Jack Kerouac found himself in possession of a singular voice. Spontaneous, dynamic, emblematic of the Beat generation he helped to pioneer, it’s a unique vantage from which to extol advice. It’s reasonable to assume that Kerouac wouldn’t be able to assist the average, yet to be inspired writer. And still, some poor fool seems to have jumped the shark, and we have the dispensary below to show for it.

Jack Kerouac

And they’re most definitely written by Kerouac:

  1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
  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 centre 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. Don’t 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

To the best of my knowledge, there have been no typos or errors of any kind in the transcription of Kerouac’s advice. Like one of his poems, the list of 30… tidbits (?) seems to be written spontaneously, with disregard for over-analysis and an eye on the greater truth of immediate association. Maybe this is gobbledygook, or maybe, when we think on our writing habits, ponder and bend and stretch them, we forget that inspiration, the only true fuel for creative writing, is an intuitive and fleeting thing.

When we hold on to it, and try to explain it by expounding upon technique, we may well be drifting from the heart of the matter. Complicating the process for ourselves. Skip around Kerouac’s list and see whether or not the notions strike you as truthful. Incorporate them as you see fit, or recall that you’ve been doing so without self-awareness in small pockets of time.

Jack Kerouac’s Extremely Jack Kerouac Writing Advice
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