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Break the Rules and Write More by Rochelle Melander

May 3, 2016



Note From Rochelle



Dear Writers,


This past weekend, I attended the Wild, Wild Midwest SCBWI conference in Chicago. Wow! Spending a whole weekend with writers energized me. As I drove home, I realized how helpful it is to hang out with other writers. It’s not just that I learn so much from them—and I do! Talking to my writing colleagues keeps me accountable.


If you’re looking for inspiration and accountability, think about joining my Write-A-Thon coaching group. Groups start June 8 and run through July 13. We’ll meet at 12:00 PM noon and 5:30 PM CT.


Today’s tip will support you in forging your own writing path.


Happy Writing!
Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach


Break the Rules and Write More!


Break the Rules and Write More

by Rochelle Melander


What works for one writer becomes paralyzing for the next. –Karen E. Peterson.


Whether we hang out with writers or entrepreneurs, have earned an MFA or are self-taught, have written many books or are just beginning—we’ve heard the stories about writing and writers. Sometimes they come packaged as “advice from publishing professionals.” (People like me write books filled with this stuff!) Sometimes it just lingers in our heads, making it hard to get anything on paper. Here are a few I hear a lot:


  • Write what you know.
  • You need an MFA to write well, get an agent, and get published.
  • You need a platform to become a bestseller.
  • If you don’t write every day, you’ll never be successful.
  • Show don’t tell.
  • If lots of people like it, it’s probably not good writing.


Psychologists and sociologists study habits and add to the lists of rules: we work best on mental tasks in the late morning; we’re more creative when fatigued, and messy desks can boost creativity.


But guess what? In every study, some participants don’t fit the rule. I like to write first thing in the morning, but I’ve also had great success writing after lunch and at night. I’ve had clients who write brilliantly on the train and after midnight and in the middle of screaming children. Just because most people work best in the morning doesn’t mean you will.


In Rumi’s famous poem, Unfold Your Own Myth, he wrote:

But don’t be satisfied with stories, how things

have gone with others. Unfold

your own myth, without complicated explanation,

so everyone will understand the passage

We have opened you.


Unfold your own myth.




Writers, don’t be crippled by the rules of other writers. Let go of any rule that doesn’t fit for you. Figure out when, where and how you write best—and do it. Again and again.


Break rules. Find your own path. Do what works for you.



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