delay comes the effort for a style, instead of leaping upon truth which is the only style worth deadfalling or tiger-trapping.
Suddenly you look around and see that you have done something almost fresh.
I wrote at least a thousand words a day every day from the age of twelve on.