Whenever I see various writers’ tips on or rules for writing, I always click. I usually find something that speaks to me. However, when I stumbled on Jack Kerouac’s 30 rules for writing, that didn’t apply. They didn’t make sense. So I googled and found the same list called Cool Tips, Beliefs and Techniques, and Advice to Writers (this one has editorial). I’m sure if I’d gone further I’d have seen more descriptors of this list.
Jack Kerouac (March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969) was an American novelist and poet. Kerouac is a literary icon and a pioneer of the Beat Generation, best known for the beatnik classic On the Road.
Other writers were always asking Kerouac for advice. He set down 30 essentials in a note titled ‘Belief and Technique for Modern Prose’. Or what another website called: Hippy Nonsense.
Kerouac’s 30 Rules for Writing
- Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
- Submissive to everything, open, listening
- Try never get drunk outside yr own house
- Be in love with yr life
- Something that you feel will find its own form
- Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
- Blow as deep as you want to blow
- Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
- The unspeakable visions of the individual
- No time for poetry but exactly what is
- Visionary tics shivering in the chest
- In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
- Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
- Like Proust be an old teahead of time
- Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
- The jewel centre of interest is the eye within the eye
- Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
- Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
- Accept loss forever
- Believe in the holy contour of life
- Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
- Don’t think of words when you stop but to see picture better
- Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
- No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
- Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
- Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
- In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
- Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
- You’re a Genius all the time
- Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven
I like “Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind” for its hippy nonsense quotient. But I think “You’re a Genius all the time” is going on my writing bulletin board. Do you have a favorite?
I think I want to be a “teahead of time.”
Oh, wait. I googled it and it means pothead. Never mind.
You can still “Be in love with yr life.”