This week’s writing tip comes from the little gem of a book, Zen in the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury. It is a collection of short essays on Bradbury’s life as a writer. Some of it harkens back to a time in writing that we can’t relate to anymore, the pulps, but much of it is just about being a living, breathing writer and finding your way in the world. You don’t have to read or write science fiction to get a lot out of this book.
Here, a snippet, from his chapter on how to keep and feed a muse.
“Read poetry every day of your life. Poetry is good because if flexes muscles you don’t use often enough. Poetry expands the senses and keeps them in prime condition. It keeps you aware of your nose, your eyes, your ear, your tongue, your hand. And above all, poetry is compacted metaphor or simile. Such metaphors, like Japanese paper flowers, may expand outward into gigantic shapes. Ideas lie everywhere through the poetry books, yet how rarely have I herd short story teachers recommending them for browsing.”