#1liner Weds: How to find your Writing Feet

“Tain’t no Sin to Take off your Skin, and Dance around in your Bones.”

Ray Bradbury’s book, ‘Zen in the Art of Writing’, mentions this little ditty above, which he describes as his ‘favourite tune’ when he was young. At first glance this ditty is deceptively quaint and whimsical, but I find it quite profound: it talks of the act of baring your writing soul, reveling in the freedom of unrestricted expression as you go about finding your voice, and the joy of being unrestrained and unconcerned about what everyone else might think of you as you do so.

I’m loving reading this book; I find it many things: humorous, informative, irreverent, wise, enthused, energising, reassuring, warm, honest, and all based on Ray Bradbury’s many years of writing experience and ‘living large’ even as a pre-teen. He delves into his childhood loves and fears and pains and talks about how these things carried him and informed him as writer and story- teller.

I’m quoting below from Chapter One- The Joy of Writing:

“… the first thing a writer should be is -excited. He should be a thing of fevers and enthusiasms. Without such vigor, he might as well be out picking peaches or digging ditches; God knows it’d be better for his health. How long has it been since you wrote a story where your real love or your real hatred somehow got onto the paper? What are the best things and the worst things in your life, and when are you going to get around to whispering or shouting them?”

I love writing fiction; expressing myself through storytelling- I find it cathartic, and I find it helps me to delve into my thoughts and feelings and reveal these on the page in the way that’s right for me. Frustratingly though, storytime too often ends up on the back burner as the rest of the stuff of life takes over. Not a good excuse, I know. Ray Bradbury would probably tell me to just Find my Feet, Hit the Page Running, and to Spill my Guts in the process!

Written for One Liner Wednesday at Linda G Hill

19 thoughts on “#1liner Weds: How to find your Writing Feet

  1. Larry Winger 2022-11-09 / 5:35 pm

    I agree about the story-telling, Amanda, which helps illumine our own life experiences. Just now, however, in one of my creative writing groups, the task is to write a piece of fiction that encompasses a particular passion of the writer, without revealing their thoughts or take. I’m finding this didactic, proscriptive approach to story-telling very challenging! First, I guess, I have to identify something that I feel very strongly about, and then comes the story to wrap that strength of feeling up in.

    Liked by 3 people

    • amandaVN 2022-11-10 / 9:17 am

      Good luck with that, Larry. Writing ‘instructions’ kind of put things in a whole new frame, don’t they?! I’ve never been part of a writing class or group, but this task sounds interesting. Makes me think about my own passions, including things from my childhood which still resonate 🙂


  2. Anne 2022-11-09 / 8:06 pm

    I find writing can be both joyful and therapeutic – cathartic too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • amandaVN 2022-11-10 / 9:07 am

      Definitely. The experience changes for me on different days: depending on mood and other variables, I guess!


  3. Pooja G 2022-11-10 / 7:31 pm

    I love that line and I feel the same way you do about writing. It’s incredibly cathartic for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. amandaVN 2022-11-10 / 8:04 pm

    Yes, there’s a lot to be said for getting it all down on paper- or on screen!


  5. Eugenia 2022-11-10 / 8:49 pm

    This is so helpful, Amanda! Thank you for sharing your on Go Dog Go Cafe!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Lisa at Micro of the Macro 2022-11-12 / 9:12 pm

    I’m pretty sure I once owned this book! I wonder how many other books you & I have in common?! I’m not a fiction writer or much of a fiction reader, but at one time, I thought I wanted to write a novel. Now, I’m leaning more toward writing a cookbook! Thanks for sharing Bradbury’s cheering words. 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Stuart Danker 2022-11-17 / 6:11 pm

    Ah, I’ve heard of this book, but never got around to reading it yet. I love books on the craft, so it’s a wonder why I haven’t started yet. Your post may have just nudged me to. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • amandaVN 2022-11-18 / 12:35 pm

      I definitely found it helped me. There was so much that I could relate to. He talks a lot about childhood fears and fascinations and how these memories can be used as a starting point in storytelling.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. jkaybay 2022-11-19 / 3:38 am

    Thanks for this post, Amanda.
    As I work on my ethical consumerism book (hopefully!) I always find it a bit tough to balance emotion and logic. Science writing is normally cold, but I don’t think many people want to write a cold book!


    • amandaVN 2022-11-21 / 2:19 pm

      Oh wow, please keep me posted about the book! I think that with all your expertise, and the time you have spent uncovering the (ugly) truth and looking at alternatives, that this is a great next step. And I’m quite sure that science can be fun, for instance we all enjoy the odd personal anecdote to help keep things interesting and lighten the load!

      Liked by 1 person

      • jkaybay 2022-11-23 / 2:24 am

        Good advice re. anecdotes – I’m trying to do just that.
        Thanks for the encouragement! Much appreciated.

        Liked by 1 person

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