Heinlein’s rules for writing

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

On Sunday when I embarked on this week’s posts, I mentioned Heinlein’s Rules for Writing , and I admit it’s pretty audacious of me to set out my own five rules for writing as if I’m in Heinlein’s league. (No, I’m not, just for the record.)

Dean Wesley Smith has a tremendous short book about Heinlein’s rules with plenty of solid advice about how to keep to them. If you’re strapped for cash, you can also find his original blog posts that became the book, but it’s worth scraping the pennies together to purchase.

Smith explains the rules far better than I could even try, because he has been following them for 40 or so years and has hundreds of books to show for it. He pretty much guarantees that if you follow Heinlein’s Rules, you can be just as successful, but he also guarantees that following these rules is so hard that most will stumble and many will be unable to do it consistently. Personally, I still grapple with Rule #2 much of the time.

The thing is, writing is so much fun and so rewarding that it’s worth the journey, with or without what passes for physical rewards in this world.

Speaking of the writing business …

I almost forgot to tell you I plan to be at OtherWorlds Books & More, 41 N. Third Ave., Sturgeon Bay, from 5-7 p.m. this evening (Saturday, Aug. 7), to sign books, chat and otherwise hobnob with any and all takers. See ya there?

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