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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
Perhaps the most inspiring lesson I drew from this wonderful book is contained in the essay Run Fast, Stand Still, in which Bradbury urges the writer to write very quickly, pushing aside the critical voice inside your head that can freeze the hand as it hovers over the page, and put down the first thing that occurs to you. In this way you are able to get your 1,000 words...
Published on 25 Oct 2002 by Jeremy Craddock

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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This book will teach you almost nothing about writing!
Although this book is an interesting read, it doesn't quite do what it says on the cover. There are approximately three helpful tips contained within it, and one of these will only be useful if you plan to write extraordinary fantastical stories without having any idea of what you're going to write before you start!
The book is really just a collection of short and...
Published on 4 Jan 2004


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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, 25 Oct 2002
By 
Jeremy Craddock (Warrington, Cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Zen in the Art of Writing (Mass Market Paperback)
Perhaps the most inspiring lesson I drew from this wonderful book is contained in the essay Run Fast, Stand Still, in which Bradbury urges the writer to write very quickly, pushing aside the critical voice inside your head that can freeze the hand as it hovers over the page, and put down the first thing that occurs to you. In this way you are able to get your 1,000 words a day done in ragtime and then go back and do the all-important revision.
Bradbury's writing style is so intoxicating - just like his short stories and novels - that you'll fly through this book.
His enthusiasm for writing - for WORK - is infectious, and this book has done much to reignite my desire to write.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable collection of essays on writing, 6 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Zen in the Art of Writing (Mass Market Paperback)
I normally do not like such "how to" books, but this one is different because Mr. Bradbury doesn't offer a set of strict guidelines. Instead, he gives thoughtful and informative suggestions on "releasing the creative genius within you." From giving methods of writing that he has practiced over the years, such as tapping into one's muse or subconscious in order to release one's full potential and originality, to using examples from his own immense body of work, Mr. Bradbury shows how writing can be not only an enjoyable process, but a cathartic one as well. He is an impassioned individual with uncanny insight, and I highly recommend this book to anyone remotely interested in writing.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare book that offers insights into the writing process., 12 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Zen in the Art of Writing (Mass Market Paperback)
As a rule I find books that profess to "explain" the writing/creative process to be useless at best and numbing at worst. Bradbury, however, isn't interested in writing a "how-to" book. This is because he rightly considers the creative process to be impossible to neatly sum up or explain.
Still, this book doesn't mystify writing either. Bradbury reminds the reader/writer that the creative process is highly individual and that the best source that we have when we write is ourself: our memories, our experiences and our imagination, which allows us to take the stuff inside us and transform it into something fresh and new. His discussions of how he got the ideas for some of his stories (particularly fascinating to me because I had read all of them) are gems, offering insights that are fascinating in their own right and instructive to those examining their own methods of writing.
As a playwright, this book was an inspiration to me when I first read it several years ago, and it continues to be to this day. This is possibly the only book on writing that I would recommend to anyone who is a writer who thinks he/she might want to be one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insights into creativity, 14 Feb 2009
By 
Steven Unwin "Steve Unwin" (Preston, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Zen in the Art of Writing (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a curious but very interesting book which came as something of a surprise. Those of you familiar with Ray Bradbury's work will probably know him for his novels and short stories, often with a science fiction theme.
In this book Ray talks of the creative process. The book is actually a collection of essays written over a period of over twenty years. Though he describes creativity directed at the process of writing, the lessons and ideas have a much broader relevance.

Ray reveals some how-to's including the simple idea of capturing key words to describe ideas in a notebook. He describes how sometimes these key words have lay dormant in his notebook, even for decades, before they have been the spark for a story, almost as if as keys they waited for him to realise the ideas they represented.

For me however the main feature revealed is the immense passion associated with creativity. The book exudes this passion through the use of sometimes exquisite language which captures the essence of a life of creative change.
"I have not so much thought my way through life, as done things and found out what it was and who I was after doing it."
On later realising why he chose particular names for characters in a story, he writes "What a sly thing my subconscious was to name them thus. And not to tell me,"

On ideas he writes "I'd thought that you could beat, pummel and thrash an idea into existence. Under such treatment, of course any decent idea folds up its paws, turns on its back, fixes its eyes on eternity and dies."

