January 22

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Henry Miller: Work On One Thing At A Time

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  • Excellent advice. Side note: until I looked it up just now, I didn’t realize that Miller was referring to his book “Black Spring” (which was published in 1936, so presumably was in revisions when he wrote this). Without that knowledge, I was curious about what he meant by “black spring” and started imagining what it might be a metaphor for. Given his admonition not to add anything more to it, I imagined it as a plowed field of new story ideas popping up — but the author doesn’t nurture and complete them, moving to plant other new ideas instead. The happy green sprouts never reach their potential, and instead dry and wither and blacken. A field of black spring.

    So, obviously he meant he should stop mucking with his book and finish it. But I might keep using the misunderstood metaphor anyway.

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