There are so many books on writing I could avoid buying toilet paper for the rest of my life. Each author has their own opinion on what creates a successful writer. Stephen King even sat down and told us how to do it. For the most part, the want-to-be authors can prattle them off the tops of their heads. They’re ingrained on the inside of our eyelids; mantras we chant to combat a blinking cursor.
1.) Write what you know
2.) Read, read and read some more.
3.) Set aside time to write everyday.
4.) No first draft is perfect.
The list goes on and on. For years, we’ve followed them faithfully – perhaps even grumbled over the need to actually write EVERYDAY (I know I don’t). Yet what happens when a very well known author comes onto the scene and basically tells us to throw all those guidelines out the window?
Anne Rice, who requires no introduction, on her Facebook page declared:
I’ve often said there are no rules for writers. Let me share the WORST AND MOST HARMFUL ADVICE I was ever given by others.
1) Write what you know. – (This rule is out of the question when dealing with Rice’s world of vampires. She wrote what she imagined.)
2)You’ll have to polish every sentence you write three or four times.
3)Genius is one tenth talent and nine tenths hard work
4) You’re not a real writer if you don’t write every day.
— ALL OF THAT WAS HARMFUL TO ME. ALL OF IT. IT HURT AND ITSET ME BACK. —– So I say again, there are no rules. It’s amazing how willing people are to tell you that you aren’t a real writer unless you conform to their cliches and their rules. My advice? Reject rules and critics out of hand. Define yourself. Do it your way. Make yourself the writer of your dreams. Protect your voice, your vision, your characters, your story, your imagination, your dreams. – Anne Rice
Everyone has their own sense of fashion. Everyone has their own genre preferences. I believe we should stand with Anne Rice as she proclaims to be true to ourselves. Write what we want to write. We have the genius to write that perfect sentence every so often and it exists within us. And lastly, write whenever the hell we feel like it.
Sounds good to me.
Anyone else have any treasured writing “rules”?