Thank you, Ray Bradbury

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.”

I admit to not reading any of Ray Bradbury’s works. I certainly know them and appreciate their greatness, but they’re a genre I don’t particularly care for. So, I never pushed myself to actually read any of them. I’ve seen (horribly massacred, I’m sure) film adaptations, does that count?

But, with his death, I ran across the above quote on Facebook today. And it spoke to me.

I most definitely overthink things. I worry. I stress. I try to look at things from all sides.

I look for a winning formula. The magic bullet to make everything….perfect.

Intellectually, I know there isn’t one. And I know nothing is perfect. But there’s a part of me that’s forever searching, looking for the missed option.

My husband could tell you of the sometimes ludicrous lengths I’ll go to to prove my point. Ask him about the scar on his toe sometime. He’ll enjoy retelling the story. Again.

You can’t do that when you write, however. Overthinking what you write will make it stilted, stagnate and dull.

In the last year, I’ve read a lot of books on the writing craft. I’ve read blogs, asked questions of professionals and questioned what I was doing.

In essence, I was overthinking. I agonized over sentences and how to frame them. Which phrases to use and which weren’t working AND how did they stack up to what I’d read I should be doing.

So the quote above hit me square between the eyes. I need to stop thinking and start doing. Forget form and function and proper grammar and write.

I just need to figure out how to turn off thinking….I wonder if there’s a book on that…