Io9 reported this morning that SF pioneer and literary legend Ray Bradbury had passed away at the age of 91. Bradbury is known for his incredible body of work including THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES, and FAHRENHEIT 451, both of which profoundly impacted my adolescent development and fueled my love of science fiction.
Mr. Bradbury was a long-time participant of the Santa Barbara Writers’ Conference. It was a speech he gave at this conference one year that had the most profound impact on me as a writer and as a person. Though I didn’t attend, this speech was included in the book, THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO WRITING FICTION by Barnaby Conrad and the Staff of the Santa Barbara Writers’ Conference. I’d like to share Ray Bradbury’s words that have stayed with me throughout my writing career and my life.
“If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”
― Ray Bradbury