Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Even More Conversation about the “Rules of Writing” . . .

Rules of Writing This Blog Conversation began on October 15th and continued on Oct. 17th & 19th

There have been a number of topics raised in this discussion; and, you may want to take those links to see what previous readers had to say…


There are many declared “rules” of writing; yet, I’ve made a point to include in those past posts, and will share here, a maxim from author C. J. Cherryh:

No Rule Should Be Followed Off a Cliff.

I’m wondering if you can agree with that…?

You might consider sharing your opinion in the comments… :-)

A poet-friend of mine on Wattpad appended this comment to my announcement of this conversation over there:

“Very interesting! Writing can be frightening, to each individual; following the rules is a personal choice of comfort.”

If I define “writing” to include everything that a writer can do, then not only putting words on a page might be frightening; so might revising, sharing with beta readers, conversing with an editor, seeking an agent, dealing with a publisher, or even self-publishing…

But then, there are “rules” that can be found to pad the fright and, perhaps, induce a bit of comfort…

And, if you want an even stronger opinion about the fright-potential of writing, check out the reader comment in the post on the 19th…

Now, from a regular contributor, an author and publisher from Germany:

“I suppose writing can be frightening because it can reveal so much of the writers deepest and maybe darkest feelings. At some point, the subconscious takes over and we discover only afterwards what we have written. Confronting the words of this unknown part of the self can shake our picture of who and how we are. So better hide behind rules, keep them in mind when writing and never let go of the railing they provide…”

This quite provocative comment seduces my writer’s mind into many passages of thought…

My widest thought-path notes that where our German commenter used “subconscious”, I would choose “Personal Unconscious” and “Shadow”—Jungian terms; plus, those words suggest I supply a link to an essay I wrote about the levels of mind involved in the activities of writing or reading—What Are Words?

If you’re not frightened when thinking about psychology and metaphysics, check out that essay…

And, since I quoted C. J. Cherryh up there; plus, my feeling that she must be the Bravest writer I’ve ever read, you might be interested in her Advice Page <— Do note the three additional links at the top of that page…

I wonder if some of you reading this feel like writing is frightening…?

Why should it be…?

Which part of it is frightening…?

Putting the first word on an empty page…?


Coming up with a “good” idea to write about…?


Revising and removing things you like because they just don’t “fit”…?

How about showing something you’ve written to someone else…?

Maybe, sitting in a group and having a discussion about your writing…?

There are folks who love all those activities…

There are folks who become genuinely frightened even considering some of them…


I’ll leave you with all those questions, hoping they’ll encourage you to share a comment about the “Rules” of Writing ( it only takes one comment to keep our conversation going... ).
If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
Our Blog Conversations are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays—the rest of the week, I share valuable posts from other blogs

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

8 responses to “Even More Conversation about the “Rules of Writing” . . .

  1. martinaseveckepohlen October 23, 2018 at 3:37 am

    Showing something I have written to someone is absolutely frightening. I trust my husband to read the first “public” version of my books. Even so … when he doesn’t say anything or the pauses between readings are long I want to steal the manuscript back and hide it.
    Yesterday I wrote a blog post, scheduled for November 8th, about writing rules. The post was of course inspired by the conversation here on your blog. When I opened your post today, I found that you had chosen the same picture. Considering the conversations here I think this wasn’t a coincidence.


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