Belief and Technique for Modern Prose- Jack Kerouac
In 1958, Jack Kerouac wrote a letter to Don Allen. In closing, he included a 30-point list of "essentials" that he titled "Belief and Technique for Modern Prose." It read as follows.
I think you will love it even if you don't consider yourself a writer! Please enjoy
(Source: Heaven and Other Poems; Image: Kerouac, courtesy of Beat is Back.)
Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy Submissive to everything, open, listening Try never get drunk outside yr own house Be in love with yr life Something that you feel will find its own form Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind Blow as deep as you want to blow Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind The unspeakable visions of the individual No time for poetry but exactly what is Visionary tics shivering in the chest In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition Like Proust be an old teahead of time Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye Write in recollection and amazement for yourself Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea Accept loss forever Believe in the holy contour of life Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind Don't think of words when you stop but to see picture better Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better You're a Genius all the time Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven