“Our task,” wrote John Updike, “is to rise above the setting, with its comforts and distractions, into a relationship with our ideal reader….”
This following section is on page 16 of the Writer’s Book of Days — typed as it appears on this page.
“Belief & Technique for Modern Prose — List of Essentials”
by Jack Kerouac
1. Scribble secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own
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 vision 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 [sic] 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 Praide 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
As ever, Jack
As I read the 30 List of Essentials, I tried to pick which would be the most important to me. Of course number 1 speaks to the heart of any writer, but I really am attached to number 13. When we write, we need to get those thoughts on paper and not worry about the mechanics…editing takes care of that and sometimes editing can and does go on forever. As fledgling writer, I tend to edit a piece to death. I need to leave things alone except for the spelling and structural errors and go with the purity of what was written as the words flowed from my mind through my arm and onto the paper or computer screen. That type of writing goes directly to number 28…I especially like “crazier the better”.
I can see this year to be an interesting one. In only 11 days, I have seen parts of me I did not know, that I forgot and have been reminded of from childhood … going from the many moves across Texas to describing how I received a wound and resulting scar when I was in third grade. The daily topics keep me on my toes and thinking, always thinking…always trying to “show not tell” as Joyce Carroll Armstrong continually tried to teach me as she was my first teacher along the road to becoming a better writer.
Musical Muse with this writing, iPod turned on with songs in the “B” section alphabetically … first song was my boy Rod Stewart and Baby Jane and it just better from there.
As always, I leave you with blessings and light, joy and happiness, but most of all LOVE.
As Ever, Annie (al la Jack!)