Dec 17, 2010

20 "Rules" for Writers

1.    Believe in your talent.  Your desire to write is no accident. 

2.    Dare to imagine.

3.    Don’t think about publication while you’re creating. Your muse probably works well under certain types of pressure, but may shut down under the pressure of trying to make your book fit a publisher’s guidelines. Making it fit is a job for your internal editor. So create with joy and abandon. Write as if no one will ever read what you’ve written. You can always worry about “fixing” it later. 

4. Don’t undervalue your internal editor. She has a specific job to do, so when the time is right, move your creative self out of the way and let your editor get to work.

5.    Remember the reader’s journey.  Give her what she came for. Never make choices in your writing based on what’s easiest for you to do. It’s always about the reader.

6.    Don’t try to sound like a writer. It will kill your work.

7.    Leave your ego at the door. 

8.    Try something new every day. 

9.    Leave the page once in a while.  Get outside and live! 

10.  If what you’ve been doing isn’t bringing you the success you’re looking for, try something else.

11.  Writer’s block may just mean that you’re approaching your work from the wrong perspective. The muse often shuts down when we try to force the wrong thing onto the page. 

12.  Accept change. 

13.  Don’t expect approval for telling the truth. 

14.  Every experience in your life has purpose -- both the good and the bad.  Embrace them all.  They’re here to give you something to say. 

15.  Remember that novel writers are, by nature, risk-takers. Take risks. 

16.  Forget about critics. Reviews, both good and bad, can impact your creativity negatively. If the review is bad, you’ll begin to doubt yourself and your talent. If the review is good, you’ll either worry about whether you can do it again, or you’ll begin to believe your own press and lose the hunger that gave you that edge.

17.  Forget your parents, your siblings, your children and your neighbors when you sit down to write. 

18.  Tell your truth and the truth of your characters.  Don’t worry about anyone else’s. 

19.  What you don’t write does not exist in your characters’ world. 

20.  There are no rules

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