Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Creative How-To

In a speech, Ray Bradbury suggested we should write a short story a week. At the end of each week we will be happy because we’ve accomplished (completed) something. And if we write a short story a week, we will have 52 short stories at the end of the year.

He goes on to say we should read a short story, an essay and a poem every night before we go to bed. None of the modern stuff. We should read quality stories by Edith Wharton, Dahl,  Washington Irving and Poe. We should read the best poems--those by Alexander Pope, Frost and Shakespeare. We should read essays across the board in different fields. Examples are essays by Huxley and Loren Eiseley.

Every night before we go to bed, if we read one essay, one poem and one short story, by the end of a thousand nights, our head will be stuffed with all sorts of wonderful things and we’ll be on our way to becoming more creative.

What a challenge! Are you up for it? And don't forget, in addition to this reading plan, you must write one short story a week.

10 comments:

Linda Todd said...

Hi Jess
I'm gonna try it. Let you know how it goes.

Charles Gramlich said...

I often read that much at night, but lately not so much. I definitely don't do a story a week. I was trying that until March of this year when Lana got her diagnosis, and had gotten pretty close

Pat Carroll Marcantel said...

Oh yes, I want to do this. Problem is, I can't get the short stories I think I'm writing to be actual short stories. There are some brain cells not doing their job. Okay, I hear my Dad's voice, "If at first you don't succeed. . ." Good post, Jess.

Jan Rider Newman said...

Thank you for the challenge. Does one chapter a week count?

Jan Rider Newman said...

BTW, I don't think there are 352 weeks in the year . . . last time I counted.

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

Linda - wish I could. Maybe next year I'll start on Jan. 1.

Charles, I figured you'd given this a go.

Pat - Thanks for popping in. My brain cells are disappearing pretty fast.

No, a chapter won't do. According to Bradbury, we don't need to write a novel FIRST. We need to learn how to write by writing short stories. Thanks for pointing out that there are NOT 352 weeks in a year. Don't know if I should be grateful to you for doing it or grateful to the others for not mentioning it. :)

Li said...

Great challenge :-) I've got the weekly story covered, and reading essays (just finished Havanas in Camelot) but I haven't read any poetry in eons. So...I'd best get on with it!

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

Li - you've got me beat! I haven't read any really great short stories in a long time. I've read some flash fiction tho. Don't think that counts! :D

Victoria M. Johnson said...

Jess, I love ray Bradbury's advice! Thanks for sharing it.

Lynn said...

I'll give this some thought, can't do it for a while though... maybe I'll start in July.