Colleen’s List of Rules for Writing

I’ve blogged a wee bit about distracting myself from writing by studying ModPo, which is a Modern and Contemporary American Poetry online course through Coursera, which you can check out here.

During my learnings, I’ve gleaned that some poets make themselves rules for writing. I’ve learned about the imagist manifesto, Kerouac’s “Belief & Technique for Modern Prose: List of Essentials,” and Tzara’s technique for how to write a Dadaist poem.

Here’s my list. I thought, why not join in for the fun of it.

  1. Get outside everyday.
  2. Write my morning pages. If you haven’t heard about morning pages, please visit my blog again and I’ll talk about that in more detail in a separate post.
  3. Be willing to write anywhere, anytime, in the quiet or in the noise.
  4. Hang out with my writer friends – they are my people.
  5. Attend or participate in a writerly event, outing, or meeting at least once a month.
  6. Have pretty pens, post-it notes, and paper.
  7. Paint my walls for colour inspiration.
  8. Keep my bookshelf and a comfy chair next to my desk.
  9. Make my room creative. My daughter’s piano is in my space.
  10. Read, read, read.
  11. Know my genres.
  12. Notice how others write, not just what they say.
  13. Experiment with my writing.
  14. Back up my files.
  15. Keep a journal with me and ask for them as presents.
  16. Drink. Tea.
  17. Eat.
  18. Move.
  19. Sleep.
  20. Meditate.
  21. Feel my moods – I don’t have to be happy all of the time.
  22. Put myself and what I know into my work – take risks.
  23. Listen to other people’s conversations, especially in Starbucks – there are just some things that I cannot make up.
  24. Write in my own form.
  25. Believe and accept myself – I am good enough the way that I am.
  26. Write to my reader; write to myself; write to everyone.

I’ll work on this list until I fine tune it. So far this is what it looks like.


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