Henry Miller's 11 (With Comments)

Henry Miller’s 11 commandments for writing (that Tommi doesn’t live by).

  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished. (Too many things in head.)
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to ‘Black Spring.’ (When working on novel thinking about a play.)
  3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand. (The reckless part. Doesn’t that counter #1?)
  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time! (And what when you work according to a wine full of belly?)
  5. When you can’t create you can work. (Oh, now that makes sense.)
  6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers. (Ok. A new definition of the word ‘cement’.)
  7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it. (How ’bout doing this without keeping human.)
  8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only. (Then it would be called pleasure and not writing. Embrace the pain.)
  9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude. (Ok. Makes sense.)
  10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing. (Same as #2. Come on Henry!)
  11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards. (What if you can’t paint, have no friends and there is only AppleTV and no cinema anymore? Oh Henry.)

Rant on.

-ts