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July 05, 2010


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Sounds like about as allergic to "We've always done it this way..." as I am to "You should always follow the rules..."

Granted, I have been, most of my life, an avid rule follower. Then I almost died and somehow, the epitaph of "She Followed the Rules" just lost it's appeal.

I don't always rock the boat, ;-) Granted. But I do test the waters, tease the wind, toss the compass now and then, and just see where the ship wants to go.

Life is too short to always color inside the lines...or never try a new way of doing things.

Donna Cummings

Maureen, I love your nautical descriptions! That's exactly the way it should be, exploring where life takes us, and enjoying the adventure.

I understand rules, and the need for them, so we won't have total anarchy. Still, isn't another rule the one that "rules were made to be broken"? LOL


Especially with writing, it's important to try new directions, new styles. That all-important fresh spin is what the readers enjoy, a new twist, a new plot, something different to intrigue them.

Donna Cummings

Joanne, you're exactly right about trying new things with our writing. It makes things more interesting for readers, as you said, and it also increases the creative sparks for the writer. Everyone wins!

Terri Osburn

You hit my hot button with this one. Definitely gets my hackles up, which isn't good because I have short hair so my hackles actually show.

I spent six years working at a tiny radio station. The Sales Manager had been there since 1955 (this was the late 90s/early 00s.) The Program Director had been in charge of the music since 1968. You have no idea how often I heard the words "But we've always done it this way."

I still blame them for my premature gray.

I'm a walking paradox in that I love change, must have it, but I'm also a creature of routine and habit. I am finding that a willingness to change is almost essential for a writer. If I wasn't willing to change that plot direction or alter that character or even vary up my process, I'd be done for. I might have an MS or two, but they wouldn't be the least bit interesting to anyone, especially me.

Donna Cummings

Terri -- my sympathies! I can just imagine how many times you heard that phrase. (At that point it should just be printed on a business card, or made into a tattoo, right? LOL)

Since I am one of those that likes routine but can find it confining, I try to change things up every once in a while. That's why I like to try writing in different genres, or challenge myself to a new method. Willingness to change is an essential tool for a writer. Why else would there be erasers or delete keys? LOL


I like routine, but I usually find I like change if I open myself up to it. I am so afraid to hit delete sometimes, but once I do, I find myself smiling. Hm/. :-)

Donna Cummings

Colby, I have the hardest time hitting the Delete key. LOL In fact, I save everything that I cut out, and put it in a document called "leftovers" -- which means I have a kabillion docs with leftover pieces. It makes me feel better knowing it's there though!


Well said!! And agree. I wrote about change on the New Year. It's always difficult to throw out the old and embrace the new for me..

Donna Cummings

Kim, it's mind boggling to think we've just started the second half of this new year, isn't it? LOL I'm hoping with all the practice I get embracing the new, I'll actually get better at it. Some days are easier than others!

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