Break the 'Rules'

It's an oldie but a goodie; Don't let people boss you around. What do they know anyway? So what if they've written more books than you? Who cares if they been published and you haven't? Who cares if they have ten NYT Bestsellers and you have one self published book that has only sold 20 copies(and you know for a fact that 10 of them were to your mom)?

All that means is that they know what works the best FOR THEM, not what works FOR YOU. Writers love nothing more than giving advice, sometimes because they want to help, other times because they want to prove to the world that they know stuff, and still other times to try and prove to themselves that they know stuff. Problem is that writing is extremely personal. No two people do it the same way, and each person's process is directly affected by their lives, ie. whether or not they have kids, if and how often they work, where they work, if they travel, their level of experience, and it just goes on from there. This is why no one can tell you how to write. They can tell you what has worked for them, but that's it. Too many people read articles, and go to conferences, and take classes thinking that the 'secret' to writing will be revealed, but the real secret is that there is no secret. You just have to try different things and stick with what works for you. Don't attend a seminar given by, say, Nora Roberts, and expect to leave knowing how to write like she does. You can't--because you are not her.The only person you can write like is you.

Experiment, try different things, and don't be discouraged when you find advice that doesn't work. Even if it's advice that everyone else says should. In the world of writing and publishing, rules are truly made to be broken--so if it doesn't work, don't force it or think that you have failed. Just chuck it to the curb and keep going!

The Writer 'Rules':
  • You must write everyday
  • You shouldn't WANT to write, you should NEED to write
  • You must have our own space to write
  • You should write straight through your fist draft without editing
  • You must take writing classes and go to conferences to be any good
  • You must write only what you know
And there are slews more, and probably some I've never even heard. But in the end the only rules you need to stick to (other than those of grammar as they are always important) are the ones that work for you.

And as this entire post was technically advice from a writer, and I told you not listen to that anymore, feel free to forget you read this. :-)


  1. Great post, friend :) I actually found myself chuckling out loud while reading the "rules." I never thought of myself as a rule breaker, but apparently I'm quite the rebel, lol :)

    1. Hell yeah, fight the power! :-D There are too many 'Nancy Know-it-alls' out there desperate to tell the writers of the world what to do. It's time they cork it and get back to writing.