In this post, we share the American writer and painter, Henry Miller’s 11 Writing Commandments.
Henry Miller was an American writer and painter. He was born 26 December 1891, and died 7 June 1980.
Miller wanted ‘to reestablish the freedom to live without the conventional restraints of civilisation. His books are potpourris of sexual description, quasi-philosophical speculation, reflection on literature and society, surrealistic imaginings, and autobiographical incident.’ (via Goodreads)
When he was writing his first published novel, Tropic of Cancer, he wrote a list of 11 commandments, to be followed by himself.
Henry Miller’s 11 Writing Commandments
(from Henry Miller on Writing)
- Work on one thing at a time until finished.
- Start no more new books, add no more new material to Black Spring.
- Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
- Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
- When you can’t create you can work.
- Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilisers.
- Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
- Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
- Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
- Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
- Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.
Source for list
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