Gaiman and The 8 Rules of Writing

So it’s been quite some time since I have posted or even partaken in any social media… I have been on a pretty big break trying to refocus on writing and specific goals for the new year, spend some time with my wife and son… But I’m glad to jump back in, and ready to fire out as many ret-tweets as I can, catch up with many of my ASMSG friends, and reenter the virtual world of who knows really what….

So I’ve never been one to really give much weight into the various list that bare the title “Rules for Writing…” It has always seemed to me and been apparent that everyone has a different method as to how they accomplish their specific writing goals… What works for one may not work for another… But recently I came across a specific blog on the Brain Pickings website that centered around Neil Gaiman’s 8 Rules of Writing. At first I groaned thinking “Great, now Gaiman has given into the subject.”  But I was pleasantly surprised because in all honesty these are more than just mere rules; they are more like principles to apply to our daily writing life… Hope everyone enjoys!!!

1. Write.

2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.

3. Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.

4. Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.

5. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.

6. Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.

7. Laugh at your own jokes.

8. The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

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