I’ve spoken at length about my love of Ray Bradbury; hell, I started a whole other blog, 52 In A Year, based on advice he gave in a wonderful speech around 2001. He said to aspiring writers that instead of working on a debut novel, they should try writing one short story every week of the year. As he said:
“The problem with novels is you can spend a whole year writing one and it might not turn out well because you haven’t learned to write yet. But the best hygiene for, for beginning writers or intermediate writers, is to write a hell of a lot of short stories. If you could write one short story a week, doesn’t matter what the quality is to start but at least you’re practicing, and at the end of a year you have 52 short stories and I defy you to write 52 bad ones. Can’t be done.
It can’t be done. At the end of 30 weeks or 40 weeks or the end of the year, all of a sudden a story will come that’s just wonderful. That’s what happened to me.”
So I set out to do just that. And, over the course of the following year, I wrote 22 short stories, 18 chapters of a novel (I couldn’t help myself), 2 creative non-fiction essays, and 10 spoken word pieces, as well as two short film screenplays. All in all, some 90,000+ words. The year before that? I’d written maybe 3,000 words, tops. So, without a doubt, it was a great success for me. It led me to enrol in a Masters of Creative Writing, to discover poetry, and to the various publications that have come since. I owe everything to Ray Bradbury, to his inspiring words.
So I thought I’d write a little something about him today, on his birthday, just for context. Here now are some great quotes from the man himself, in the hope that they might do for you what they did for me: provide endless inspiration.
Happy Birthday, you wonderful, wonderful man, and may you forever rest in peace.