Ray Bradbury died today, I’m told, and while on one hand it affects me very little (I didn’t know him personally, having only met him once) on the other hand –
I cried when I found out. More than I expected, as the realization of his loss settled over me. He is one of the writers who made me want to be a writer when I was a kid. Of those few inspiring authors, he’s the one whose later work I liked just as much as his early pieces. Though I discovered a hundred other great and wonderful writers since then, and evolved in my view of what kind of writer I wanted to be, I still read Bradbury’s work.
Of all of the quotes I’ve read today, this one of his affects me the most:
“If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”
Ultimately I write because I love. I love the stories in my head, I love the way I see the world, I love what other writers show me and teach me and make me feel. I love words. I love reading.
At least some of that is because of him, and I will always be grateful.