The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is a place to share and encourage, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without appearing foolish or weak. It's a great place to mingle with like minded people each month during IWSG day.
Every month there is a question which may prompt folks to share advice, insights, a personal experience or story. Some folks answer the question in their IWSG blog post or let it inspire them if they're struggling with what to say.
This month's question prompt is:
"What writing rule do you wish you'd never heard?"
Check out how people have answered this month's question, as well as the other insecurities and writing topics they may have shared by visiting the IWSG sign-up list here. If you want to know how I answered the question, have a read below.
After typing away on my laptop for an hour, I sat back, took a sip of coffee and checked my word count. "1,892 words. That's not too shabby," I said to myself smugly.
I read through what I had written. Then I got depressed. It was terrible. It wasn't writing. It was just a lot of typing. "Time to delete and start over," I muttered.
I highlighted everything and went to press the delete key. Except there was one major problem - my delete key had disappeared.
"Scott, Scott, come here!" I screamed as I looked frantically around for the missing key.
A few minutes later, Scott sauntered in munching on a chocolate chip cookie. "You bellowed, my little dumpling?" he said.
"Somebody stole the delete key off of my laptop!"
Scott peered over my shoulder, dropping cookie crumbs on what was left of my keyboard. "Hmm. Isn't that interesting," he said nonchalantly.
"Interesting? That isn't the word I'd use for it," I spluttered. "It's theft! Someone must have swiped it in the middle of the night. Quick, call the police!"
Scott chuckled. "Oh, my little silly bunny, a missing delete key isn't a police matter. Besides, what's the big deal? It's just one key."
"Just one key?! What's wrong with you?" I snapped. "Look at what I just wrote. 1,892 words of rubbish. I need to delete them and start over!"
"Now, now, don't panic, my pretty petunia. Don't you remember that new writing rule you're trying to follow? When you're working on your first draft, you're supposed to just sit down and write whatever comes into your head. It doesn't matter what you write, as long as you're writing."
"What kind of stupid rule is that?" I asked. "Just look at what I wrote. It's awful."
Scott sat down next to me and put his arm around my shoulder as he ate the last bite of his cookie. "It's not a stupid rule. Besides, you were so excited when you read it on one of those writing Facebook groups you're always looking at. You said it was going to transform your creative process."
"The only thing creative about what I just wrote is my use of definite articles." I sighed as I stared at my laptop. "Can I have one of those cookies. I sure could use one."
"Sorry. I ate the last one," Scott said without even the slightest hint of remorse. He pointed at the screen. "You're right. You do have a way with definite articles. That's a very clever use of the word 'the' right there."
"You're just trying to change the subject and make me forget about the fact that you ate the last cookie."
"Of course not, my sweet snickerdoodle," he said. "You're imagining things. Now, why don't I let you get back to your writing. Just go with the flow and don't worry about that delete key."
As he turned to leave, I noticed he was holding something in his hand. "Hey, wait a minute. What do you have there?"
"This?" he said as he shoved an object that looked suspiciously like a computer key into his pocket. "That's nothing."
"It was you! You stole my delete key!" I glared at him. "Not only did you eat the last cookie but you're the reason why I can't delete anything!"
"I'm just trying to be a supportive husband. Didn't you tell me you wanted to lose a few pounds? I saved you from the temptation of the cookies."
Okay, he kind of had a point when it came to my diet. "But what about the delete key? Stealing from someone isn't what I would call supportive."
"I'm your number one fan when it comes to your writing, you know that my little cherub. Stealing your delete key is my way of showing you how much I support you getting your first draft down on paper."
"Okay, fine," I said. "I'll keep writing without deleting. But it's still a stupid rule."
"Tell you what," Scott said as he pulled the delete key out of his pocket. "Once you finish your first draft, I'll give this back to you along with a chocolate chip cookie. Deal?"
"Okay, it's a deal," I agreed reluctantly. "As long as it's a really big cookie with extra chocolate chips."
What rule do you wish you'd never heard? Do you think rules are meant to be broken?
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