Sunday, January 20, 2008

Tips on Writing, Part I

No, not my tips on writing, silly. This is part one of my future ongoing series, tentatively titled "tips from authors whom I respect." I just finished reading Jack Kerouac's On the Road, and as he is fresh on my mind, there could be no better place to start.

He has a list of 30 concise and conversational tips for "Spontaneous Prose," of which I have chosen my favorites. Where exactly do you think I found it.

3) Try never to get drunk outside your own house

6) Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind

11) Visionary tics shivering in the chest

17) Write in recollection and amazement for y[ou]rself

20) Believe in the holy contour of life

29) You're a Genius all the time

I found that number 20 is the trait most distinct to Kerouac. If you want to describe something, you must believe that there is order in it, and he believed that there was a beautiful order to the world. Dying relatively young probably didn't hurt his artistic credibility either.