“When I wrote ‘Fahrenheit 451’ I hated book burners and I loved libraries. So there you are.”Ray Bradbury
“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it. It’s like boats. You keep your motor on so you can steer with the current. And when you hear the sound of the waterfall coming nearer and nearer, tidy up the boat, put on your best tie and hat, and smoke a cigar right up till the moment you go over. That’s a triumph’
— Ray Bradbury, [easyazon_link identifier=”0061131555″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Farewell Summer[/easyazon_link]
A book triggers the imagination. A movie tells all.
A book can change your life. A film can change your perception, but only momentarily.
Reading creates a theater inside your head
When it comes to reading versus watching a screen, it’s all about mind control. You can either make your own mental movie or acquiesce to the images fed on a wall. Said Ray Bradbury in an interview with Bradbury scholar Sam Weller:
It’s different because when you read it, you’re creating it in your own theater inside your head. But a film is total realism. You can’t change it, it’s right there, there’s nothing you can do about it. You can change a book in your mind. Every book is like Japanese flowers that go into your head and they sink down through the water inside your head, and then open out. The difference between books and film is books are unreality. They open up inside the head. They become yours. They’re more personal. Films are immediate and insistent. They’re like a bully. They bully you with their brilliance and you can’t turn away from them. Later you may, in remembrance, change them, but you can’t have the immediate thing that the book does where it fantasizes in the head. After all, it’s only print, it doesn’t mean anything. You have to learn at a certain age how to read those symbols and turn them into paper flowers that open in the mind. A film makes you think you know everything — you don’t. You can’t escape film.
I used to be adamant about where I worked. It had to be a clean desk with a comfortable chair at home and at work.
But after working for a startup not tethered to a PC I got used to working everywhere on my laptop and mobile devices: standing up, sitting down in a coffee shop, on the train, plane, wherever. It didn’t care where I worked.
Today, I deliberately work in diverse places in order to sustain creativity. If I sit in the same place too long my ideas get stale.
I’ve got to move around. Each location offers something new, in sounds and sights inspiring connective layers to an incipient concept.
Ideas, great and simple, come from everywhere. Mobile phones allow us to collect ideas on the run and turn them into something as simple as a blog post, tweet, Instagram, or private thoughts buried in Evernote or in a Day One diary.
Above all, I can work everywhere because the place doesn’t matter. I just want to get stuff out. In fact, I’m writing this while walking on 5th Avenue on the way to work. Forget the stationery, clean desk.
Now I understand why my Dad never built an office at home. He’s a passionate nomad worker, like me.
My passions drive me to the typewriter every day of my life, and they have driven me there since I was twelve. So I never have to worry about schedules. Some new thing is always exploding in me, and it schedules me, I don’t schedule it. It says: Get to the typewriter right now and finish this. – Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury educated himself in the library. He never went to college.
He was also a bad writer in his early days but he read the best books and surrounded himself by the right people.
Seth Godin sums it up best:
it was clear that he had made the decision to do his work, and do it as well and as joyfully as he was able.