I picked up a copy of “Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You” by Ray Bradbury at Half-Price Books and I’m wondering if anyone out there has thoughts on it before I crack it open. Bradbury is one of the first writers I read on a regular basis and I lead a short small group discussion on “The Martian Chronicles” with a group of teens this summer. He’s a writer I respect and enjoy though I had no idea he wrote a book on writing craft until I saw it on the shelf, waiting for me to buy it.
Okay. Get over the pure 1990s cheese of the cover art. Let’s chat a little bit about the inside of the book instead. Bradbury’s published over 500 stories, novels, plays, essays, and so on. He likely has something worthwhile to say about writing. Plus, it’s short at 158 pages so I’m sure it will be a quick read. That said, it’s likely to sit at the bottom of the pile on the bedside table for at least another month or two as I work through this book and that collection. So while I have every intention of reading it, that won’t be for a while and in the meantime I’d appreciate reader help.
Does this book work for you? Why or why not? Is there another book about writing as craft you would compare it to, for better or worse? Is it worth a young writer’s time? What do you think of Bradbury overall? I’m especially curious to hear from the people who had to read his work in middle or high school (not me – I found Bradbury on my own). Does anyone out there consider him influential on their writing style?
See you in the comment section, and thanks in advance.