Ray Bradbury

Literary Birthday – 22 August – Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury was born 22 August 1920, and died 5 June 2012.


  1. You’ve got to jump off cliffs and build your wings on the way down.
  2. You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
  3. You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
  4. You will have to write and put away or burn a lot of material before you are comfortable in this medium. You might as well start now and get the necessary work done. For I believe that eventually quantity will make for quality. How so? Quantity gives experience. From experience alone can quality come. All arts, big and small, are the elimination of waste motion in favour of the concise declaration. The artist learns what to leave out. His greatest art will often be what he does not say, what he leaves out, his ability to state simply with clear emotion, the way he wants to go. The artist must work so hard, so long, that a brain develops and lives, all of itself, in his fingers.
  5. My business is to prevent the future.
  6. Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.
  7. What is the greatest reward a writer can have? Isn’t it that way when someone rushes up to you, his face bursting with honesty, his eyes afire with admiration and cries, ‘That new story of yours was fine, really wonderful!’ Then and only then is writing worthwhile. … The most callous of commercial writers loves that moment. The most artificial of literary writers lives for that moment.
  8. You fail only if you stop writing.
  9. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.
  10. I have never listened to anyone who criticised my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.
  11. I absolutely demand of you and everyone I know that they be widely read in every damn field there is; in every religion and every art form and don’t tell me you haven’t got time! There’s plenty of time. You need all of these cross-references. You never know when your head is going to use this fuel, this food for its purposes.
  12. The answer to all writing, to any career for that matter, is love.
  13. Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn’t exist yet, but soon will, and will change everything for everybody, and nothing will ever be the same again. As soon as you have an idea that changes some small part of the world you are writing science fiction. It is always the art of the possible, never the impossible.
  14. Don’t talk about it; write.

Ray Bradbury was an American fantasy, science fiction, horror and mystery fiction writer. He was best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man. Many of Bradbury’s works have been adapted into comic books, television shows and films. He is also the author of Zen in the Art of Writing.

Source for Image:  photo by Alan Light, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ray_Bradbury_(1975)_-cropped-.jpg

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 22nd August 2013