• Midwest Romance Writers

Rules, Rules, Rules

Contributed by MRW Member Katherine Laurels


As a writer, I often find myself stumbling over the right way to create the best story. Of course, there is a right and wrong way. Your work is either good or bad…right?


To an extent.

There is a whole spectrum of grey out there that we forget about when we start thinking and working to produce. The thing is, there is more than one way to skin that cat. Don’t get squeamish on me, I haven’t ever done that. Though, I have plucked a chicken in preparation for dinner - farm girl here. Anyway, there is more than one way to end up with a well written story, song, or movie. You don’t have to sell out your own ideas or the best way that you work by following the current trend or some supposed guru in your field.


There are sayings we’ve all heard yet forget to think about, such as: “take that with a grain of salt” and “follow no rule off a cliff.” Guidelines and suggestions are great. There is a reason that you don’t wear high heels on a nature hike or that you take plenty of water and stay on marked trails. Certain rules make sense if you plan to live through an experience, or at least want to walk out of it. Other rules, like not saying Beetlejuice three times in a row, well, those aren’t quite as important if you’re up for that particular adventure.


In the words of Carlos Santana, “Take a deep breath and trust.” Meaning that by breathing we get ourselves out of the way, a way of clearing the mind and letting go. We get in our own way by overthinking. As for trust, I take it to mean when we open to the possibilities and let go, we use our spirit, soul, and heart and allow something wonderful in.


Learn all the parts. Practicing your craft counts. You don’t have to get perfection just let the story - or whatever - flow. Be true to yourself, your own story that’s deep inside and you could end up with a product that makes other people sit up and take notice.


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