As I've made clear many times, there are few people on the face of the planet who have influenced and, more important, inspired me as much as the great Ray Bradbury. Reading a classic Bradbury short story or essay on creativity, immersing myself in his novels (especially Dandelion Wine, one of the most glorious and magical books ever written), is an experience that strips away the layers of what I call the CNN Reality—the voices of Doom and Naysaying Cynicism that seek to tell us that we're small and helpless, ordinary and afraid—and opens our hearts and minds to a deeper, truer, more joyful reality: one where life is sacred, creativity is an expression of pure delight and the universe is viewed with eyes of innocence and wonder. Bradbury's words set fire to my soul decades ago and they still do the same today, which is why I was so delighted to come across a 2001 talk—Advice to Young Writers—online yesterday.
Listen to Bradbury. Unfold your soul and let his words wash over you. If you're a budding writer, he'll fill you with burning passion for your chosen field. If you're an old hand like me, he'll make you feel like a newborn, just beginning on the most miraculous path God ever created. And if you're not a writer, I suspect he'll touch and move you in surprising ways that will echo on through your heart—and through your life.