Ray Bradbury telling us to explode

Picking up Zen in the Art of Writing, I found two instances of “go explode!” advice within the first few pages.

I have come up with a new simile to describe myself lately. It can be yours.

Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me.

After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together.

Now, it’s your turn. Jump!

Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing, Preface

The history of each story, then, should read almost like a weather report: Hot today, cool tomorrow. This afternoon, burn down the house. Tomorrow, pour cold critical water upon the simmering coals. Time enough to think and cut and rewrite tomorrow. But today—explode—fly apart—disintegrate! The other six or seven drafts are going to be pure torture. So why not enjoy the first draft, in the hope that your joy will seek and find others in the world who, reading your story, will catch fire, too?

Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing, The Joy of Writing

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