Fix the Orchard of Rules Later

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." 
— William Wordsworth

I was tinkering around on here and just came across this "draft" I never posted way back in MARCH. I'm guessing this must have been right before I went into writing hibernation. Anyway. I read it right now, and felt it was something worth sharing. Not going to edit it or anything, as that may take away from what I was feeling at the time (plus, to be honest, I don't remember this at all and don't want to screw up what I had been trying to say).


I was driving home after dropping the kids off this morning, thinking about going over my oldest's homework last night (adjectives and participles), and as I looked into one of the orchards on the side of the road, an analogy popped into my head.  The rows of trees standing to attention, lined up one right after the other, they reminded me of writing rules.  Each tree could stand as one rule, and no doubt there would have been enough rule trees to cover the bases for writing a novel.  Don't use too many adverbs.  Show, don't tell.  Punctuation, grammar.  Avoid being redundant.  Cliches must not be overused.  Keep the correct point of view, don't change your tense.  And on and on and on.

Sometimes it's hard to write when so many of these "rules" are hanging over our heads.  They become a weight on our shoulders, and erase the fundamental reason for writing in the first place, which, in my opinion, is writing something from your heart.

I just wanted to remind everyone that words from our heart means the most. Telling (or should I say showing?) the story still needs to be the goal, our main focus.  And of course we need to follow the rules, but don't let them get in the way of saying what you need to say.  Write from your heart first, then go back and fix the orchard of rules later.


Janet Johnson said...

Thanks! I needed that. :)

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

You're welcome!!! I think we all do, from time to time!:)

Travener said...

I like the concept. There does seem to be an orchard of rules...but as you say, it's what we feel that makes the writing real.

Linda G. said...

Very nice! Write first, tweak later, and know that it's okay to occasionally break a rule for creative purposes. :)

Sierra Godfrey said...

This is super nice, Jessica -- and very important to remember. Thanks for saying it so well.