Rules for Writing: #2

Just like in business, he who sets out to create the unique idea on purpose is most likely to fail.  The same applies to writing.  It’s the one useful thing you can get from a creative writing class:  people asking you how you came up with such a neat trick.  The answer will be this:  You didn’t.  It just happened, and that’s the way it goes, unless you’re genuinely full of crap.

Rule #2:  Find an example and copy it.  Your originality and/or unique approach do not matter, and will most likely damage your chances for success (or readability).  Trust that someone successful copied someone else–do the same, and it will save you loads of unfortunate emo-misery.

This is not me suggesting that you plagiarize; if this is what you’ve concluded, please stop thinking about writing.  Continue work in something meaningful, like selling roof gutters or automatic grease trap uncloggers.  You will undoubtedly find such pursuits far more profitable, as would the average person who actually has some business writing (leading to Rule #3)…

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