Then write about the former, and "kill" the later — also by writing about them. List a dozen or so objects that flash into your mind, and then write a poem or story in which some or all of them are connected in some meaningful way.
All it takes is one startlingly imaginative yet information-rich passage like this, the opening lines of An Alchemy of Mind: What events have led to that woman in the lounge dabbing her mascara-smeared eyes with a cocktail napkin?
To think of the firefighters and paramedics who gave their lives to save hundreds of others from the inferno of the stricken towers is to recognize the triumph of human goodness over human evil.
Writing offers us similar experiences: And faith can infuse our work with authenticity that speaks powerfully to our readers. I think of Thoreau, who turned to the wild for self-discovery. Most of these have to do with the day-in, day-out practices that make up what he calls "writing hygiene.
Meditation enables us to draw from our own inner resources in order to be more productive writers. Urbanites that most of us are obliged to be, we drink in too little of the natural world—which is a shame, because nature replenishes us in so many ways.
People are walking, talking stories. Live in the library. Serious writers roll up their sleeves and get down to the business of writing, just as they would get themselves to work at any 9-to-5 job. I enter a swamp as a sacred place. They take too long. Bear that in mind when you inevitably attempt, consciously or unconsciously, to imitate your favorite writers, just as he imitated H.
Imagine the brain, that shiny mound of being, that mouse-gray parliament of cells, that dream factory, that petit tyrant inside a ball of bone, that huddle of neurons calling all the plays, that little everywhere, that fickle pleasuredrome, that wrinkled wardrobe of selves stuffed into the skull like too many clothes into a gym bag.
Inspiration helps us achieve mental discipline. Inspiration intensifies our spiritual connection to our craft. When our tasks loom impossible before us and threaten to keep us grounded, inspiration gives us wings.
Inspiration voids our excuses for not writing and fuels our urge to keep writing. Inspiration helps us do that.
Inspiration turns reading into creative reading. Few earthly sensations stir the soul like a beautiful song or symphony. Or at least it should. The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain: Inspiration develops our understanding of human nature.
Do the same with your fears. He and his wife, who "took a vow of poverty" to marry him, hit 37 before they could afford a car and he still never got around to picking up a license. Fall in love with movies. Tafelmusik—literally, music for the table, for dining.
To accumulate the intellectual building blocks of these metaphors, he suggests a course of bedtime reading:We know the common wisdom: Serious writers don’t wait to be inspired. Serious writers roll up their sleeves and get down to the business of writing, just as they would get themselves to work at any 9-to-5 job.
Like fellow genre icon Stephen King, Ray Bradbury has reached far beyond his established audience by offering writing advice to anyone who puts pen to paper.
(Or keys to keyboard; "Use whatever works," he often says.) In this keynote address at Point Loma Nazarene University's Writer's.Download