Sometimes it looks like being a rock star is all concerts, parties and famous people. This image lures in a huge set of wannabe’s and musicians with massive insecurities trying to fill a confidence void with fame. It should never be forgotten however, that being a rock star is a job like any other in the way that it requires persistence, dedication, and showing up for work daily. If you want it to last beyond a first burst of success that is. You can also assume that the good times will keep on coming and party and spend your money, but you’ll see soon enough that this will only arrest your momentum.
Author and painter Henry Miller, famous for many works including “Tropic of Cancer”, was an inhabitant of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg before many of today’s aspiring artists’ parents were even born. He kept this set of work rules, or commandments, by his desk to remind him that this dream profession of his was still a job. It reads in a way that writers of any kind, including song writers, could get some inspiration from.
Henry Miller’s Commandments
- Work on one thing at a time until finished.
- Start no more new books, add no more new material to ‘Black Spring.’
- Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
- Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
- When you can’t create you can work.
- Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
- Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
- Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
- Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
- Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
- Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.