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Thursday Thirteen # 17 - Cool Writing Tips from Jack Kerouac


For this week’s Thursday Thirteen, I bring you 13 gems (of the 30 in total) from Jack Kerouac’s “Belief and Technique for Modern Prose.” I have no clue what many of these writing tips really mean but they certainly have had a liberating effect on my prose. Maybe that’s the point. Enjoy!

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

2. Submissive to everything, open, listening

3. Be in love with yr life

4. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind

5. The unspeakable visions of the individual

6. No time for poetry but exactly what is


7. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you

8. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition

9. Like Proust be an old teahead of time

10.Telling the true story of the world in interior monologue

11. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself

12. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea

13. Believe in the holy contour of life

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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thanx for this list and the link to the rest of the 30.

now i really have to read a Kerouac.

I'm late, but I'm here. Thanks for the tips.

I like # 1 and no, I don't really get some of what he said :)

Thanks for dropping by.

Hi, XINE! I tagged you for a meme, for when you're in the mood or you just wanna do something goofy. Come see my blog for details!

Such an inspiring list! While I have pictures, I'm currently trying to put into words the emotion and sheer amazement of an experience I encountered today. Your chosen 13, especially 2, 7 and 11 has certainly helped. For the first time I am in love with my life.
Thank you!

I think I either do or could do most of them, but number 8, I don't know. That's a tough one. I'd have to shoot my inner grammar nazi or something to accomplish that.

Cool list. Happy TT.

You know what? I haven't read Kerouac since college. I think I'm going to grab a book to read a little, tomorrow. I forgot how much I missed him, LOL!

Happy TT! Great list!

Some of those did seem to be overly cryptic... then again, you're talking about a guy who wrote an entire book without a page break, so he clearly doesn't think the same way most of us do. :-)

My much more easily understood Thursday Thirteen is simply 13 cool places I've been.

it means drop some acid and write, write, write!

Hey! The first rule of Secret Notebook club is, don't talk about Secret Notebook club. ;)

And forgive me for asking, but uh... what, exactly, is a teahead?

The first one is my favorite. That was a luscious TT for writers!

Those are pretty wild.

what I take from it is be spiritual...with that you will be unigue and true to yourself in your writing and style.

Terrific idea fr a TT list...

here's is mine


And listen I have transcript form Cormac McCarthy interview with Oprah...I made them myself if you want one, e-mail me ok?

candyminx AT hotmail.com

Oh, I love the first one... thats what I've done for most of my life

I love those. They seems to give me permission to let go! His prose is like e.e. cummings poetry ... or is that a poem?

My 13 are still warm.

I love the wild scribbles and secret notebooks. :-) Happy TT!

I don't know, but I think that man was seriously messed up... yet there's some truth in those ramblings.

Happy TT, Xine! Thanks for visiting!!!

These are awesome! I love number 8. I really need to listen to that advice.

Gee, I know what you mean about not really understanding them. Is he even speaking english? Certainly not the language I have learned.
And suddenly I'm glad that I never bothered to read on of his books... ;o)

Great list. I've heard some of those quoted before. He certainly was an original intellect!! Very clever

I loved these, and they are so liberating. I thought they were more RULES, and I'm so happy they're mostly about just...setting yourself free and letting yourself create!!

beautiful TT!! Thanks, Xine!

That is a great link to
"Jack Kerouac’s “Belief and Technique for Modern Prose.” "

#3. That's what everyone should do. Being in love with life... Thanks for stopping by :)

Wowie, I loved, loved, loved those, and my very favorites were #12 and #13 -- just beautiful, and so evocative. Thanks so much for sharing this -- I'm going to copy it and paste it into my Writing Inspiration File!

Happy TT, my friend!

Makes perfect sense to me. Have you every read about writing morning pages in The Artist's Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity?
by Julia Cameron with Mark Bryan.

This sounds a lot like writing morning pages. You just go for whatever is in your brain at the moment. You write but don't think about what your writing sounds like to others. Just put it all out there.

Very Kewl :)

Well, he should know!
There were a few gems, but honestly, some of them I didn't even understand :(
Perhaps because it's midnight and I'm tired...