Don’t Be A Draught Horse!

As a writer I look for inspiration constantly. 9/10s of writing is just sheer dedication and hard work, only a small margin is what you would call inspiration. But it really helps me to find little pieces of advice like this, words of wisdom from others who have been through the trenches and know. This set of commandments comes from Henry Miller, a rogue writer of the early 20th century. Just having a set of goals or suggestions, even if they’re something I’ve already heard before, is nice to have and be reminded of. It’s so easy to lose track and perspective if you aren’t careful. Enjoy!

1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.

2. Start no more new books.

3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.

4. Work according to Program and not according to mood.

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–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.

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