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  • jenniferdrewett7

I had a rule, and last night I broke it

Hello readers!

I would like to talk to you about rules. More specifically, I wanted to talk about the rules that we impose on ourselves as authors and what happens when we break them. Now I'm going to cut to the chase a little bit: I had a rule, and last night I broke it.

The rule was really, really simple: one project at one time. Now there was a caveat: I could do planning for future projects. That was okay provided that I didn't start the other projects or if I had already started them and had abandoned them like I did with 'Her Heart Wants More' I couldn't continue them until I finished what project I was working on. Last night, I broke this rule. I've been working on 'New Leaves, Old Scars' for quite a while and most of what I'm doing is waiting for editing notes from my editor. We're doing it bit by bit as well so we're only doing a couple of chapters at once. Now, this process takes a longer time but actually I much prefer this than getting all the notes at once and being completely overwhelmed. As I've said before, it's much better for my little Autistic/ADHD brain. The only problem with this is that whilst I'm waiting I get bored. Now this isn't a criticism of my editor. My editor's fantastic and he's great. It's more of a failing in myself. It's also not uncommon in people with ADHD and Autism to get bored quite easily sometimes. You could say I was born with it (maybe it's Maybelline!)

I guess the reason why the rule failed was because it did not take into account my general creative process. I can't just restrict myself to one thing at one time. It clearly didn't work because I was building some frurstration with my current project 'New Leaves, Old Scars' and it was starting to stunt my creativity a bit. I felt kind of claustrophobic in a bizarre way. I guess that's part of why it failed and I guess it just didn't work out for me as a person with neurodivergency.

So, what does this mean? It doesn't mean I'm going to abandon 'New Leaves, Old Scars'. Absolutely not! I'm not going to waste my poor editor's time. That's not fair on him. What it does mean if that I have two projects on the go. Now granted, they're at very different stages. 'New Leaves, Old Scars' is in the developmental edit process whilst this new story, which I haven't got a title for yet, it only just started last night. Fun fact: it's only 291 words so it's barely anything right now. I guess what I've learnt from all this is that rules are all well and good, and I think having a structure to how you do things is good. They can be broken and that's okay sometimes. Sometimes writing rules are there to be broken. There are some, of course, that can't be broken but self imposed only-doing-one-project-at-one-time things? Yeah, that can be broken and the world won't crash and burn.

What's also quite interesting and what's going to prove potentially quite useful is the stories are very diferent to each other. 'New Leaves, Old Scars' is very much about a particular character and it's centred around her writing and her lack of dealing with things whilst with this other one? It's a romance drama thing. So they're quite diferent to each other and I think that's actually quite good.

You writers out there - do you have rules that you have broken or are you a stickler of the rules that you set for yourself for fear of everything crashing and burning? Do let me know- I'd love to hear more.

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