Do what you love. Nothing else matters. That’s what Ray Bradbury told me. He was famous for saying that, but the few times I met him, and the few more times I saw him speak he said it in a way I didn’t expect–joyously. Somehow I’d always thought that a rather grim statement, as if it were a call to treading a cold rocky path, but you would do it because it was the way to be true to yourself.
I was blessed to have met him several times, and discussed writing with him. He was an amazing man–brilliant, funny and kind to myself and the other aspiring writers in my masters class. He didn’t hid the emotion within him that was so evident in his books. He wasn’t afraid, and I was and am. It was humbling to see.
He couldn’t teach me to be brilliant writer–the kind who changes culture and creates worlds that live on long beyond the books as he did.
He wasn’t there to teach me to be a good writer–though I did meet him with others in my masters level writing class, and our instructor was endeavoring to make sure we could competently tell the story.
But he did teach me how to live as a writer.
Do what you love.
Thank you, Mr. Bradbury, for the advice and the inspiration.
“Love what you do, and do what you love.” – Ray Bradbury
“And when he died, I suddenly realized I wasn’t crying for him at all, but for the things he did. I cried because he would never do them again, he would never carve another piece of wood or help us raise doves and pigeons in the backyard or play the violin the way he did, or tell us jokes the way he did. He was part of us and when he died, all the actions stopped dead and there was no one to do them the way he did. He was individual. He was an important man. I’ve never gotten over his death. Often I think what wonderful carvings never came to birth because he died. How many jokes are missing from the world, and how many homing pigeons untouched by his hands? He shaped the world. He did things to the world. The world was bankrupted of ten million fine actions the night he passed on.” – Ray Bardbury