Rule is as Rule Does

Rule is as Rule Does

I was doing some research (ahem make that surfing the net) when I came across an article from the Guardian UK describing a number of author provided rules for writing.  I have already published Elmore Leonard’s famous ten rules list back in November, but I was taken with the list of Richard Ford; Pulitzer Prize winning author of Independence Day.  Here is the list:

1 Marry somebody you love and who thinks you being a writer’s a good idea.

2 Don’t have children.

3 Don’t read your reviews.

4 Don’t write reviews. (Your judgment’s always tainted.)

5 Don’t have arguments with your wife in the morning, or late at night.

6 Don’t drink and write at the same time.

7 Don’t write letters to the editor. (No one cares.)

8 Don’t wish ill on your colleagues.

9 Try to think of others’ good luck as encouragement to yourself.

10 Don’t take any shit if you can ­possibly help it.

I don’t think Richard warrants that if you follow these rules you will win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, but you may be a lot happier.

Here is the link if you would like to see other lists by other authors most are quite funny.


  1. Hmmmm….best novels were written by drunk writers…I remember I once wanted to write after smoking some pot. I just forgot where my laptop was:)))


    1. LOL. Thank you for the comment and the visit. I did not see anything in the rules about pot but as you point out the end result might take a different turn. – John


      1. No pot in the rules. I just connected it with the drinking. And since I have no story about me writing drunk, I thought I shared the story of me smoking pot with the intent of writing about it. The intention took a very different turn, indeed:)))


      2. I wrote drunk once and the next day I had to beg for my job back. Not a pretty picture 🙂


  2. […] Rule is as rule does, by John W. Howell […]


    1. Thanks for the visit. – John


  3. Those are all excellent ideas. You might also want to adopt a pet that loves you unconditionally. 🙂


    1. The key word is adopt. I have two canines who laugh (or seem to) at all my attempts at humor and would be my agent in a heartbeat. What else could one ask? Thanks for the comment and visit. – John


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