Henry Miller’s 11 Writing Commandments

Henry Miller’s 11 Writing Commandments

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.

* A priceless Sunday morning find that I just had to share! I saw this listed in a Tumblr blog. Googled and found on several other sites with a source that led to a book that is now on my must read list:  Henry Miller on Writing 


sooz said…
Great advice for creating anything! (I'll forgive him for saying music comes later, but i get it)
Elle J Rossi said…
I like #7. It's so easy to become a hermit and seclude ourselves away from everyone and everything. But living life is the only way we will find inspiration and creativity!
Beth Ciotta said…
Sooz, I agree. These rules could be tweaked to apply to several creative aspects. And yes, were Mr. Miller in your shoes, music would certainly play in differently. :)
Beth Ciotta said…
You are so right, Elle. And I am so very guilty of being said hermit. I always say I want to change that. I'll consider it a work in progress.
Note to self: Filling the creative well is vital! (I know this. I do.)
Karen Bostrom said…
I'm so glad Penny posted this so that I found your website. Thank you both for sharing the treasure of Miller's list. It was just what I needed to read as I get back into the process of completing my current draft after several weeks of real life distractions of various kinds. Balance and daily "practice" of writing are both important. And I'm going to be more of a writing hermit the next few weeks before the LSFW conference.
Beth Ciotta said…
Karen, thanks so much for stopping by. I'm thrilled that Mr. Miller's list helped/inspired you in some way. Several of his points resonated with me. Best of luck finding your balance. You can do it!

Popular posts from this blog

I've Moved!

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Reality of it All