Last week I put an index card on my desk, which I see every time I sit down to work. On it are Heinlein’s five rules for the business of writing:
- You must write
- You must finish what you start
- You must refrain from rewriting except to editorial order
- You must put it on the market
- You must keep it on the market until sold
Yesterday I wrote about rule four, but the only one of those rules that I have consistently stuck to is rule 1: You must write.
In recent years, I have found finishing what I start to be a challenge. My computer is littered with incomplete manuscripts.
When I put index card on my desk, I made the commitment to follow those rules. I didn’t think that it could make much difference, but I am glad that it has. My current story went through a challenging period, and I was beginning to convince myself that I needed to start it again, or give up on it completely.
Having the rules as a constant reminder helped me push through those doubts and once again the story is flying. I wrote over 3,000 words on it today.
I have a lot more thoughts on these rules, and how I intend to apply them, but right now my focus is on sticking to rule 2 and finishing everything I start.