Hello, friends! Welcome to this month’s meeting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! If you’re a writer and if you feel insecure about your writing life, click here to learn more about this amazingly supportive group!
So last month, I didn’t get much blogging done. I was a little busy working on something else. But I did have time last month to have a long, heartfelt conversation with my muse. We ended up setting some new rules and renegotiating the terms of our writer/muse relationship.
There are plenty of writing rules out there, of course, but as my muse likes to say:
And that’s exactly what I did. I took a look at some of the rules I’ve been following—both the rules I’ve adopted from other writers and also the rules I’ve invented for myself. I cut some, edited others. I condensed and combined a few things together. Then, in the end, I presented my muse with the following letter:
I promise to write every single day, because writing requires daily practice, and my writing skills and writing stamina atrophy quickly if I skip too many days in a row.
I promise to do warm up exercises on a regular basis, because sometimes my brain needs a little help switching over from real life mode to writing mode.
I promise to work on a wide range of creative projects each week, because focusing on just one project leads to creative stagnation, while jumping between projects can help stir up the creative juices.
And if I break any of these promises, dear muse, I promise to write you a long and sincere apology letter, because that will help me learn from my mistakes and figure out how to do better next time.
I’ve written (and rewritten) plenty of writing rules for myself over the years, but I never thought to include those “because” clauses before. Those because clauses make a real difference, I think. It’s one thing to make up a bunch of rules and try to follow some sort of routine. But rules and routines get boring. Once that happens, it’s easy to forget why those rules were important, and excuses for breaking the rules are not hard to find.
So I’m going to make one last promise. I promise to post my rules prominently in my writing sanctuary, because sometimes I need a quick reminder not only of what my rules are but why those rules are important to me. And, as always, if it turns out these new rules don’t work out for me: writing rules are made to be rewritten.
So what do you think of my new writing rules, and what sort of writing rules do you follow?