Asking for Help and Ray Bradbury

Photo of Ray Bradbury.

Photo of Ray Bradbury. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is the second post in a series on creating quantum leaps.  I can’t help combining worldly news with these posts.   Sadly, today, we heard of Ray Bradbury’s passing.

My original goal for today’s post was to write about how important it is to pray and ask for help.

With Ray Bradbury’s death, may he rest in peace, I decided to get some help today myself and flipped open to one of my favorite books on writing: Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury.

With what I believe was divine guidance, this is what I opened to:

So again, the three signs.  Put them together any way you wish.  WORK RELAXATION DON’T THINK Once separated out.  Now, all three together in a process.  For if one works, one finally relaxes and stops thinking.  True creation occurs then and only then.

But work, without right thinking, is almost useless.  I repeat myself, but, the writer who wants to tap the larger truth in himself must reject the temptations of Joyce or Camus or Tennessee Williams, as exhibited in literary reviews.  He must forget the money waiting for him in mass circulation.  He must ask himself, “What do I really think of this world, what do I love, fear, hate?” and begin to pour this on paper.

Then, through the emotions, working steadily, over a long period of time, his writing will clarify; he will relax because he thinks right and he will think even righter because he relaxes.  The two will become interchangeable. At last he will begin to see himself.  At night, the very phosphorescence of his insides will throw shadows on the wall.  At last the surge, the agreeable blending of work, not thinking and relaxation will be like the blood in one’s body, flowing, because it has to flow, moving because it has to move.

What are we trying to uncover in this flow? The one person irreplaceable to the world, of which there is no duplicate. You. As there was only one Shakespeare, Moliere, Dr. Johnson, so you are that precious commodity, the individual man, the man we all democratically proclaim, but who, so often, gets lost, or loses himself in the shuffle.

How does one get lost?

Through incorrect aims, as I have said.  Through wanting literary fame too quickly.  From wanting money too quickly.  If only we would remember,  fame and money are gifts given only after we have gifted the world with our best, our lonely, our individual truths.  Now we must build a better mousetrap, heedless if a path is beaten to our door.

This may seem like the wrong kind of advice for producing quantum leaps in writing.  In our society, we generally equate quantum leaps with fame and money. If you’re deeply honest are any of your truest dreams about money and fame? Don’t they usually involve living and expressing your personal truth?

Perhaps, this is the perfect summer to take Ray’s advice for following any of your truest dreams:

  • WORK
  • RELAX
  • DON’T THINK

Might you produce a quantum leap in your life if you applied this approach in your life?

Thanks Ray for your help today!

7 thoughts on “Asking for Help and Ray Bradbury

  1. LediaR says:

    I adore Ray Bradbury’s writing and even got to meet him when he was at film festival that I attended. It was actually the same film festival where I won the Grand Award for best screenplay in 1998 so that made the event even more momentous!

    • Karen Wan says:

      What a great Ray Bradbury memory! I’ve never tried to write a screenplay — that sounds like a great experience, especially being recognized in that way! I can’t say that I ever met him. I always admired his curiosity, creativity, authenticity and sense of humor. 🙂

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