Focus Only on What You Are Writing Now

Art by Jann Alexander © 2014-5836


In 1932, Henry Miller created his own 11 Commandments to maintain his focus on his writing. They’re still worthy today, 80 years after his persistence paid off with the publication of Tropic of Cancer:

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.

—Henry Miller

What are you writing today?


Want to learn more about my upcoming novel? Subscribe HEREFor more on the art of writing, look HERE. Stroll through my art prints and paintings HERE. Or just find some inspiration among 45 quotes on writing, art and creativity, HERE.

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