Rules for Writing

[Originally posted on my previous website, michael dot sirois dot com]

Robert Heinlein’s rules appeared in an essay “On the Writing of Speculative Fiction (1947).” The publishing industry has changed a great deal, but the thought behind most of these are still perfectly valid.

Heinlein’s Rules for Writing

  1. You must write.
  2. You must finish what you write.
  3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
  4. You must put the work on the market.
  5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.

I also have a set of rules for writing, gleaned from here and there. Sometimes I wish I followed them more often.

Michael’s Rules of Writing

  1. Write crappy first drafts.
  2. Words don’t bleed. Cut them.
  3. Write now, edit later.
  4. There are NO mistakes, only creative opportunities.
  5. Don’t think. Just write.
  6. Rules? There are rules?

You can get a Rules of Writing t-shirt (or mug or mousepad, or lots of other items). Click on the t-shirt below.

The Rules of Writing tshirt
Michael’s Rules of Writing tshirt


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