Henry Miller’s Creative Process and Daily Routine

Henry Miller on Happiness

“Paint what you like and die happy.” – Henry Miller

Here is Henry Miller’s Daily Program:

Writing Commandments

  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to ‘Black Spring.’
  3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
  5. When you can’t create you can work.
  6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
  9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
  10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
  11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterward.

And here is Henry Miller’s Daily Roadmap.


  • If groggy, type notes and allocate, as stimulus.
  • If in fine fettle, write.


  • Work of section in hand, following plan of section scrupulously.
  • No intrusions, no diversions.
  • Write to finish one section at a time, for good and all.


  • See friends.
  • Read in cafés.
  • Explore unfamiliar sections — on foot if wet, on bicycle if dry.
  • Write, if in mood, but only on Minor program.
  • Paint if empty or tired.
  • Make Notes. Make Charts, Plans. Make corrections of MS.

Note: Allow sufficient time during daylight to make an occasional visit to museums or an occasional sketch or an occasional bike ride. Sketch in cafés and trains and streets.

BIG RULE: Cut the movies!

Library for references once a week.

Here is my book aboute creative process: Letters to a Young Artist in the Digital Age: Encouragements for a creative life


John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
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