Make Your Own Rules
If you write and you want to learn more about your craft you’ve probably read dozens of articles that include the following:
The 3 rules of…
7 rules to…
If you want to be published follow the 10 rules…
Preface the word rule with a number between one and ten and you are well on your way to a silver bullet article or blog. Why silver bullet? Like a diet that starts on New Year’s Day, our magical thinking likes to believe the last set of rules read will rock our writing world. We don’t like to accept that a successful diet requires less food and more exercise and successful writing requires, wait for it, writing. You become a better writer by writing. Bummer, huh?
As a writing instructor, I’ve seen eager faces wait for the silver-platter epiphany. I’ve also experienced the group reaction of eight students who become simultaneously crestfallen at the reality of writing as a practice.
If you need rules as a writer, make your own. Define your writing ritual. My writing ritual is of little value to you. I can’t tell you which space resonates with you. I can’t say whether you should sit or stand, use a keyboard, a number 2 pencil, or a quill, play music as you write or meditate before you begin. Writing is personal. Success is defined by you and the goals you set. Success is reached by the recipe you create to attain your goals. Stay true and practice, practice, practice until you become the writer you want to be.