I keep looking for a map, some reassuring set of directions that will lead to being a writer. I can’t stand not knowing what comes next. So I read books, jam packed with advice, soup to nuts, so much advice I get muddled and cranky. One of the best pieces of advice: when the books start to sound redundant, stop reading. They all say the same thing: write.

What Rules Of Writing scare me today?

You can’t write without joy.

You will never succeed if you don’t believe you’ll succeed.

If you want the universe to help you, you have to tell the universe you have already gotten the help you need.

You will never write well if writing feels like a chore.

You can’t start writing until you know what you want to say.

You need to outline.

Outlining will kill the book.

Which makes me wonder why so few people say this:

You have a story. Write, and you will find it.

The voice: stupid YOUR NAME HERE. You obviously don’t care about me at all. Otherwise how could you possibly CHOOSE ONE: a) not read my novel; b) say my novel is great when you clearly can’t stand it; c) tell me the second novel is usually the one that works; d) insist that everything is fine.