Bicycle Diaries: <i>Drunk, and in charge of a bicycle</i>

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Drunk, and in charge of a bicycle

Ray Bradbury, an Illinois native, is one of my favorite SF writers. His books, short-stories, plays, and essays explore the limits of the human imagination. And he's been a tireless advocate of alternative forms of transportation. It's well known that despite writing about spacecraft and interplanetary travel he has never driven a car. He witnessed a gruesome car accident when he was young.

I couldn't find any references about him and bikes. But I did come across, Drunk, and in Charge of a Bicycle, an essay that appeared in Zen in the Art of Writing. In in it Bradbury discusses how criticism, especially from friends and family, can kill a writer's spirit. This only deepens the self-doubts suffered by great writers who never know exactly where they're work is going.
... [I]t is easy to doubt yourself, because you look around at a community of notions held by other writers, other intellectuals, and they make you blush with guilt. Writing is supposed to be difficult, agonizing, a dreadful exercise, a terrible occupation. But, you see, my stories have led me through my life. They shout, I follow. They run up and bite me on the leg-I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go, and runs off.
Nevertheless, Bradbury remains undeterred. He embraces and follows the idea much as would a drunk biker.
That is the kind of life I've had. Drunk, and in charge of a bicycle, as an Irish police report once put it. Drunk with life, that is, and not knowing where off to next. But you're on your way before dawn. And the trip? Exactly one half terror, exactly one half exhilaration.
It's something I try to remember each day as I post to this blog. You see, other than the delight I get from being read by folks from around the world, I am trying to gain enough discipline to write a book!

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