Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Read, Write, and Learn Too


Ray Bradbury has a blue-crystal mountain of excellent writing advice, but one that I think gets overlooked when it comes to writing is learning.  We are told to read as much as we can, write as often as we can, but learning all that we can should be on the list too:

I spent three days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library, and it’s better than college.  People should educate themselves – you can get a complete education for no money.  At the end of 10 years, I had read every book in the library and I’d written a thousand stories.” 
—Ray Bradbury

While I’m still supportive of attending college, Mr. Bradbury made a very good point.  What new study can we writers bring into our writing?  Recently, I’ve been catching up on mythology.  Talk about characters and plot – it’s given me several ideas for my own short stories. 

What are you interested in?  Genome duplication, historical trade routes, mega supercells?  I’m sure once you start digging into a subject, brainstorming bubbles will pop up all over your blank page.

Good luck and keep learning!

8 comments:

  1. My aim is to read every article on Wiki.
    The random article link on the left hand side of the page is a lot of fun.

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    1. That's a great resource for brainstorming stories, Deborah.

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  2. Neat process, Deborah. My interest of the moment is in the new brain science, especially how imaging studies are allowing a better understanding of behavior, how brains compensate for loss, the idea of consciousness.

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    1. The idea of consciousness is always fascinating, with much depth for creativity.

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  3. Great post, Erin. I did more research on my last two stories of 2012 (about JFK and King Saul) than I had all year; it was exhausting, but I enjoyed the end result. Lately I've been delving into "weird news" true stories that are stranger than most of the fiction I read and write.

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    1. Yes, some true stories are so bizarre, they couldn't be true. Looking forward to see what 'weird story' you come up with.

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  4. Great post!

    Homeschooling my kids is an education for me. We jump down a dozen intriguing rabbit holes a day. Talk about "brainstorming bubbles!" (An awesome phrase, Erin!) I learn more WITH them in a year than I learned through all my years in college.

    I once read that Ray Bradbury recommended reading one poem, one essay, and one short story each day. I try really hard to do that--some weeks I succeed better than others. For me, reading essays on diverse topics awakens my imagination the most, especially science, technology, and history. Oh the possibilities. :)

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  5. When people say, "It's all been done before," I don't think it has. Maybe the framework of a story, but their are endless possibilities to create something fresh, right?
    Kudos to you for homeschooling. That's got to boost your brain bubbles!

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