When writing there are 12 rules you will need to keep in mind. If you do, it will be possible to have a successful writing career. You may have times when you want to break them but be careful when you do. It is OK sometimes. But it is not something you want to do all of the time.
Write every day
This is usually what everyone always says. You’re thinking I don’t have time to write every day. I have learned that you do have time. You don’t have to write for one or two hours straight. Even if it is only 10 or 15 minutes a day.
You can find little pockets of time throughout the day. Waiting in line for the doctor’s appointment you have. Waiting in line t the store. How do you do this? I talk about it in this article here.
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Create a habit
By writing every day you are creating a new habit. Creating habits help you become successful. For example
- Write every day
- Edit on Monday and Wednesday’s
- Research on Saturday.
See, these are habits you can build on. I’m not trying to tell you that you have to make these your own personal habits. They are only an example. Choose your own habits you want to create. It is said that it takes 28 days to create a habit. So keep at it. If you have to only choose to work on one habit at a time
Writing should be fun, not a chore.
If you can’t find fun in writing then maybe you shouldn’t be a writer. I love to write. I find it fun and exciting. I have a passion for it. This is how a writer should feel. If they don’t how can they inspire others with their work. If you are not having fun why would you want to do it? You need to go and find what it is that you are passionate about. What it is you have fun doing.
Read a lot
The best writers are avid readers. I read all the time. This is how I learn. I’m not saying I am one of the best writers out there. But I don’t think I am the worst either. So read. Read every chance you get. Reading gives you invites and inspiration. It teaches you things you didn’t know. You see how other writers write.
Keep your writers’ notebook handy.
This is something most authors do. It is what all authors should do. Keeping a writer’s notebook helps you keep track of everything. In this notebook or app try to keep the following:
- Story ideas
- Title ideas
- Anything else you want
Avoid common descriptions that describe the same thing too many times before. They call these cliches. Describe everything in a unique way. You don’t want to write like everyone else. No one wants to read the same descriptions over and over again.
If you find yourself writing a cliche then do this exercise.
Write the cliche across the top of a piece of paper. Next start brainstorming ways to describe the same thing. Try to come up with as many possible descriptions as possible. Pick the best one on the list to use.
Finish each project
We all have projects that are only half done. Even I do. Sometimes it is because I am procrastinating. Sometimes it is because I’m working on something else. At this moment I have 15 articles including this one in my half-done articles here on medium.
I do have one other that is done but waiting for publishing on February first. I scheduled it for then because of the topic of the article. I even have 2 books that are half-written. So yes I need to follow this one.
In my defense of having this many articles that need finishing. Every time I have an idea of an article I start a new story here on medium. I write the idea out and brainstorm a little bit about it. This is so I don’t lose the idea. And most of the articles I have to finish is plotted into my content schedule for this month. The point is this. If you don’t finish what you have started your depriving your readers of something that may find value in.
Ask for feedback
When you’re in doubt over your writing ask some people for feedback on it. We all suffer from doubt. Whether it is sometimes or all the time. When you ask for feedback then you can find out what is working, and what isn’t. This will help you make your writing better.
Your poetry doesn’t have to rhyme
This one is for those of us who love to write poetry. It is true that most poems rhyme. But they don’t have to rhyme. And they don’t have to. Try writing some that don’t. See how you feel about it.
Don’t fear rejections.
Everyone gets rejected sometimes in this career. Even the great Stephen King. But he doesn’t let that stop him from writing every day and publishing his books. If he can do it so can you. Think of rejection as a learning experience. Don’t let the naysayers get you down and stop you from doing what you love.
Back up your writing often
I have a book I am in the middle of typing out my 2nd draft. The first was handwritten. One day I worked hard to type out 2 or 3 thousand words. Then I had to take my daughter to a doctor’s appointment. I didn’t save my progress but left my laptop on the table.
When I got home I went to work on it some more. I found all the work I did on this day was gone. There was no way to get it back. I was so very upset over this. Whenever you get ready to take a break or every half hour at the very least, save your work. Don’t rely on the autosave to do it for you. I only lost a couple of thousand words. You could potentially lose a lot more than that. This not only waists your time but puts you back in your progress.
Don’t be afraid to break the rules
But keep in mind that the more rules you break, the harder it will be to succeed in a writing career. It can also make it harder for you to be productive. You have to know when to follow the rules and when to break them. Following the rules can also save you time.
As I mentioned earlier these rules make it easier for career success. You will want to keep them in mind. I suggest that you write them down on a large piece of paper or whiteboard. Then keep it on the wall near your desk so you can see it every day. This can help you to remember them.
Go forth and write!