The Chinese are a wise people. We're not talking the government control-freak Chinese people here, those folks have some mental issues, but simple words put into complex thought make wise the everyday Joes. Or, in this case the everyday Lings, Pings and Taos.
Look at the examples below and you’ll see what I mean:
Enough shovels of earth -- a mountain.
Enough pails of water -- a river.
I love this. And, I think it easily translates not only to everyday life, but to writing as well:
Enough letters -- a paragraph.
Enough paragraphs -- a manuscript.
Although some of the beauty of the original passage is lost in my pathetic translation, you get my drift.
Before Zen -- cut wood, carry water.
After Zen -- cut wood, carry water.
I take this to mean keep on keeping on with life's everyday tasks. So, how does this relate to writing you ask? I'm so happy you asked! Let's replace the word Zen with the word publication, and make some other slight modifications. Ready? Okay.
Before publication -- sit butt in chair and write.
After publication -- sit butt in chair and write.
You could also replace the word Zen with the words fame or fortune.
Ah yes, such a wise race the Chinese people. And man do they make good dumplings too.