Jack Kerouac’s List of Essentials for Writing

My friend Ori recently sent me this list, apparently written by Kerouac himself. Lots of good stuff here, so I thought I would share it. Read on, Macduff…

(Editor’s note: I believe all grammatical idiosyncracies are intentional. Just FYI.)

1. Write on, cant change or go back, involuntary, revised, spontaneous, pure

2. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for your own joy

3. Submissive to everything, open, listening

4. Be in love with your life every detail of it

5. Something 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 the 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. Work from the pithy middle eye out, from the jewel center of interest, swimming in language sea

17. Accept loss forever

18. Believe in the holy contour of life

19. Write in recollection and amazement of yourself

20. Profound struggle with pencil to sketch the flow that already exists intact in the mind

21. Don’t think of words when you stop but to see the picture better

22. No fear or shame in the dignity of your experience, language, and knowledge

23. Write for the world to read and see your exact pictures

24. In Praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness

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

26. You’re a genius all the time

27. Writer-Director of Earthly Movies produced in Heaven, different forms of the same holy gold


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