For those of you who are Chronologically Inclined, here is the first post in this series: The Number One Writing Rule
I really enjoy writing. It is a great way to relieve stress, gather my thoughts, and express myself. But the feeling I get when I know that my writing has benefited another person or (dare I say it?) several people, it borders on ecstasy. I know I am not the only one, because there are quite literally a bazillion articles on the internet with titles like, “How To Improve Your Writing” or “Three Things To Avoid When Writing” and “237 Rules You Must Follow When Making a Blog Post”
So, what rule is so important that it landed the Number 2 spot?
Writing Rule #2: Break the rules. Don’t just break them, smash them. Obliterate them. (This doesn’t just apply to writing, but to to any creative act. In fact, it applies to all of life.)
There are a lot of good people out there with good, even phenomenal advice. There are people who know how to get followers, and likes, and up-votes, page-views, and comments. They know the right way to write a post, and they know the wrong way. Most of the time, it is a good idea to follow their advice. It can be a very helpful tool to improve your writing.
All those rules though, can make for a nerve-wracking experience. Am I posting at the right time of day? Am I including enough keywords for SEO? Do I have enough line breaks? Is this post too long, too short, too whiny, too off-topic, too personal? When we become a slave to rules, the art of writing is lost.
To me, it seems silly to apply rules just for rules’ sake. A question I ask myself when writing is, “Does applying this rule add value to my post?” If it does, great. If not, I rebel. So bend ’em, break ’em, or side-step ’em. Please, just don’t follow ’em. At least not all the time. (And remember, that includes Rule Number 2)
What writing rules do you follow? Which ones do you break?