Saturday, February 25, 2012

Okay, gang, since my back hurts and I can't get the kitchen painted, I thought I'd update the ole blog. I came across a nice list of writer's tips from Henry Miller. During the 1932-33 era when he wrote his first published work Tropic of Cancer, Miller adhered to a strict writing discipline. Among these were 11 commandments. (Thanks to BrainPickings.org):


1) Work on one thing at a time until finished.
2) Start no more new books, add no more new material to ‘Black Spring.’
3) Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
4) Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
5) When you can’t create you can work.
6) Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
7) Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
8)Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
9)Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
10) Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
11) Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

He also had a daily routine:

MORNINGS:If groggy, type notes and allocate, as stimulus.
If in fine fettle, write.

AFTERNOONS:
Work of section in hand, following plan of section scrupulously. No intrusions, no diversions. Write to finish one section at a time, for good and all.

EVENINGS:
See friends. Read in cafés.
Explore unfamiliar sections — on foot if wet, on bicycle if dry.
Write, if in mood, but only on Minor program.
Paint if empty or tired.
Make Notes. Make Charts, Plans. Make corrections of MS.
Note: Allow sufficient time during daylight to make an occasional visit to museums or an occasional sketch or an occasional bike ride. Sketch in cafés and trains and streets. Cut the movies! Library for references once a week.

Thanks again to BrainPickings.org for this, and to The Creative Pen for letting me know about it!

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