Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Quoting Ray Bradbury

“And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.”

“For the first thing a writer should be is—excited. He should be a thing of fevers and enthusiasms. Without such vigor, he might as well be out picking peaches or digging ditches…”

“The faster you blurt, the more swiftly you write, the more honest you are.”
“We all need someone higher, wiser, older to tell us we’re not crazy after all, that what we’re doing is all right.”

“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”

“The artist learns what to leave out…His great art will often be what he does not say, what he leaves out, his ability to state simply with clear emotion, the way he wants to go.”

“There is only one type of story in the world. Your story.”

“The time will come when your characters will write your stories for you, when your emotions, free of literary cant and commercial bias, will blast the page and tell the truth.”

On this I 8 Wednesday, which quote from Ray Bradbury’s book, Zen in the Art of Writing speaks most to you?




*photos by flickr

26 comments:

  1. My very favorite Bradbury quote actually comes from one of the best books I've read, Bradbury's Dandelion Wine. I think of it often this time of year, once the gardens get started.

    "Dig in the earth, delve in the soul."

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  2. Hi Wendy! I followed you over from Elana's blog. Beautiful thoughts. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  3. “And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.” This really speaks to me because lately I'm learning that writing is so much more than the pursuit of a goal. I started out with only the goal of publication in mind. Now that the goal seems ever further away than when I started--and yet I continue to write--I've done a lot of self examination as to why.

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  4. "We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”

    I love this one and it is my hope and prayer.

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  5. “The time will come when your characters will write your stories for you, when your emotions, free of literary cant and commercial bias, will blast the page and tell the truth.”

    As a writer who continually wages war with her Internal Editor, this quote gives me hope. I have days when the words flow freely, but all too often my IE is whispering in my ear. "You can't use that adverb." "Too much historical detail." "More tension, less resolution." I know I have to be aware of the guidelines and market and genre restrictions, but one day I'd love to be free to tell my stories my way without feeling quite so tied to the "rules."

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  6. I like this one:
    "And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.”

    I am blessed to be alive, and to be a writer. What a marvelous gift!
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  7. All of these are so good!!

    I was hit especially by the idea that writing faster makes you more honest. I've been really struggling with whether to "craft" the pages with great writing, or just to write as fast as it comes and go with it, knowing I can go back.

    The truth is, the faster I write, I find when I go back those pages are some of my favorites. I hadn't thought of them as honest, but I think that's it. I'm not thinking, "Is this okay to write? Do I want someone to read this piece into my soul? Do I want to be this outright in faith?" I just write, and it's better than when I think it through.

    Which leads well into the next quote up there:
    “We all need someone higher, wiser, older to tell us we’re not crazy after all, that what we’re doing is all right.” I needed to hear someone say it was okay to just blurt it all out in the book, and he did. :)

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  8. Thank you for your comment on my blog today! I am so happy to have found your blog. I am not a writer, but a writer wanna-be ;) and I love your blog!

    Melanie
    ~ melscoffeebreak.blogspot.com ~

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  9. My favorite passage is on the care of feeding of the Muse: "...you have made a clean, well-lighted place to keep the Muse. You have given her, him, it, or whatever, room to turn around in. And through training, you have relaxed yourself enough not to stare discourteously when inspiration comes into the room."
    Thank you for choosing my favorite author and book for this morning's inspiration.

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  10. Good Lord! These are awesome quotes. Most of them made me tear up. I needed these. All of them. Thank you.

    The one that spoke to me the most, however, was "The faster you blurt, the more swiftly you write, the more honest you are.”

    I have a nasty habit of editing myself even before I start writing.

    Happy Wednesday,
    Jen

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  11. For the first thing a writer should be is—excited.

    I love that one, because it reminds why I started writing in the first place.

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  12. ALL of them speak to me! :-) Tweeting this now.

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  13. “And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.”


    This one is my favorite, though they are all very, very good.

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  14. Hi Wendy -

    His descriptions of the writer and the process draw me. The idea of tipping over and allowing the thoughts to flow onto paper gave me a picture of water being poured from a teapot. It's an image I won't forget.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  15. Wendy: I love Ray. I quoted the cups saying on Facebook last week. But I also like the one about what you choose to leave out. That's profound.

    P.S. I hope we can meet someday too, and laugh our faces off together! Here's a sample of mine: ahahahahahahahaaahaahhahaaaaaaaaaaa! Loud, boistrous, impulsive, musical, sparkly. I like myself best when I laugh.

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  16. “There is only one type of story in the world. Your story.”


