Ray Bradbury-A Writer’s Writer

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by B.J. Bassett

Ray Bradbury died this year at the age of 91. He was a writer’s writer. I remember many years ago when he gave up his monthly column in a magazine so an aspiring writer could publish his work instead. That act of generosity instilled in me an admiration for Ray Bradbury that over the years has never diminished.

When he was a child, his mother took him to movies and he fell in love with them. This is when he began to collect his loves. Another of his loves was Buck Rogers (a character in Amazing Stories). Bradbury collected the magazines, but when friends teased him he tore them up. Later, he realized he had given up one of his loves and he cried. It was a lesson he learned the hard way, and he shares that devastating experience with others.

At the age of 12 he started writing every day and never stopped. His creative work appears in books, magazines, films and television. High school and university instructors continue to share his stories with their students.

He suffered a stroke in 1999, forcing him to use a wheelchair, yet it didn’t stop him from sharing his love with others.

A few years ago I was given the opportunity to hear him speak in Santa Barbara, California. The curtain opened and he sat in a wheelchair in the middle of the stage where he spoke for over an hour. I related to his love of writing and I’ll never forget his admonition to those present. “Never give up on your love.”

Other gems Bradbury shared that night were:

• “Friends are to encourage you.”
• “Teachers are to inspire you.”
• “You need someone to believe in you.”
• “Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.”
• “I’m careful not to know where I’m going. I take a chance.”
• “Be a passionate explorer.”
• “Fall in love over and over until things begin to happen.”

For more of his inspiring words I recommend his book, Zen in the Art of Writing.

Like Ray Bradbury, I don’t plan to ever give up on my love of writing. Do you?

B. J. Bassett is an author, teacher and speaker. Her books include Lily, A Touch of Grace-The G.R.A.C.E. Ministries Story and co-author of My Time with God with over 55,000 in copies sold. Visit her website at www.bjbassett.com.

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