Go ahead — break some writing rules


You typically are such a well-behaved writer. You do everything you’re told. You read and you write and you work hard to keep your writing dream alive. But, it’s OK to live a little, folks. In fact, go ahead break some writing rules. No one’s going to take your birthday away. Besides, it’ll do you some good.

writing rules

Flickr: Lawrence Simon

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Here are a few writing rules that beg to broken:

Write every day? Yes, it’s important to keep those creative juices flowing. And, yes, you want to be productive. But, it’s all right if you want to give your brain a rest. If you are like most writers, that brain of yours takes a beating. Give it a break. Go out and experience relationships and the outdoors so that you can write about life experiences vividly and with passion.

Read: Let loose: 5 steps toward creative writing

Avoid procrastination? You know what? There are actually a few good reasons why you should write off a day of writing. Play some hookey and let the ideas come to you in their own time. Don’t believe me? Read here: Boldly barren: Procrastination has its merits

Write to a word count? Let it go. Again, we love setting goals for ourselves. To promise ourselves that we will write 2,000 words a day is wonderful – if we actually accomplish it. But, if you don’t get there – for whatever reason – cut yourself some slack. Feel free to go under that mark and still pat yourself on the back for the effort you gave it.

Read: Let loose: 5 steps toward creative writing

Never say no? Actually, you can leave or turn down a writing gig. The words that fall to your page first come from your heart. It’s vital that you maintain the integrity of your writing soul. If you have managed to connect with a writing partner or publication that you feel doesn’t have your best interest at heart, walk away.

Write only for money? Well, money is great. All writers want to and should be compensated. But there can be times when you write because it will advance your career goals. If you have an opportunity to donate a piece for a good cause and the publication stands to bring some great attention your way, then go for it.

Read: Writing jobs — where to find them and how to keep them

Know your audience? Forget about your audience every once in a while. Really. Sometimes we just need to write for ourselves. We need to write the deepest, darkest, most shameful parts of us. The part of us that cowers and seethes and rails at life. Try it once and just see if you don’t produce something that is damned exhilarating.

What writing rules are you breaking today? Share in the comments section below.

Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor at and founder of Breeze Media & Communications. Learn more about her at

Kerri S. Mabee

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