From Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury, an excerpt of “Run Fast, Stand Still,” an essay on writing fiction:
Run fast, stand still. This, the lesson from lizards. For all writers. Observe almost any survival creature, you see the same. Jump, run, freeze. In the ability to flick like an eyelash, crack like a whip, vanish like steam, here this instant, gone the next—life teems the earth. And when that life is not rushing to escape, it is playing statues to do the same. See the hummingbird, there, not there. As thought arises and blinks off, so this thing of summer vapor; the clearing of a cosmic throat, the fall of a leaf. And where it was—a whisper.
What can we writers learn from lizards, lift from birds? In quickness is truth. The faster you blurt, the more swiftly you write, the more honest you are. In hesitation is thought. In delay comes the effort for style, instead of leaping upon truth which is the only style worth deadfalling or tiger-trapping.
To explode into writing, to leave thinking and posturing for later, to forgive oneself enough to let go, to turn back and look at editing once cooled, all are parts of Bradbury’s “Don’t Think, Work, Relax” philosophy. One that feels right to me, one that can be easily forgotten after years of workshop, of muling about the word, of slave-driving it into material. I really loved this book, its energy and youth.
"Work. Be relentless. All over the world, people are working harder than you. Don’t go to events; go to the receptions after the events. If possible, skip the receptions and go to the afterparties, where you can have a real conversation with someone…
Become tempered by life. Make compromises for love. Provide a service to the world. These experiences form the adult mind. Without them both you and your work will remain juvenile.”