I finished the podcast, none of the five books on the library waiting list has come up yet, and I was driving so I couldn’t browse for a new book, so I pulled one of my favorite chestnuts out and began listening (again) to Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury.
I’m currently enjoying a little burst of creativity, so Bradbury’s book — subtitled “Releasing the Creative Genius Within You” — resonated in an interesting new way today. I found myself nodding along in the introduction when narrator Jim Frangione read,
“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
“For writing allows just the proper recipes of truth, life, reality as you are able to eat, drink and digest without hyperventilating and flopping like a dead fish in your bed.”
He describes the book as a collection of essays about writing over 30 years that “all echo the same truths of explosive self-revelation and continuous astonishment at what your deep well contains if you just haul off and shout down it.”
There’s nothing more fun than diving off a cliff, pen in hand or keyboard under your fingers, and catching an air current that releases a story or a torrent of images worth preserving for all time, or at least for a week or so. Bradbury’s essays are a constant reminder that writing is play, not work. I often find that when my creative spirits are lagging, a dose of Bradbury is always good for the soul. And when I’m in a comparative groove, I can drink a case of Bradbury and still be on my feet.