Stepping on a Landmine
Growing up, I felt like I was crazy. I scribbled stories, drew rudimentary comics, and spent hours playing with my imaginary friends. I was unlike any kid I knew.
Thank God for my sister, who gave me a AD&D book when I was 7 or 8. I found my first funnel for my imagination. It saved me from a lot of mental anguish. I read, Poe, Twain, and then I found Anne McCaffrey and Ray Bradbury.
These were the first books I ever read on my own, without someone telling me I had to. I still felt alone, though.
Even after I join me high school's writing club, I didn't find any kindred spirits. I felt like I had an illness or a disease. I had to write (still do). If I don't, my life quickly becomes unbearable.
Imagine my delight when I read Ray Bradbury's Zen and the Art of Writing for the first time, and saw him saying the same thing. I wasn't alone. Here was another person who felt the burden to write, not just the drive or interest.
"I have learned, on my journeys, that if I let a day go by without writing, I grow uneasy. Two days and I am in tremor. Three and I suspect lunacy. Four and I might as well be a hog, suffering the flux in a wallow. An hour's writing is tonic. I'm on my feet, running in circles, and yelling for a clean pair of spats (Zen and the Art of Writing)."
Wow, I am not alone. He goes on to compare himself to a landmine that he jumps out of bed and steps on it, then spend the day putting the pieces back together after the explosion. He invites us to jump, and I am going to.
It is time to step on a landmine.
Practicing Zen and the Art of Writing
I have decided to spend a year with Ray Bradbury, writing every day with the goal of finishing a short story a week. I am going to use the principles and exercises in the book to perfect my craft, and hopefully pay homage to Ray Bradbury in the process.
I will chronicle my process here with the tag Zen and the Art of Writing, and I will post the stories that come out of the process.
I invite you to join me in the journey. I will start Monday, June 11th to make my first short. I will spend the weekend rereading Zen and the Art of Writing, maybe get a couple lists ready.
Are you in? Writing for no less than 1 hour a day with the goal of finishing 1 short story a week.