Monday, September 19, 2011

The 6 Rules of Writing?

I was stunned to learn this weekend that there is an article about "the 6 rules of writing" by Robert A. Heinlein.  I was provided with a link to a great article that not only provides the original 5 rules of writing but adds a 6th.  I was stunned to read how simple there were but to realize how utterly true they were.  Especially after this last weekend since my failure with chapter 2 completion.

Rule 1:  You Must Write.
Rule 2: Finish What You Start.
Rule 3: You Must Refrain From Rewriting, Except to Editorial Order.
Rule 4: You Must Put Your Story on the Market.
Rule 5: You Must Keep it on the Market until it has Sold.
Rule 6: (Added by the author of the article, Robert J. Sawyer) Start Working on Something Else. is the link to the article again, I highly recommend you go and check it out, especially if you're not doing one or more of the suggested rules above.  I know for me I'm stuck between rule one and rule two.  Sawyer also explains each rule wonderfully so I am not going to steal his work and repeat everything he says here.

Each rule has its own time frame, you've got to write in order to finish and you've got to finish something in order to send it out for rewrites and you've got to put it on the market if you're going to sell it and you've got to keep doing it if you're going to get sold and you've got to keep writing if you want to actually make it.  It's surprisingly circular isn't it?  I'm planning on making these rules into my mantra for everyday and first and foremost for today I've got to leave all my fears and worries behind so that I can write.  I don't think it matters what I write anymore, but I need to be writing.  A wonderful blogger named Lana left a comment on my last post that was extremely encouraging and reminded me of a quote from Stephen King (who doesn't know that name eh?) "Fear is at the root of most - if not all - bad writing", well that certainly sounds like me lately!  (You can pop over to Lana's blog with this link:

I also have gotten some extraordinarily good advice from the wonderful writers at Writer's Digest's forums.  First and foremost?  Write and persevere.  The two hardest things to do when you're writing a novel and things come at you from every direction.  (Here's a link to the forum if you need it:

So thank you to everyone who has offered me suggestions and support through this hard stretch and I hope that this post gives a little back to those who are also looking for some help.