Jack Kerouac’s List of 30 Beliefs and Techniques for Prose and Life

This post, by Maria Popova, originally appeared on Brain Pickings on 3/22/12.

In the year of reading more and writing better, we’ve absorbed David Ogilvy’s 10 no-bullshit tips, Henry Miller’s 11 commandments, John Steinbeck’s 6 pointers, and various invaluable advice from other great writers. Now comes Jack Kerouaccultural icon, symbolism sage, exquisite idealist — with his 30-point list, entitled Belief and Technique for Modern Prose. With items like “No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge” and “Accept loss forever,” the list is as much a blueprint for writing as it is a meditation on life.

 

  1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
     
  2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
     
  3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house
     
  4. Be in love with yr life
     
  5. Something that you feel will find its own form
     
  6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
     
  7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
     
  8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
     
  9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
     
  10. No time for poetry but exactly what is

 

Read the rest of the post (and the rest of Kerouac’s list) on Brain Pickings.

Comments are closed.