When I was 18 years old, the author Ray Bradbury wrote to me. I’d told him that I wanted to be a writer more than anything else in the world, and while I was already making my way, I wanted to know even more how to be the best writer I could be. He wrote, “If you want to be a writer, of course the answer is: write every day of your life from now on…write, write, write! On top of which, stuff your eyes with stories, novels, plays, essays from every field in the world. Get to it!”
Bradbury’s words impressed on me the necessity of not just breathing out my words, but inhaling all of the words of all of the wonderful writers around me. So I did. I still do. I write every day, and when I’m not writing, I’m teaching others how to get their words on paper. My office is filled with stacks of books that I’m reading or want to read. Two walls of my classroom are solid floor to ceiling bookshelves, with books, books, and more books.
Write every day. Stuff your eyes. Those are the words that changed and focused my life.