Writers can learn from Olympic Athletes

June 16, 2011

Categories: Olympic athletes, ray bradbury, writing habits

“Quantity produces quality.
If you write only a few things, you’re doomed.”
—Ray Bradbury

When strangers learn that I write books for children, two responses that continually pop up are:
1) When are you going to write a book for adults?
2) I’m going to write a book one day — I just need to get around to it.

I’m going to skip the first response today and move right on to the second. When talking to students about writing, I always equate writing a book with running a marathon in the Olympics. Participants in this arduous sport do not wake up one day, don their Olympic gear and decide to take part in the gruelling race. Athletes at this level undergo years of training, exercise and mental preparation. They will lose some races and there will be times when they wonder if all the effort is worth it. There are many things you can do to help achieve your goal of ‘writing a book one day’ and one of them is to write, write and write. Consider it as a way of warming up your muscles, testing your limits and preparing yourself for the big race to come.

Happy running.

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Science Fiction – just another excuse to write good stories

August 3, 2009

Categories: ray bradbury, science fiction

I am currently reading The Best Short Stories of Ray Bradbury, a book which I have just discovered in my garage stash. Some of the stories are dated with their reference to years which have come and gone without the advent of flying cars or completely autonomised homes, but the essence of the stories ring true. Bradbury writes about human nature, and this never changes, no matter how ‘modern’ we think we are. In this age of ‘the latest thing’, it’s nice to delve back into the bookshelf and see the legacy left by yesterday’s authors.


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