unwritten rules of writing

The Unwritten Writing Rules, The Unwritten Rules of Writing,  Finally Written Down.

Sometimes writing (and living in general, but with perhaps less irony) seems to be playing out to the plot of someone else’s story. Someone with a wicked sense of humor. That’s just the way it is, and, of course, we overcome, but here are a few of the, er, (previously) unwritten rules of writing:

1. The best draft of any story will always be slightly under the minimum or over the maximum word count of the targeted market. (Tweet This)

2. No matter how many times a document is proofread, a typo will be found within thirty seconds of the first time the file is opened after it’s submitted. (Tweet This)

3. Writers do not have enough spare time to hold a second job. (Tweet This)

4. Writers do not make enough money to live comfortably without at least a second job. (Tweet This) (Tweet 3&4 Together)

5. You do not have time to finish it.

6. If you do have time to finish it, the deadline will be moved up.

7. If you have already finished it, the deadline will be pushed back. (Tweet 5,6,7)

8. If you don’t have a deadline, you’re never going to get paid. (Tweet This)

9. There is always a word that would say exactly what you mean to say, and it is always right there on the very tip of your tongue. (Tweet This

10. If you have a great idea, someone else is working on their own version of it right now. WHY ARE YOU WASTING TIME READING THIS?! (Tweet This)

11. If you have a bad idea, someone else has already done it terribly and made more money than your best idea ever will. (Tweet This)

12. If there are two technically correct ways to write something, your editor will be a violent partisan of whichever you don’t choose. (Tweet This)

13. Millions of trees will die in vain because you were born. Aspiring writers are the number two cause of deforestation, just ahead of chainsaws and axes, slightly behind the IRS.

14. A typing speed of 100 words per minute somehow translates to a writing speed of 100 words per hour. (Tweet This)

15. Potential romantic partners often love the idea of dating a writer, but are rarely quite so excited about date night at the soup kitchen. (Tweet This)

16. When purchasing a new (old) vehicle, the wise writer takes a moment to recline the seat and confirm the presence of a comfortable sleeping position. (Tweet  This)

17. The ability to hunt or forage for food is probably something you should acquire before it becomes necessary to rely on it full time, but I hear prostitution is also a viable option.

18. Writers learn to think of words in interesting new ways. For example, did you know that “hunger” and “motivation” are synonyms? (Tweet This)

19. If your work space couldn’t double for the lair of a deranged serial killer, you’re not working hard enough. (Tweet This)

20. A better version of the greatest thing you ever write would also be created by a random infinite string of letters. Fact.


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6 Thoughts on “The 20 Unwritten Writing Rules”

  • lorrainemariereguly glad you liked it! 15 is close to my heart, and 19 arises from the time I accidentally stayed over the lease in an apartment. . . I have a vague memory of a couple of maintenance workers walking in early in the morning, cussing at an apartment that was basically empty aside from being wallpapered with pages from a book I was working on (and notes), and backing slowly out.

  • Excellent post.  Humorous.  Enjoyed it.  And of course, 30 seconds after submitting this comment, I’m going to find an error. . . 29 and counting

  • Penny Sue Carter  Haha! Exactly, that’s just how it works! I was just finishing up my first ghostwritten book when I did this to, I guess, work out some frustration, glad it was good for a laugh!

  • Ahhh, to realize you are a writer and that means a life of these ^^

    This definitely made me laugh and nod in understanding! I especially enjoyed 9, 13, and 16.

  • ChelseaMBrown  That seems to be everyone’s reaction to this post: “Haha, this is really funny, this is totally my life!” Poignant pause. “. . . This is totally my life.”

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