Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Monday, February 22, 2010

10 Rules

Welcome back to Monday, everyone.... anyone? Are you there?

Writing is such a lonely business.

Right, let's get on with it then. Some of you may know that I've been following Neil Gaiman's blog for a little while. His entries are always entertaining and often informative. On Saturday, he posted up a link or two for an article entitled 10 Rules for Writing Fiction.

The article is essentially a number of authors relaying the rules they try and follow in order to get a story done. Mr. Gaiman himself notes 8 rules. One of my favourites was Phillip Pullman's only rule. I giggled.

The rules that struck me the most, however, were written by Jeanette Wintersun. I'm relaying them to you here because I just had to share. Thus, with no more ado, here they are:

1 Turn up for work. Discipline allows creative freedom. No discipline equals no freedom.

2 Never stop when you are stuck. You may not be able to solve the problem, but turn aside and write something else. Do not stop altogether.

3 Love what you do.

4 Be honest with yourself. If you are no good, accept it. If the work you are ­doing is no good, accept it.

5 Don't hold on to poor work. If it was bad when it went in the drawer it will be just as bad when it comes out.

6 Take no notice of anyone you don't respect.

7 Take no notice of anyone with a ­gender agenda. A lot of men still think that women lack imagination of the fiery kind.

8 Be ambitious for the work and not for the reward.

9 Trust your creativity.

10 Enjoy this work!

I highlighted number eight because I think it is the single most important thing written in this list. Too many times I have read the blogs of authors who have great ambition, but not for the work itself. They talk about having the "lifestyle" after their book makes it big. They talk about the money, and the fame, and life as the author behind the next block-buster movie adaptation. They seem to care little for the worth of the work itself.

I'll be happy if my book gets published and is widely read and appreciated. Keep the fame - I don't particularly want it.

You can link to the article here. Have a happy Monday everyone!

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