For the month of May, I’m going to elaborate on Jack Kerouac’s Belief and Technique for Modern Prose. This list of 30 mantras is one of my favorite collections of writing advice. I have it pinned to the cork board in my office. It’s intuitive, poetic, and mystical—just like the writing process.

1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy

Sometimes, we try too hard to please readers or live up to some standard in our minds. Suddenly, writing isn’t fun anymore. It becomes work. Once we cease to enjoy it, the creativity fades and we’re left with mechanical, uninspired ramblings.

That’s why you should keep some writing for yourself. Go on a spree and write wildly without expectation, without imagining what other people will think of it. This is for pure enjoyment.

Keep your scribblings secret, but look at them from time to time to rekindle your mischievous sense of fun.

Do you keep secret notebooks?

How do you keep the fun in your writing practice?

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Happy Writing!


Read all of Jack Kerouac’s Belief and Technique for Modern Prose.