Ray Bradbury's Challenge

The Ray Bradbury Challenge is based on advice Ray gave to writers. Part one is to read one short story, one poem, and one essay every night for 1000 nights. Part two is to write a short story every week for a year or more. He said it's impossible to write 52 bad stories in a row.

So that is the challenge I've set myself, and this blog is intended to help me stick to the goals of reading a story/poem/essay for 1000 nights, and writing at least one story a week for 52 weeks.

I hope you will follow me on this amazing journey, and perhaps join me by doing the Ray Bradbury challenge yourself. Let me know if you decide to embark on this and we can egg each other along!

Here's the video (it's also on the Day 1 post):

PS. When I first started this I soon found that 1000 consecutive nights was going to be too onerous because too many things were happening at the time: too much work, caring for my dying mother, suffering depression, and so on. I read regularly and kept notes in my notebook rather than here, but it was nowhere near consecutive nights. Now in 2017 I'm ready to go again, and while I see no particular reason for the 1000 nights to be consecutive, regularly reading a story, a poem, and an essay is bound to feed the muse. And that is what the challenge is about -- stuffing your head full of stuff you can use as material for stories.

The second part of the challenge is to write 52 stories - one each week for a year. I started to do this at the beginning, but life's challenges got in the way. I have written lots of stories since I began this blog and almost a story a week, but I wasn't organised. I've decided 2018 is the year. Starting Jan 1, I'm going to be off and running writing a story a week for 52 consecutive weeks.

Please let me know if you are taking this challenge too!


  1. I'm not a writer, but this seems very ambitious. Good luck.

  2. Awesome. Love Beadbury. I'd love to do this--after A-Z blog challenge, perhaps? :-)


  3. Oh boy, there you go...inspiring me to get back on track...


  4. I met and visited with Ray Bradbury in 1995, I loved his advice and the story of his writing career, his wife was with him at the time she has the same perky personality. He is quite a character and I've loved writing ever since meeting him...so inspiring.

  5. Wow, I would have loved to have met Ray as just watching him on YouTube, and of course reading his books, is so inspiring for me. I'm glad you have such great memories.

  6. Hello! This is fabulous. I have been posting his hygiene recipe and his "can't write 52 bad ones [short stories]" challenge for a few years, however I was totally ignorant that you had a lovely site and community built around this. Are you still doing this? (will look around the site more) Good luck in your writing!

  7. It's been neglected lately, but I should get back to it! Good luck with your writing too.

  8. I'm working on a second try at the reading challenge. So far I have gotten consecutive days but like you concluded it is the concept that matters and missing a day shouldn't reset.

    One other change is I don't read them at night. I tend to start when I first get up and then read them as the day allows. For example, I just finished for today and read all three straight through.

    One aid I have found is to work straight through bound volumes and have the next picked out before I finish. That why I don't have any selection freeze when sitting down to read. Read what is next in the volume or first in the volume I had selected.

  9. Hello Herb,
    Thanks for your comment. Yes, I see no need to 'reset' either - it's a challenge, not a chore, and the point is to just stuff your head with a diversity of readings. I'm loving it. I often read a story after breakfast and essay and poem later in the day, but I want to read them all before the day/evening is over. I'm doing the bound volume thing often too, which is why there are so many Clive James essays lately as I'm going through one of his books, and I've just started on a book of H.G. Wells short stories. Sometimes I dip in here and there instead of reading everything consecutively though -- so I might read a shorter essay if I have a particularly busy day.

    How are you going with yours? Are you keeping records of what you've read?

    Good luck with your challenge

  10. Hi,yes I am taking the challenge...I write 150 words a day then on saturday I have a 900 word short story which I read to my daughter.
    I have to get the reading into some sort of system.

    1. Hello John,

      It's a great challenge isn't it, and that's a great way to do it too. I'm sure your daughter loves the stories too. Good luck!

  11. I did this a few years ago, and succeeded. I wrote over 160 stories in the year I did it. I took the 52 (first story I wrote each new week) and put them into an anthology, which I'm selling on Amazon.

  12. Hey, that's great. Congratulations on your book. I hope it sells really well for you. I've been focusing on the reading part of the challenge as I'm working on longer works at the moment (and shorter ones like poems and haibun), but I've written about 20 stories so far this year and still aim to make the 52. Good luck with your writing.