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“Sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads.”

As Writing 101 winds down, we appreciate this quirky reminder from writer Ray Bradbury on the importance of reading and writing every day.

By Marcus Hansson from Göteborg, Sweden (The best days are not planned) [CC-BY-2.0].

“If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads.

I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”

Ray Bradbury

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  1. I am left completely speechless . I was reading this , and i was listening to Brian Crain’ ,”Dream of Flying ” simultaneously , and two beautiful things together , just gave me chills . And now suddenly my life makes perfect sense with all my failures and happiness .

  2. Today I will wear a book like a hat upon my crazy head! Thanks for this beautiful reminder of why we write. Also, you should know that Writing101 has helped me, as a writer, in ways I still can’t even comprehend. My brain has exploded with ideas through this process. Much gratitude to all of you for your support and encouragement. Happy writing to all!

  3. Amazing! You have such talent for metaphors and symbolism. I, myself, would one day like to become an author and your warm words motivate me. Thanks so much and I wish you the best of luck with everything. I hope that one day I might be able to wield words as if they were mere feathers and to carefully weave them into an intricate web as you have done with this post.

  4. Have you truly inhaled the flicking pages of a new book of fresh pages never turned I have not found the correct word for the smell but yes a perfume of beauty are we mad of a dream that could come true if we try hard enough.

  5. Yes! Oh wow, this is so perfect! I love the smell of books! Old and new. In old books, it’s like smelling the history of it, and in new ones, it’s the smell of a new adventure to be read! I love this post!

  6. Imagine having Ray Bradbury as your teacher! WOW!! You’d sit in class every day with this look on your face… :-o

  7. So, if I’m wearing books on my head like hats, then I should read my hats like books? And what if I’ve lost my sense of smell?! #gettinganxious

    Wait – I guess I could grind books up and snort them like cocaine? But I can only do that for a little bit, because I don’t want to ruin my nasal cartilage. #problems

  8. I love this.
    Absolutely love this.
    If you know me… I can ramble all day long and I may or may not seem a tad crazy ( depending on who you ask) :)

  9. Well, either this or drugs. Only two things that take you high enough to get the most crazy ideas which, who knows, might turn into the next BIG thing! :D

  10. I have a copy of Ray Bradbury’s “Zen in the art of writing” on my desk and your post has made me take it down and renew the faith! Thanks for reminding me.:-)