Henry Miller’s 11 Tips to Writing Well

henry miller

Writing Advice by Henry Miller

These writing tips were originally written by Anaïs Nin’s not-so-secret lover in Henry Miller’s book, On Writing.

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 the 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 the 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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