We like our advice from publishers writers here at West Lothian Writers as you can see from our posts 164 Writing Tips from 17 Published Authors and The Guardian’s Ten Rules For Writing Fiction. Today we are looking at the advice of one of the masters of the short story – Ray Bradbury.
In a career spanning more than seventy years, Ray Bradbury has inspired generations of readers to dream, think, and create. A prolific author of hundreds of short stories and close to fifty books, as well as numerous poems, essays, operas, plays, teleplays, and screenplays, Bradbury was one of the most celebrated writers of our time.
Six Pieces of Writing Advice
In 2011 Ray Bradbury gave the keynote address at Point Loma Nazarene University’s Writer’s Symposium By the Sea. Luckily Socialpolitan Fiction Writing Craft recorded his six pieces of advice for writers in an article of the same name. His advice is in bold:
- Don’t Start Out Writing Novels. He advises you try short stories first so you have a completed story in a week or so rather than a year.
- Read Great Short Stories.
- Stuff Your Head. Basically Bradbury recommends that every night you should read a short story, a poem and an essay so you are widely read.
- Get Rid of Friends Who Don’t Support You
- Live In the Library. Same as point two and three. The more you know the better writer you’ll become.
- Write With Joy.
Bradbury on Rejection
The other piece of advice from Bradbury we’d like to talk about today is from Brain Pickings. Bradbury was asked to contribute a 500 word essay about the writing life to the book Snoopy’s Guide to the Writing Life. His submission, all about rejection from publishers, is both wonderfully written but gives every writer hope that one day they will be published. A small example is below:
Starting when I was fifteen I began to send short stories to magazines like Esquire, and they, very promptly, sent them back two days before they got them! I have several walls in several rooms of my house covered with the snowstorm of rejections, but they didn’t realize what a strong person I was.
You can read the full essay over at the Brain Pickings Website. The post is called Snoopy’s Guide to the Writing Life: Ray Bradbury on Creative Purpose in the Face of Rejection.