chewing ideas down to stubble, then moving on…

Book Review: Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

Posted by Jason on December 3, 2008


Click link for Amazon.com

Click link for Amazon.com


I thought it was great how Bradbury does not give us the same self-indulgent, tortured-artist attitude that many contemporary authors (Anne Lamott comes to mind) show us toward their work. While each essay treats us to Bradbury’s thoughts on a different topic, they all show the unwavering love and enthusiasm the author has for his craft. 

I especially love in the title essay when Bradbury seeks a militant middle ground between writing to make money and writing to please the academia. Through writing as much as possible, he claims, one can find himself/herself as an individual. This uniqueness in each individual is both what sells and what pleases the literati. It’s an interesting thought. 

Bradbury is obviously kind of quirky, and I can see where some people think that he’s a bit pompous about his writing. However, I see it as the perfect balance of confidence and humility. He knows exactly how good he is, and doesn’t need to tell us he’s any better or worse than just that…

I’d recommend this collection of essays to anyone who is interested in writing or is aspiring to be a writer. Any time a respected author talks to us miserable wannabe authors about writing, it usually turns out to be well worth reading.


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