Ray Bradbury Writing Tips

May 26, 2017

I’ve been on a Bradbury binge lately.
Love everything he says about the craft.

Here are some of his tips on maintaining a good writing hygiene.
1. Write 1000 words a day

2. Don’t start off writing novels, unless you’re super good at that already, but start with short stories. Novels are too hard and takes too long to finish and you won’t know if they’re good until it’s done. With short stories, you’ll learn the structure of story telling faster, and you’ll have multiple stories finished quickly. Some of them will be good.

3. Write one short story a week, after a year you’ll have 52. Out of that one may be good. The next year, maybe three will be good. And so on. Writing is a craft you’ll get better at. His first stories were absolutely terrible, it took him 10 years to get good.

4. Write about what you LOVE. Write about what you hate. Don’t care what the commercial success will be or what your readers will think. Write for yourself, but with gusto and zest. That’s what your inner self wants to talk about anyways and you’ll always be inspired.

5. Writer’s block means your subconscious mind doesn’t like what you are currently working on. If you work from a place of love and zest, without worrying about readers, you’ll be fine. If you overthink the process, the muse will flee and you get blocked. Don’t try to be political or overly conscious in your writing, this is writing to an audience and overthinking things. Just write what pleases you and gives you joy.

6. Input matters. Read one great short story a night. One great essay a night. One great poem a night. Read the all time classics, stay away from the modern stuff. Watch, read, listen to a variety of fields.

7. Go to libraries and just wander around. The books that want to reach you will stand out. Flip through it, if it doesn’t immediately spark your interest, put it away and go to the next one that calls you.

8. Find a wife and friends who will support your journey. Ignore and give up everyone else who will hinder you, including family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc.

9. Write a list of words that pop out of your subconscious mind. Those are clues sent to you by your inner self. A few of those words will turn into great stories.

10. Writing is like breathing, you do it because you have to do it to live. That’s the life of the author. Go too many days without writing and you’ll once again become poisoned by the world around you.

Resources:
Zen in the Art of Writing – Ray Bradbury
I only just started this book but it has all his tips on writing, including how to get the Muse to work with you.