Jay Lake: Writer

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[process] Rules of Writing (meme)

Because all the cool kids are doing it.

I only have one rule of writing. Everything else is a guideline. Sort of like the Pirate Code.

  1. Write more.

Which is to say, whatever you’re doing, do more of it.

I do have several strong guidelines.

  • Write something every week. (A story, a chapter, something discrete and measurable.)
  • Finish everything you start. (I suspect more nascent careers fail here than anywhere else. How many unfinished stories and novels do you have? If you don’t finish it, you can’t revise, market and sell it. Period.)
  • Don’t self-critique while you’re writing. (For a lot of folks, this may be the root cause of the previous issue. It doesn’t matter if the piece is crap. You’re probably wrong, as the writer is the worst judge of their own work. And besides, you can always revise.)
  • Work on one thing at a time. (In my case, a novel, a short story, a collab and a nonfiction project can all run in parallel. But if I work on two of the same thing, the voice bleeds over and I lose track of continuity.)

That’s all I got. What would you add?

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