When Ray Bradbury realized he was right (and everyone else wasn’t)

For some of us this realization might take decades:

I learned that I was right and everyone else was wrong when I was nine. Buck Rogers arrived on scene that year, and it was instant love. I collected the daily strips, and was madness maddened by them. Friends criticized. Friends made fun. I tore up the Buck Rogers strips.  

For a month I walked through my fourth-grade classes, stunned and empty. One day I burst into tears, wondering what devastation had happened to me.  

The answer was: Buck Rogers. He was gone, and life simply wasn’t worth living.  

The next thought was: Those are not my friends, the ones who got me to tear the strips apart and so tear my own life down the middle; they are my enemies. 

I went back to collecting Buck Rogers. My life has been happy ever since. 

Bradbury goes on to note:

For that was the beginning of my writing science fiction. Since then, I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows and gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.

Bradbury speaks of your collective passions and doubts and fears as ‘mulch’ — that it’s the compost of your peculiarities that becomes your driving force in life. 

In his case it was as a science fiction writer. In your case, who knows? But whatever it is, it is likely tied to something you tried to tamp down at first.

Excerpts from Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity by Ray Bradbury.

This is part of the What creators do series, where I look to people who are creating something meaningful in the world for inspiration and tips  and pass them along to you.

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