Henry Miller's 11 Commandments
Henry Miller was an author who broke the rules, quite literally, and saw his now classic novels banned in the US until the Supreme Court decided they weren’t obscene. He did, however, have his own boundaries. In the early-1930s, as he wrote his first published novel, Tropic of Cancer, he wrote a list of 11 commandments, to be followed by himself.
- 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.