21 Harsh Truths from the Greats #20

20. You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ― Ray Bradbury

Original Post

Oh this. I love this so much, and not just because of Dandelion Wine.

Writing has always been a salvation for me, from the lonely days of a child who told herself stories to the mad days of undergrad to the dark days of the mess this past year has been. Staying drunk on writing is what kept me from becoming a completely depressed, bleak pessimist. Which is not to say it is a shield for depression, bleakness or pessimism, but it gives me something to fight back with. In a world where I can change very little, I have built a world where I can change everything. I can make happy endings, and it helps me hold out for my own.

(On a side note, C. Boyack had a great post on Happily Ever Afters the other day.)

But also, and I find this very poignant from a sci-fi writer, you have to stay half-mad with that strange way of looking at things we writers have. Drunk is a good word for it. Our imaginations impair our ability to stick to the facts, to see things for exactly what they are, no more, no less. If you aren’t constantly at least a little buzzed, you’ll miss something. That kid on the skateboard that would have launched you into another world is just a kid on a skateboard. The mother struggling with her groceries doesn’t become the mother struggling to stuff a body into a truck. The guy at the bus stop behind the newspaper isn’t tailing anyone covertly, or a superhero, or a super villain.

Stay drunk on writing, or reality will destroy your ability to see anything as it could be.


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