    This is the one that jumped out at me. We each have our individual stories to tell in our own way:)

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  17. I HAVE to get that book! Thanks for these inspiring quotes. And I love the "My Crew" picture in the sidebar--beautiful!

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  18. Wendy:
    Thanks for sharing these. I hadn't gotten to know Ray Bradbury. I don't care for science fiction. Something scared me back when I was in high school. So I veered away from anything that smacks of it. I seem to have shorted myself.

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  19. That first one... that it reminds you that you are alive... love it!!!

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  20. I actually have a book autographed by him! (at least I'm pretty sure it was him) I'll have to dig it out. *sigh* I love author signed books...

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  21. Oh, I like the last one. I want my characters to be so alive to me they do unexpected things. Then maybe they will seem real to the reader. But love the other quotes, too.

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  22. Joanne, Oh what a great gardening mantra. I so wish I had a green thumb.

    Kelly, Elana rocks. Might be kind of nice to claim those quotes as my own, but uh...then that would be plagerism.

    Georgiana, I completely agree. Writing is so much more than being on a road to being published. It's a way to share truth in shockingly beautiful ways.

    Chrystie, Somehow I knew you'd like that one. It might be my favorite as well b/c of all the meaning it conveys.

    Keli, I've decided I'd like you to take arms with my ms. You seem to wage war readily...spread that editing love around, will you? :D We would complement each other well.

    Karen, That's how I feel sometimes. I mean really, does it get any better than this?

    Heidi, Sounds like that uncensored stuff is coming out the most raw and real. People respond to that. Way to go!

    Melanie, I'm popping back over to yours tomorrow morning when I can have a longer look. Thanks for your kind words.

    Debbie, I thoroughly enjoyed the book when I read it several weeks ago. How cool you found an entirely unique inspiration to share from the same book. I'm amazed every time I click over to Novel Matters at how many things I relate to with you ladies.

    Jen, Glad they reached in and grabbed you today. And about voice, I liked what you wrote on your blog today.

    Patti, Ain't that the truth. I still feel that way (most of the time).

    Cassandra, I tried to thank you for the RT on Twitter, but it wouldn't let me. Stubborn bird. Anyway, thank you. I'm glad the quotes shook something in you.

    Erica, I might hang that one up near my computer.

    Susan, I can't forget it either...a constant reminder of the importance of sifting through what we release and what we keep inside.

    Jeanette, What a crack up...I quoted the cups one on Twitter last week. My mind, your mind...masterminds! :D :D :D Did you hear that? A combo of teeheeteeheeteehee.

    Terri, Absolutely. And you have one to share.

    Jill, It's full of wisdom. Thanks about the pic. I like it b/c it was natural. We all fell on our bellies and there you have it.

    quietspirit, The book I quoted is more of a compilation of encouragement for writing. It doesn't delve into the heebeyjeebey stuff. I think I just created a new spelling for that word.

    Genny, Like your new pic. It is grand to be alive...yes, yes it is. :D

    T.Anne, Drooling. Dig it out! Send to: 555 Find That Book Avenue and Mail It To Me.

    Karen, Mine have being doing a ton of those in my WIP. Ah, it snaps me right to attention when it happens. Forces me to pay closer attention and say, "What & where did that come from?"

    Peeps, you're still helping me keep it real and I'm loving it. It is so rejuvenating to discuss writing stuff. It feeds my brain.

    DD has a tooth loose. Wild to watch her run through emotions about it. As of late everyone in the family takes turn wiggling (which is very appropriate since I recently wrote about The Wiggle Room).

    Sleep with all your teeth in your mouth and your head in the stars.

    Dream big dreams.
    And then tell the world about them tomorrow.
    ~ Wendy

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  23. Beautiful quotes. Thank you. I am going to have to write some of them down.

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  24. “The time will come when your characters will write your stories for you, when your emotions, free of literary cant and commercial bias, will blast the page and tell the truth.”

    I love this quote. This one speaks to me and I love it when my characters take off telling the story for me.

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  25. What a great post! So glad I stumbled upon your blog... My favorite Bradbury quote is:

    "The artist learns what to leave out…His great art will often be what he does not say, what he leaves out, his ability to state simply with clear emotion, the way he wants to go.”

    I love that quote. As a writer, I want to connect. I want others to feel something when they read what I write.

    I don't want to insult the reader by too much explanation. Instead, I would hope the reader gets sucked into the pages, because he or she totally "gets it" and wants to enjoy the journey. If we are honest, the reader will understand.

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  26. "The faster you blurt, the more swiftly you write, the more honest you are.”

    I need to write faster.

    Great post
    Lyn

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