Saturday, December 27, 2014

Handy Tips From David Ogilvy, and Henry Miller For Better Writing

 Well Christmas has come, and gone. It was a good one, and there is much to be grateful, for as the New Year approaches.

 Many  of us are thinking about resolutions, or taking an inventory of 2014, and perhaps exploring ways to improve our lives in 2015.

This coming year,I have certain things I want to accomplish, some have to do with my house, that I finally paid off after 20 years, and others are related to my creative and business goals.

Writing has become a pretty darn vital part of my creative process, and work. I am always very keen to find out about how writing affects creativity, and how I can be improve my writing. Finding this list today by the famous advertising executive David Ogilvy, and Henry Miller's list of commandments, I believe both to be very helpful, and informative for any one involved in creativity, and for me writing, and reading is what enables creativity.

 I received a really lovely art journal this Christmas, and will be sure to include David Ogilvy's list, and Miller's commandments in my visual art journal to have for future reference. The list and commandments are a combination of good marketing tools, and developing a good work ethic toward my creative practice. Both can certainly be adapted for artists regardless of your medium.

David Ogilvy 1911-1999
 The original "Mad Man", David Ogilvy in 1982 he sent an internal memo to all his advertising agency employees he called, " How to Write".
" The better you write, the higher you go in Ogilvy-Mather ".
" People who think well, write well. Woolly minded people write woolly memos, woolly letters and woolly speeches.Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well. Here are 10 hints: "
  1. Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times.
  2. Write the way you talk. Naturally.
  3. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
  4. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.
  5. Never write more than two pages on any subject.
  6. Check your quotations.
  7. Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning — and then edit it.
  8. If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.
  9. Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.
  10. If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go and tell the guy what you want.

                                                                Henry Miller, 1891 – 1980 

Here are writer and artist, Henry Miller's 11 commandments on having a work schedule. I believe these commandments and his "Daily Program" can be adapted to any creative art, an individual specializes in.

  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 afterwards.

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. Cut the movies! Library for references once a week.

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