Monday, June 11, 2012

Ray Bradbury and Our Future

You may have already been aware that Ray Bradbury died last week at 91. There are several amazing aspects of Ray Bradbury's amazing career that are worth noting.

How about the fact that he was a prolific writer all the way to the end? He claimed that in his entire life, he never got writer's block. He was well known and loved as the author of Farenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, Dandelion Wine, The Illustrated Man, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and many other books.

One of his less famous titles that can be helpful to any writer is his book Zen and the Art of Writing. A key point that he makes in there is that the things that tick you off can be just as much a source of inspired writing as the things that you love. And that was one of the dynamics that he claimed kept him from getting stuck. If you can name one thing that you love or one thing that you hate, you have a starting point.

Curiosity always leads me to learn what I want to learn and Bradbury was the same way. He never finished school, but made great use of the public libraries to learn what he wanted to learn, and later in life, he became a fundraiser for public libraries.

Finally, consider this. When we were younger, most of us thought that 91 was incredibly old. But here was a brilliant example of a person who was brilliant and active all the way to that age.

Bradbury will continue to inspire readers on many levels for a long time to come, whether it is his beautiful writing style that opened new territory for many sci-fi writers, the ideas contained within his writing, or simply the fact that he was able to do it until the day his body gave out.

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