‘You only fail if you stop writing’ ~ Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury… my hero, my inspiration. Why, you ask? Because, seriously – I don’t even write in his genre. But I don’t have to… that’s the beauty of admiring and respecting others. We all admire and respect world leaders or entertainers or sports figures because they have a great talent – just because they have a talent doesn’t mean we have to. Maybe that’s why we admire them so much – because they do things we can’t or don’t.
Why do I admire Ray Bradbury so much? Because the man had a magnificent imagination that knew no boundaries. For example, he dreamt of life on Mars, and what that would entail, and how those beings lived and existed. His characters were carried on silken sheets by a thousand firebirds holding the sheets in their mouths, traveling against the night sky. They sailed the red sands of Mars in crystal ships with gossamer sails. He was a pioneer in Science Fiction when the world was only just starting to recognize such a thing. He was a writer extraordinaire and a man of deep thought. You only fail if you stop writing. That’s the best advice for any writer – or, any person in general who wants to succeed at something. You only fail if you stop. So don’t stop!
I started writing at 13. I never stopped. Maybe I’m not a huge success by some standards, but by mine, I have achieved my dreams. I create entire worlds. I create people who live and love. Readers digest these worlds and these characters, and they become attached to them. They become a part of the fabric of that world and my characters become a part of their brain, their memories, forever. Isn’t that success?? I think so. I have the best readers in the world. They’re intelligent, educated, funny, and they won’t hesitate to tell me if they don’t like something or if I’m wrong about something. I love that. I love that some of them analyze my characters like they were their own family members. To me, that’s success.
I didn’t want to fail, so I kept writing. If you’re reading this right now and you’re at a crossroads – any crossroads – the best advice comes from Mr. Bradbury. “You only fail if you stop (insert your issue here).”
Keep calm, soldier on, and you can’t fail.