Non-Rules for Rebellious Writers

Fed up of being peddled rules for writers that put the pressure on? Perplexed by how these rules ever got made? You’re not alone.

Join the rebellious writers revolution by following these non-rules, or don’t. Go your own way as Fleetwood Mac advocate.

To be fair, some of these non-rules are ridiculous but you expected that from me, right?

Non-Rules for Rebellious Writers

Non-rules for Rebellious Writers - grumpy writer1.Don’t write every day. Take a break when you need one and come back refreshed. The world will not explode if you’re not writing.

2. Don’t get a cat. Adopt something exotic or weird instead. At least a llama won’t sit on your laptop.

3. Don’t bleed over your typewriter. Just don’t bleed. It’s messy and slippery.

4. Write the ending first. Be rebellious in giving yourself a spoiler.

5. Don’t be a plotter or a pantser. Use telepathy instead.

6. Do not promote your book every available second on social media. Just don’t. We’ve had enough of your book cover dominating our feed.

7. Put the worst possible cover on your book you can find. Be famous for having the worst cover ever and make millions from strange people who buy rubbish things.

8. Don’t bother revising your novel. Stick with the first draft and live in an ignorant bliss bubble .

9. Don’t publish. Enjoy writing for its own sake and never have to deal with criticism. This is a perfectly valid and non-snarky option, by the way.

Non-rules for Rebellious Writers - Frozen10. Don’t start writing. Keep it all in your head but be aware that you’ll probably combust at some point.

11. Don’t read. Protect yourself from writers who are amazing.

12. Do not worship Stephen King as a god and the only authority on writing.

13. Burn your copy of On Writing by Stephen King.

14. Resist the allure of recommendations for writing books. Save yourself a fortune.

15. Walk past bookshops and libraries. Never enter them. They breed readers and writers.

16. Do not discuss writing with anyone. Pretend it’s not happening.

17. Avoid social media writing groups.

18. Do not engage with fellow writers. They are a strange tribe who will warp your mind and feed your obsession.

19. Laugh at the 3 a.m. writing ideas and refuse to give in to their wily ways when they taunt you that you’ll forget them in the morning. Nothing that interrupts sleep deserves that level of recognition.

Non-rules for Rebellious Writers - rules list20. Don’t bother editing your novel. Know you’re doing your bit to entertain readers by playing ‘spot the gobbledygook’.

21. Never procrastinate. Write every second of the day.

22. Don’t tell anyone your novel is being published. Enjoy not having to peddle your wares or be open to bad reviews.

23. Follow every piece of writing advice given by every single person who purports to be a writer. They may not make you a better writer but you’ll certainly learn about discernment.

24. Do not read blog posts about how not to follow writing rules. Go your own way. Have Fleetwood Mac ear worms until the end of time.

Over to You

Are you a rebellious writer? What ‘rules’ do you love to break?

What do you think about writing ‘rules’? Do they have a place in your writing life or not?

About Lisa Sell

Lisa Sell is a fiction writer. When she's not wrestling with words she can be found showing the love for chocolate, cheese, coffee, books, the cats, and the husband. Perhaps not in that order.

7 comments on “Non-Rules for Rebellious Writers

  1. Ha-ha-ha-ha … this is great! Once I finally evolved past the rules (and it took more time than it should), and still thinking some rules are actually helpful to young writers (unless they’re not), but definitely now convinced non-rules are better … I would only share my biggest personal non-rule: I edit and re-edit compulsively and obsessionally every moment that I write. In other words, no vomiting out the first draft for me. And no, I would recommend this to no one. It’s agonizing. And it only seems to work for me. Something, however, I finally realized when noting how very very bad my first drafts were. Re-writing an entire book is not “editing”. It’s just giving up and starting over. Or, as I like to call it: Not Writing. Thanks for the laughs, Lisa.

    1. You’re in good company as I’ve heard many writers like to edit as they go along with the first draft. Who cares? You’re getting it done the way that suits you.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Joel.

  2. You probably know that I am not a big fan of never ending emails on how to write by so-called experts who just want your money. When I started I made the mistake of signing on for these and now they fill my in-box and I just delete the. Am I alone? Also, you may know I am not a big fan of Stephen King either. The only book I really enjoyed of his was ‘Joyland’, the rest, such as ‘IT’, ‘The Tommyknockers’ and ‘The Dark Tower’ have a lot of words and are quite frankly boring. But people worship him, so what do I know.

    1. Good for you in sticking with what you believe in, Ian.

      I think when we start out it’s good to do research and see what’s out there. Then we can sift through and see what works for us.

      There is a lot to learn from other writers. I’m just not a fan of the learning being imposed as rules.

      Thanks for commenting.

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