Hi everyone –
If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you probably know that Ray Bradbury was a HUGE influencer on my writing. In fact, he probably saved me from giving up my dream.
I cried this morning when I found out we lost Ray Bradbury. He made such an impact on my life and my writing.
I was lucky enough to meet Ray a few years ago, and I was struck by his capacity to love. He actually made me weepy when he talked about how deeply he loved writing. You could hear his passion in his voice, and his eyes reflected an infectious joy for storytelling.
Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for. – Ray Bradbury
At that point I had been so disillusioned with rejections that I found it difficult to write anything new. I asked him what he would recommend to improve my writing. I expected a craft book recommendation, but instead he challenged me, and gave me the best advice I’ve ever received.
Ray told me to write 52 short stories in 52 weeks.
At first, I thought it was a waste of time. I had sold short stories before, and there wasn’t much money in it. Then I realized that money couldn’t be the motivator.
It was love. Pure love.
And every week I wrote.
As the year went by and I looked over the mass of stories, I realized what a gift he’d given me. Story after story, filled with new characters and places. I wrote two more novels and over 70 new short stories. His challenge helped make magic for me as a writer.
More importantly, he reminded me why I write.
The answer is simple…
So I couldn’t let this day pass by without saying thank you to an incredible soul. Although Ray’s gone from our world, I can’t help but think he’s embracing the next adventure with a smile and that amazing spirit… “You’ve got to jump off cliffs and build your wings on the way down.” — Ray Bradbury
I bet he has some gorgeous wings… RIP Ray.
Thank you for all the stories and adventures, Ray.