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
I thought I would try and come up with my own version of such a list. I call it "M’s Holy Grail for Writing: "
1) Morning pages:
Each morning I write 3 pages of stream-of-consciousness writing as suggested in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. This practice is meant to be done as soon after rising as possible, because that is when our internal critics are still asleep or groggy. This process has also been called “the brain drain.” It’s a great way to clear the garbage out of your mind, making it easier to get to the heart of any creative project you’re doing, whether it’s writing, painting, playing music, etc. I have been doing these pages everyday for over 10 years now, and I can’t imagine life without them.
2) Daily creative project that keeps inspiration flowing:
My current daily project is Jazz Art Play, which I mentioned in my last post. I am still doing it daily, and I am loving what the consistency is doing for my inspiration levels. Your daily project could be anything, as long as it’s quick, easy and enjoyable. (I’ve learned from experience, having tried many year-long art projects) For me, if it’s not quick, easy and enjoyable, I end up quitting. Having a fun project that you do each day helps to keep your mind and spirit inspired for more.
3) Do some writing everyday, even if it’s just in your journal:
I think that if you are going to call yourself a writer or an artist, then you should be working on your craft everyday. This is a good way to avoid blocks and stagnation. (Though sometimes they still appear.) I am finding that if I just keep working at my craft everyday, the blocks disappear as suddenly as they came!
4) Get it all out and worry about editing later:
I’ve talked with so many creative people who say that they would like to write, but they are afraid. What if it’s no good? Yes, but what if it’s a masterpiece? You’ll never know until you let the genie out of the bottle. Like anything worthwhile, you must muster up your courage and take a leap. The trick is to not expect perfection to come out of you right away. Let it out first, then tweak it and polish it until it pleases you. Just remember: you are the only one who ever has to see it.
5) Daily exercise often yields inspiration:
This one is a relatively new practice for me. I started exercising daily on the first of the year, so I’m less than a month in. I wanted to mention it because I often get great flashes of inspiration during or right after I exercise. To me, that alone is reason enough to do it. But I am also slowly firming up a bit, and it raises my mood and energy levels, which is also great. I still fight it pretty much everyday. But I decided that the goal is to exercise for atleast 30 minutes a day, and I’m sticking with it. I set myself up for success by having back-up plans for rainy days when I can’t walk. I have a wonderful weight watcher’s video with 5 different routines, and I have also found some good workout videos on youtube. It gets the blood flowing to your brain, which means more ideas and inspiration, and less forgetfulness!
6) Have a system in place that allows you to be at your best for your writing:
This one is about having a healthy structure, foundation, or routine that I do everyday no matter what. To come up with my system, I decided what my bottom line was. “Bottom line” being what are the things I want to do each day to feel my best. Structure keeps me grounded, and it doesn’t have to be boring or routine. Apply variety, and you’re all set! I do different exercises each day so I don’t get bored. I drink green juice once a day, but it’s always a different mixture of fruits and veggies. Structure with variety is giving my creativity a framework that is moving things forward at a much faster clip, and I am grateful. I am currently putting the finishing touches on a children’s story called “Tomboy.” (autobiographical)
7) Prime the pump for tomorrow’s writing:
These last two were shared with me by my dear departed friend, Jack Hanrahan. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Hanrahan)
Jack was a famous writer for many 70’s sitcoms like Cher, Laugh In and The Waltons. He was also an animator on cartoons like Hong Kong Phooey and Inspector Gadget. I feel so blessed that he was my friend. I learned so much from him. He always used to say: “Put your work to bed while there’s still some juice left, so you can hit the ground running tomorrow.” This has been a great for avoiding blocks.
8) Always carry a pen and pad to capture ideas:
Jack Hanrahan always used to call this his number one tip for writers and artists. he said: "If you don’t write your idea down as soon as possible, it starts to lose some of its magic." Also, be sure and take good notes to explain yourself to yourself. I sometimes find notes to myself and I have no clue what I meant!
I hope you liked my list! If you have a list of your own, share it here!
And if your feet are getting itchy for adventure too, On the Road is in the theaters :