Mental Floss

An Evening With Ray Bradbury, 2001

Chris Higgins

In this hour-long video from 2001, sci-fi author Ray Bradbury gives the keynote address of The Sixth Annual Writer's Symposium by the Sea. Walking to the podium very slowly, with the help of his cane, the then-80-year-old Bradbury proceeds to laugh and then to settle into a steady stream of advice and anecdotes about his life, all in the service of aspiring writers. First, he encourages writers to try writing a short story every week for a year, "And I defy you to write 52 bad ones! It can't be done!" If you can set aside an hour for this gentle, smart, and practical talk, it's worth it. You can even download an MP4 video file of this talk (look under the description on the YouTube page) if you want to pop it onto a portable video player. Enjoy.

Discussed: persistence; reading; writing fan letters; technology and "you don't need anything but a pad and a pencil, for Christ's sake!"; libraries; screenwriting; watching people eat; celebrating life and the panic of life and death; and more.