How to Write. ~ Jack Kerouac (& Waylon Lewis)

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Jack Kerouac: Belief & Technique for Modern Prose [a How-To-Write Top 30]

A followup to my post on “How to Write” via Jack Kerouac.

This also hangs on my wall, five feet from where I write at home, it too has Allen Ginsberg‘s scribbling above and below it from a class I took with the great Beat grandpa back in Vermont, back in the day.

My favorite, that I often pass along as advice to writers and businessfolk stuck on how to say something, or name something, is number 22: when you’re stuck on how to say something, stop thinking about words and think about what you want to say, what it looks like, and say it.

BELIEF & TECHNIQUE FOR MODERN PROSE

LIST OF ESSENTIALS

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

11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest

12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you

13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition

14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time

15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog

16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye

17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself

18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea

19. Accept loss forever

20. Believe in the holy contour of life

21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind

22. Dont think of words when you stop but to see picture better

23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning

24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge

25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it

26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form

27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness

28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better

29. You’re a Genius all the time

30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

 

 

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anonymous Aug 14, 2013 9:31pm

Wonderful tips for writing today. #new ways

#inspiration#feasable#living from heart#expression#feeling#life

anonymous Feb 24, 2013 2:29pm

[…] to help save the animals. Someday, she’ll learn how to tap dance. In the meantime, she keeps “scribbled secret notebooks,” and knows everything is as it should be, even if she has a hard time remembering it. Follow her […]

anonymous Feb 23, 2013 9:18am

[…] to help save the animals. Someday, she’ll learn how to tap dance. In the meantime, she keeps “scribbled secret notebooks,” and knows everything is as it should be, even if she has a hard time remembering it. Follow her […]

anonymous Jan 11, 2013 10:33pm

[…] to help save the animals. Someday, she’ll learn how to tap dance. In the meantime, she keeps “scribbled secret notebooks,” and knows everything is as it should be, even if she has a hard time remembering it. Follow her […]

anonymous Jun 15, 2011 2:06pm

[…] > More advice from Kerouac. […]

anonymous Jan 28, 2010 9:45pm

[…] way of communication that makes “The Only One” such a great song and Charlie a great songwriter. He’s not posturing about someone who needs hope, he’s speaking directly to it. Mars […]

anonymous May 22, 2009 4:52pm

Jack Kerouac was one of my first loves, this list is an amazing expression of his fluid use of language and constant reaching for purity. "Scribbled secret notebooks… for yr own joy." Thanks for the article!

elephant journal Apr 2, 2009 11:15pm

Amelia Patterson at 2:50pm April 2
Hey if you like that in Dec. 2007 of the Denver VOICE we published letters from Kerouac to Ed White (my grandpa) you can find the issue on our website http://www.denvervoice.org in the archives.

Waylon Hart Lewis at 2:54pm April 2
wowowwowowoowowow will check out!

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.