Monday, August 25, 2014

This Writing Life 6: The One Rule to Writing

There is a plague of doubt that affects all writers.

Some are affected once in a while. Others are affected on a daily basis.

You sit down at your computer and you stare at the blank screen and as you begin to type you wonder: “Am I doing this right?”

Well have NO FEAR, because today, and TODAY ONLY, Erik will reveal to you the ONE TRUE RULE TO WRITING!

That’s right! There’s one rule and one rule only and today, for FREE, Erik will share it with YOU!

Does it Matter What I Write?


Whether you’re a blogger, a poet, a playwright, a scriptwriter, a novelist, a journalist or any other kind of writer there is only ONE RULE.

Does It Matter How I Write?

You weren’t listening to the last question, were you?


It doesn’t matter WHAT you write! It doesn’t matter HOW you write! It doesn’t even matter what LANGUGE you write in, THERE IS ONLY ONE RULE!

How Do You Know this One Rule?

Really? We have to get into this?



I formulated the ONE RULE TO WRITING after years of talking to wannabe writers at various conventions. It came into full bloom a few years back at the Ad Astra Convention (and if you are a writer of genre fiction in or near Toronto, you should go to this one).

And I should mention, I was hardly the first to figure it out.

I was on a panel about writing groups. The other three on the panel were very much pro-writing groups. I was there to take the negative. I figured people could use my experience to learn what to avoid. (That will be another blog post)

Two of the other three didn’t show up.  The one who did was Brandon Sanderson.

He and I talked for a bit before the panel started, and we switched formats because really, no one was there to see me. So I interviewed Brandon and he is excellent to interview. At one point we were asked if there were any rules to writing. He said there were none, I said there was one, and when I said what it was, he agreed with me.

Now, back to the rampant hyperbole…

If the One Rule Is So Amazing, Why Are You Giving It Away For Free?

Because writers all over the world deserve to share in the ON RULE!  It is the great secret to ALL WRITING. Without it, THE LITERARY WORLD WOULD NEVER HAVE EXISTED!!!

Is that too many capital letters and exclamation points?


The rule is too important not to share! Why, I'm not even going to ask that you go buy my books, Small Magics and Cold Magics, before you learn it (though if you wanted to, you could... just saying).

So When Are You Going to Share It?


And That Would Be When?


Sit down.

Brace yourself.

Be prepared for the BRIGHTEST LIGHT OF INSPIRATION you have ever seen to go off in your head!


(Isn’t the anticipation killing you?)


You must finish.

Really? All This for That?

Yeah, it was more fun this way.

But "You must finish," it is the only rule.  Because no matter what you write about, no matter what genre or medium you write in, no matter what method you use to write (and that will be next week’s blog post) if you want to actually call yourself a writer, you have to finish your work.

I have met lots of people still working on that novel after 10 years, still working on those poem or short stories or screenplays that never, ever get them done.  They are not writers.  They are wannabes. They could become writers easy enough, but they haven't followed the one rule.

The difference between being a writer and not being a writer is finishing your work.

So follow the one rule.


Next Week: Outliners vs. Pantsers or The Many Styles of Writing Stuff

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