Maybe it’s because I’m an author, but I notice a lot of advertising and promotion for writing seminars, classes, and workshops all across social media. They’ll teach me everything I need to know to become a successful author. I’ll learn all the tricks, secrets, and techniques from the masters. I wish. When it comes to my writing, I make the rules. Here are some of them:
- There are no rules. My “rules” are part of my method and approach to writing. If I want to end a sentence with a preposition, I will. If I want to use an occasional semi-colon, I will. If I want to use a sentence fragment in dialogue – because, guess what, that’s the way my character actually talks – I will. Screw Grammar Check and its stupid suggestions and red lines.
2. You’ll never find me in a writing class or workshop. I don’t do well in a structured learning environment. I’m not good at taking classroom information and applying it to my writing. I learn through observation, critical reading, and actual writing. Classrooms, online or otherwise, don’t work for me.
3. I don’t talk much about writing. No, that’s not what I’m doing here. This is writing about writing. Writing is a good thing, no matter the topic. Talking about writing, not so much because it doesn’t get me anywhere, unless I’m talking to a group of people that is interested in buying my books.
4. I’m always moving forward. The novels I’ve already written are on my bookshelf, but I only take them down when I’m writing the next book in the series and need to refresh my memory about certain characters and events. My next book is coming out in three months and it’s already hazy in my mind because my focus is on my current work in progress, Pieces of January.
5. A good editor is worth their weight in gold. Do you see how perfect each line is in rule number one? Then it turns to crap after that. The lines in two, three, four, and five have gone rogue. It’s some kind of wrap-around, formatting thing that I’m sure is simple to fix, but remains well beyond my capabilities.
Make your own rules. And find a good editor.
Thanks for listening.