With Christmas and its festivities just a few weeks away and my University studies finished until the New Year (I graduated with a Post Graduate Certificate in Creative and Professional Writing!), I’ve decided to start an inspirational writer’s spot every Wednesday until Christmas week.

So, my posts will run for the next 6 weeks, starting today. My first pick of writers that I have inspired us, made us become writers ourselves, or simply who have enthralled us with they way they choose to live their lives creatively, is Henry Miller.

Henry Miller was an American writer who was also admired and discussed on my writing course, namely for his inspirational works, his literary forms, and his social observations.

“A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition” – Henry Miller

Henry Miller, Paris
Henry Miller 1891-1980

Henry Miller 1891-1980

  • American writer, born in New York in 1891
  • Known for breaking with the contemporary literary forms of his contemporaries, and for developing a semi-autobiographical style of novel, in Tropic of Capricorn
  • His works superbly capture character study, new literary forms, social observations, philosophical ideologies and reflections on the world he inhabited
  • Used sexual connotations throughout his works
  • Literary forms and genres included surrealism, explicit and erotic language and mysticism

Many of Miller’s works were written whilst he lived in Paris.

His books include (but are not limited to) – Tropic of Cancer, The Colossus of Maroussi, The Time of the Assassins, and The Big Sur.

His novel The Tropic of Cancer, led to an obscenity trial in the US in 1961, that tested American laws on pornography. The novel was passed and ruled as a work of Literature.

In order to draw inspiration and motivation for his day, Miller wrote a list of his writing tips to abide by. Take note, budding writers out there!

  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is at hand.
  3. Work according to Program, and not according to Mood! Stop at the appointed time.
  4. When you can’t create, you can work.
  5. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  6. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  7. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
  8. Discard the Program when you feel like it – but go back to it next day. Narrow down. Exclude.
  9. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
  10. Write first, and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come after.

Happy writing everyone! #writing #writerslife #inspiration #henrymiller #quote