Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments of Writing

Every day of this sabbatical so far, I have opened my computer and allowed the commandments of a legendary author to set me to work. 

Herewith the 11 Commandments of Writing from Henry Miller, as he was working on what would eventually become his novel, Tropic of Cancer.


Miller may have been a controversial figure in the world of literature, but if you have ever focused on a creative endeavor of any sort, you will recognize yourself in these commandments! (Oh #2, you demon! How often in our office have we had to post signs in every room that say NO NEW PROJECTS!?)

Do you have other commandments that work for you? When you are in that project space, attempting to focus and bring out the best in yourself and the work – what commandments work for you? (Not asking to fill space – I really want to know!)

Many thanks to Maria Popova who curates the magical site filled with the world’s knowledge known as BrainPickings. Her piece on Miller is what led me to those commandments. Highly recommend her stuff, wherever you find it (her blog, FB, Twitter – anywhere!)

Please invite others along on this journey of discovery and exploration of the creative process. Just click on the “share” links below. Thanks!

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