Zen In The Art Of Writing is a collection of essays on writing. Half of the essays deal with books and stories Bradbury wrote. Ray has good advice about writing. Bradbury suggests you write every day. You must stay true to yourself. You must discover your imaginative self and feed your muse. Bradbury discusses where his ideas come from. He free associates; generating lists of nouns; creating titles and then seeing if any of those titles generate ideas worth writing. 8 poems close the volume. They all deal with creativity. I liked “Go Panther-Pawed Where All The Mined Truths Sleep” and “The Other Me.”
Quote From The Book:
Work, Relaxation, Don’t Think
Once separated out. Now, all three together in a process. For if one works, one finally relaxes and stops thinking. True creation occurs then and only then.
But work, without right thinking, is almost useless. I repeat myself, but, the writer who wants to tap the larger truth in himself must reject the temptations of Joyce or Camus or Tennessee Williams, as exhibited in literary reviews. He must forget the money waiting for him in mass circulation. He must ask himself, “What do I really think of this world, what do I love, fear, hate?” and begin to pour this on paper.
Then, through the emotions, working steadily, over a long period of time, his writing will clarify; he will relax because he thinks right and he will think even righter because he relaxes. The two will become interchangeable. At last he will begin to see himself. At night, the very phosphorescence of his insides will throw shadows on the wall. At last the surge, the agreeable blending of work, not thinking and relaxation will be like the blood in one’s body, flowing, because it has to flow, moving because it has to move, from the heart.
– page 134