A few nights ago a Twitter follower posted an unusual tweet. She indicated that she wasn’t made out to be writer and indicated she was quitting.
At some point every new writer feels this way. I was there just a few weeks ago. So I messaged her and asked what’s up.
As we started chatting, it came that she felt she wasn’t fitting in well with the online community of writers. I pressed her for more details. She felt that her writing process wasn’t like everyone else’s. She is a slow writer. She doesn’t write every day. She doesn’t plan out what she writes (on other words a pantser). In addition, she had expressed her views online and claimed to have received negative comments.
It’s a very counterproductive exercise to be comparing yourself to other writers. No two writers are going to be the same. What works for me isn’t going to work for someone else. I like to write in the morning. Some writers prefer to write at the end of the day. Some like to place music in the background. I like it quiet. I’m happy writing 500 to 1,000 words a day. There are writers are not happy unless they churn out 2,000 words a day. There is no right or wrong process.
In addition, the Internet is filled with blogs telling writers how to write a novel. They cover openings, endings, the middle part, character development, plot arc, narrative, dialogue, pacing, point of view, internal dialogue, cliff hangers, antagonists, flashbacks, sticky sentences, tropes and on and on. You can make yourself crazy with all these writing rules.
Guess what? The only rules that really count is that you need to use proper spelling and grammar. Nothing else matters. If cliches work for your story, use them. If you want to write a novel with 9 points of view, go right ahead. If you characters use crude and offensive language, knock yourself out.
Because who is to say what you are doing is right or wrong? No one. You are writing for yourself. You can’t be writing to please someone else. So politely listen to advice given and do what you feel is right for you. Your book will find an audience.
We aren’t all destined to be writing a bestseller, but we are all writing.
4 thoughts on “There Are No Rules For Writing”
Excellent! Every writer is different, which means every writer’s process is different.
It’s heartbreaking to see some writers try to fit into the mold of someone else and fail by those standards. The important thing is figuring out what works for you as a writer and improving your craft from there!
It’s true. I’ve fallen into that trap. Then realize how stupid that is.
Thanks for reading this Jess.
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I posted about the writing process yesterday, but I made sure to mention that every writer ends up creating their own process. Just because it works for me, doesn’t mean it’ll work for everyone.
All we should truly be looking for when we look for these “rules” is a starting point, which isn’t always the same as someone else’s starting point…
A writer should learn as much as they can about writing and then develop their own writing style, process, even create their genre if nothing suits them. You never allow others to dictate to you.