If you’re a writer or aspiring writer, you hear these “rules” all the time:
- Write every day.
- Don’t write long sentences.
- Never use passive voice.
- Show, don’t tell.
- Avoid prologues…etc., etc., etc.
Well, guess what. They’re wrong…and they’re right (maybe.)
I struggled a lot with the first one when I began writing in earnest. I had a tough job and was working 50+ hour weeks. How on earth was I supposed to write every day and keep my sanity? It only got worse when I was under contract and my writing was to a deadline.
Eventually, I began to realize that writing every day was just not my style. Over the course of five novels, multiple short stories and essays, I discovered that i write best in spurts. Some days, I’d write 1000 words; others, 10,000 yeah, really.) And you know what, I still was able to produce.
I’ve come to realize that all those rules are pretty much just possibilities, ideas that worked for some people. Heck, they might even work for you. It’s absolutely okay to ignore the rules. If your system works for you, go for it. If your writing style works using passive voice, prologues or long sentences, go for it.
There is no one way to be a writer. No one style of writing (thank goodness!)
There’s really only one rule that works: be the best writer you can be, no matter how you get there.