Zen in the Art of Writing

Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury is not a single volume on writing. Rather, it is a collection of essays written over his long career. Each of the essays has a real nugget of insight for the reader. Bradbury teaches us about writing. He tells us to write about what we love, and what we hate and to always stay drunk on writing, because it saves us from the world of reality. The book’s title is a little misleading. While Bradbury makes some statements that sound like a “Zen Master”, that is the closest I could come to finding anything “Zen” about the book. I find the title a “hip” title some marketer probably dreamed up.

Bradbury devotes a chapter on the mechanics of writing, the way he learned it. To achieve success as a writer according to Bradbury, one must write at least a thousand words a day. The thousand words a day minimum must continue until the process becomes automatic. It is simply fascinating to get into the mind of one of the greatest science fiction writers on how the craft is done. This chapter alone is worth buying the book which is very economical. It is a wonderful book for the beginning writer and very inspirational for the advanced writer.

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