The real find, the one that got the blood rushing, was Ray Bradbury's Zen and the Art of Writing. Bradbury's style always keeps me slightly off-balance even though I usually know what he's getting at. He writes about how writing eliminates the poisons that congeal in our system over the course of a day and thus we need to write.
Ever since reading about that monk who burned his baskets I've been more appreciative of writing just to write, of not having the goal of being published. It's very freeing to no longer think of writing as a "waste of time" simply because it's has no utility.
In the introduction he asks what writing teaches us:
"it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege and not a right....while our writing cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst it all. Second, writing is survival. Any art, any good work, of course, is that. Not to write is for many of us to die. [If you don't write] what would happen is that the world would catch up with you and try to sicken you. If you did not write every day, the poisons would accumulate and you would begin to die, or act crazy, or both. You must stay drunk on writing so reality can't destroy you.""I have learned," he says, "that if I go a day without writing I grow uneasy. Two days and I am in a tremor. Three and I suspect lunacy. Four and I might as well be a hog, suffering the flux in a wallow. An hour's writing is a tonic. I'm on my feet..."