I enjoyed reading Jack Kerouac’s ‘lost novel’ recently, but I admire and am drawn to the wild and passionate way he lived his life even more.
His ‘Rules of Spontaneous Prose’ (or ‘Belief and Technique for Modern Prose’, as it was also known) could almost be ‘The Rules’ on how to live as a creative and as a vagabond, roaming the tide of modern life.
There are 30 ‘rules’. I have picked 15 favourites:
1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
4. Be in love with yr life
5. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
17. Write in recollection and amazement of yourself
20. Believe in the holy contour of life
21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
29. You’re a Genius all the time
In imagining all that life can be; the great expanse of dreams and joy and rich heart-fluttering happiness grasping at being alive and free, I am sharing my Pinterest board on ‘Mantras for Life’, which I turn to when I need some perspective:
Or if things are really bad, my ‘Emotional Rescue’ board:
I also try to consign perceived disappointments, set-backs and failures to a folder marked ‘experience’, attributing these thoughts to the messages we all receive around us every day that elevate the ideal of the ‘American dream’ (or the British dream) as the pinnacle of all achievement.
Success means different things to different people. And I choose a life of happiness and dreaming.