A book that captures something of the real magic of creativity
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration not education, 11 Mar 2004
By 
sam (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Zen in the Art of Writing (Mass Market Paperback)
If you need a book about grammar or literary agents then this isn't it. It is a book purely about releasing creative energy through the medium of writing.
Personally, I found the book exciting to read. I was burning up with enthusiasm to get at the word processor and I actually followed the concrete advice he gives. All I can say is that it worked for me: I had not written before and I have now.
Surely the most important thing for a writer is to write and be passionate about writing? If there is a better way to say what you want to say then be a filmaker or a painter or a critic.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top notch guide, 26 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Zen in the Art of Writing (Mass Market Paperback)
I bought this book over four years ago and have read it once a year ever since. Bradbury discusses the notion of inspiration, with helpful tips on how to keep and feed your muse. Drawing upon and sharing from his own personal experience, this is a book that will make you feel alive- regardless of whether you are a writer or just have the soul and spirit of a writer (or an artist or a romantic or a lover of life)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for those with a creative spark, 2 Mar 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Zen in the Art of Writing (Mass Market Paperback)
A writer will often go to another writer who is more
successful than they are for advice. So if I told you
that Ray Bradbury, unarguably one of the pillars of the
sci-fi/fantasy community, was going to give you some words
of wisdom about your writing career, I think you'd want
the chance, right? Well, here it is. Bradbury has written
a book that will jump-start anybody's creativity, be you writer, painter, musician--whatever. And before you say,
"Argh! Another dry, useless 'How to Write Fiction'
self-help book!" remember that this is Bradbury we're
talking about here. Always insightful and amusing, the
only reason this book is not an afternoon read is because
it gives you to much to think about in each individual
essay. This is a staple among gifts I give to artistic
friends, and a must-read for any creative person.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This book will teach you almost nothing about writing!, 4 Jan 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Zen in the Art of Writing (Mass Market Paperback)
Although this book is an interesting read, it doesn't quite do what it says on the cover. There are approximately three helpful tips contained within it, and one of these will only be useful if you plan to write extraordinary fantastical stories without having any idea of what you're going to write before you start!
The book is really just a collection of short and incomplete autobiographies that Ray Bradbury has written over the years. They don't include much more than some accounts of the inspiration behind his stories. The book ends with some of Bradbury's poetry, which was a little too surreal for my taste and very heavy going.
If you want to find out about Bradbury's life and how he concocts weird stories then this is the book for you, but don't be fooled - this book isn't very helpful in terms of improving your writing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for Ray Bradbury fans and writers., 24 Nov 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Zen in the Art of Writing (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is a must read for Ray Bradbury fans, writers and people in general. You will not only learn what has influenced Ray throughout his life, but writers will find insight and inspiration, and everyone who reads this book will learn how to find the magic in everyday life.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Title is misleading, 12 Feb 2004
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This review is from: Zen in the Art of Writing (Mass Market Paperback)
I've had this book for just over a year and have read it twice in that time. Both times I came away feeling unsatisfied in that it didn't give me the information I needed to develop my own writing technique.
It's not really a book about the mechanics of writing or story composition - it is a collection of essays that Ray Bradbury wrote for various publications in years gone by and "Zen in the Art of Writing" is simply the title of one of these essays. During my first read read through this book I was disappointed to find that it seemed to be just a billboard for the short stories he has written. There's a lot of "This happened and I thought of that and became inspired to write this". And because I had not heard of many of these stories, I could not even link his experience to the story and have that moment of "Aah, so that's what was behind it".
Some of the content is useful in that you think that he offers techniques that you can perhaps play with. But I didn't expect that this book would be so autobiographical which is why I'm giving it 3 stars. However, the book is well-written and it may have got a higher rating from me if I had read it with different expectations.
I will keep this book to read again. You do get a sense that there is something inspiring lurking under the surface and I hope that one day I will pick the book up and be ready to receive the inspiration that is there.
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Zen in the Art of Writing
Zen in the Art of Writing by R Bradbury (Mass Market Paperback - 1 Jan 1920)
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