Thursday, January 13, 2011

Heinlein's Rules 2011

I admit it I love making New Year's resolutions. I like the feel of taking on a challenge and renewing my resolve to move toward a goal. I know, I know, it's already the 13th but, personally, I feel the whole month of January is fair game.

Last fall I came across Robert A. Heinlein's rules for writing, which appeared in his 1947 essay "On the Writing of Speculative Fiction." They go like this:

1. You must write.
2. You must finish what you write.
3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
4. You must put the work on the market.
5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.

Pretty basic stuff, nothing groundbreaking here, it's really more of a kick in the pants. But it made me pause and reevaluate my habits. While I've conquered one, and have made serious inroads into two, my record is pretty spotty on three through five so I have resolved to follow all five this year.

Okay, I have issues with three, which I will address in a separate post. In the mean time you can check out Robert J. Sawyer's opinion on number three in his excellent post on Heinlein's Rules at

I am excited to put Heinlein's advice to the test and see just where I land at the end of 2011.

There is another great site this year called Write 1 Sub 1 that uses Ray Bradbury for inspiration (be sure to check out the adorable interview with Bradbury on their site).

So, I'll be writing every day, I'll be finishing what I write, I will be revising. I'll be submitting new stories and resubmitting any rejected stories as those rejections come in. (I will not rewrite to resubmit except to editorial order after acceptance - that's the way that I can honor that rule).

So, here goes.