11 Commandments for Writing by Henry Miller
A list Henry Miller wrote as he worked on his novel, Tropic of Cancer. Solid advice I first read as a freshman in college. Thanks for the reminder, @jonathan.
- 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.