Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #1024 - Work and Writing - Henry Miller's Daily Routine
So, on Wednesday when thinking about my post to make, I skimmed through the deep and dark archives of the SENSE OF DOUBT blog. I may have mentioned before that I have 358 draft posts saved in my online queue. Granted, about 30-36 of those are about the comic books for the month going back to 2015, which was the last time I posted one. Okay, 69 monthly comic posts, assuming they are all labeled, and so maybe my total drafts minus the comic books ones is very close to 300. Still, I have been trying to post some of these drafts at a faster rate than I make new ones.
Often my selection process when pressed for time has to do with what post looks mostly finished, one I could bring to completion fairly quickly.
So this is an old one. I actually had to change the footer as the boilerplate text had changed since I saved this post initially. I reached deep into the abyss of the archive to pull this one into the light. It did not kick and scream very much at all, though I can imagine the banner art up top could be better.
Also, this comes from Brain Pickings, though I did not preserve the format. However, the link still works.
Then Wednesday ended, and it's Thursday. I try to practice good work ethic by earning a break to work on the blog rather than investing time in it early in the day. Also, my emails to friends and family often suffer, and I wonder if some of them think, "gee, he posted a blog but can't write me back?" I am just trying to balance things, and this post is about balance.
How I would love Henry Miller's ex-pat life of writing, reading, and contemplation. What an idyllic, pastoral dream!
But there's wisdom here, too. I like the commandments for writing and for work. I try to find good work-life balance. It can be a struggle, but I am making good progress.
Back to work now.
FROM - HENRY MILLER'S ROUTINE
Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments of Writing and Daily Creative Routine
“When you can’t create you can work.”
BY MARIA POPOVA
After David Ogilvy’s wildly popular 10 tips on writing and a selection of advice from modernity’s greatest writers, here comes some from iconic writer and painter Henry Miller.
In 1932-1933, while working on what would become his first published novel, Tropic of Cancer, Miller devised and adhered to a stringent daily routine to propel his writing. Among it was this list of eleven commandments, found in Henry Miller on Writing — a fine addition to these 9 essential books on reading and writing, part of this year’s resolution to read more and write better.
- Work on one thing at a time until finished.
- Start no more new books, add no more new material to ‘Black Spring.’
- Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
- Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
- When you can’t create you can work.
- Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
- Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
- Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
- Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
- Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
- Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.
Under a part titled Daily Program, his routine also featured the following wonderful blueprint for productivity, inspiration, and mental health:
If groggy, type notes and allocate, as stimulus.
If in fine fettle, write.
Work of section in hand, following plan of section scrupulously. No intrusions, no diversions. Write to finish one section at a time, for good and all.
See friends. Read in cafés.
Explore unfamiliar sections — on foot if wet, on bicycle if dry.
Write, if in mood, but only on Minor program.
Paint if empty or tired.
Make Notes. Make Charts, Plans. Make corrections of MS.
Note: Allow sufficient time during daylight to make an occasional visit to museums or an occasional sketch or an occasional bike ride. Sketch in cafés and trains and streets. Cut the movies! Library for references once a week.
For more of Miller’s obsessive recipes for creative rigor, dig into Henry Miller on Writing.
HT Lists of Note
Reflect and connect.
Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you, Mom.
I miss you so very much, Mom.
Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.
- Days ago = 1026 days ago
- Bloggery committed by chris tower - date - 1804.25 - 10:10
NEW (written 1708.27) NOTE on time: I am now in the same time zone as Google! So, when I post at 10:10 a.m. PDT to coincide with the time of your death, Mom, I am now actually posting late, so it's really 1:10 p.m. EDT. But I will continue to use the time stamp of 10:10 a.m. to remember the time of your death, Mom. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom.