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Hi. My name is Ellen Allen

I’m an avid reader and indie author, usually found in the south of France, either wild swimming or writing my next story, sometimes with a glass of wine in hand…

I collect titbits on all things bookish as well as advice on how to write, submit, & publish really good fiction.

No Need For The Pool; Seaside Musings About Henry Miller's Efficiency

No Need For The Pool; Seaside Musings About Henry Miller's Efficiency

Sitting by the sea, finishing up edits on my new book, I got to thinking about how hard it is to stay focused on one project at a time, and I thought about Henry Miller, the American author. In the 1930s when working on Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller set down his work commandments, which later went into his book on writing.

Work on one thing at a time until finished.
— Henry Miller
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His instructions are chaotic.

”Keep human. See people, go places, drink when you feel like it” is contradictory to “write first and always. Friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.”

It sounds like he was always trying to focus – “work according to program and not according to mood” but – “forget the program when you feel like it. But go back to it the next day.” Hilarious. He was right of course. Starting a book is easy. Finishing it is the hard part.

"Old Man" For The BBC; Why It's Good To Start Out By Writing A Play

"Old Man" For The BBC; Why It's Good To Start Out By Writing A Play