From time to time we’ll have guest bloggers here at Booklifenow during 2010. This next week, Tamara Kaye Sellman will be blogging. Be sure to stop by for her perspective on writing, the writing life, and much more!
If you’re not familiar with Sellman, here’s a short overview…
I’m pleased to announce that writer and consultant Tamara Sellman will be guestblogging at Booklife next week. The week after, Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward, authors of Writing the Other, will be guest blogging. Then, in the third week of March, I will finally get around to sharing my thoughts on the modern book tour.
So far 2010 has been a busy year for me, and although we’re only two months in it’s a good time to take stock and reevaluate where I am. In part this is because a lot of us make new goals in January, but often find that by February some of those goals have gone out the window.
So, writers out there, I ask you: What did you decide to accomplish this year, and where are you right now as opposed to where you thought you’d be? And is this good news or bad news or just the way things are?
For my part, I had my wife change the password to my facebook account so I wouldn’t waste any time online during a period of intense deadlines. I’ve also learned that, for now at least, it’s important for me to spend much less time in the electronic world in general.
Inspired by Elmore Leonard’s own ten rules of writing, The Guardian asked successful authors like Michael Moorcock and Joyce Carol Oates to submit their own lists of writing do’s and don’ts. You can read them all here.
While most of these are extremely useful – and it’s always fun to see how your favorite writer thinks – it got me to thinking about rules that aren’t so useful, and how things that we once thought were set in stone have a tendency to change as we advance in our understanding of our art.
I used to feel like I couldn’t write without a formal outline. I felt like that was the way “real” writers wrote. Despite that, it just didn’t work for me, and eventually I became brave enough to abandon that rule in favor of my own methods. I’ve since had several of my personal rules come and go as my writing has matured. What about you? How have your own personal rules for writing changed? What’s the most dramatic reversal or abandonment of a rule that you’ve experienced in your career? Have any managed to survive the passage of time?