Daily Writing Tip 20 of 100, Run Fast, Stand Still

For one hundred days, I’m going to post a writing tip each day. I have a whole bookshelf full of writing books and I want to do some reading and increased studying of this valuable resource. This will help me keep track of anything I’ve learned, and help motivate me to keep going. If anyone has a favorite tip of their own to add, contact me. I’d love to put it up here.

Today’s tip – Run Fast, Stand Still

Source – Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

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 of, 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 a style, instead of leaping upon truth which is the only style worth deadfalling or tiger-trapping.

I love the feeling when the words are coming fast – when I can barely type fast enough to keep up with the torrent. It feels like drinking from a fire hose. Then there is the stop, when the ideas fall away, when the fears rear their ugly heads.

That… I don’t like so much.

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