The Rules

From newsgroup posts dated September 5, 2007 and July 25, 2010. Long ago I set myself rules to help with the self-discipline necessary to be a full-time professional writer; if I only wrote when inspired, or when I felt like writing, I’d have starved:

These are my official rules:

Four pages a day, minimum. They can be on one, two, three, or four projects, but there must be four pages. A page is defined as “Enough text to get onto the next page without altering any margins or spacing or anything,” no word-count is specified.

“A day” is defined as from the time I get up until the time I go to bed, but does not include any such period that either begins or ends somewhere other than my own bed, nor any period when I’m away from home for more than four hours.

Starting a new project does not count toward my four-page quota. “New project” is defined as a file that’s been open less than forty-eight hours, or that contains less than two pages of prose.

That last provision is because writing new openings and starting new stories is fun; it’s finishing them that requires discipline.

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