I love how WordPress has little quotes on the side of the screen, as part of the congratulations for publishing another post. It’s like a little piece of free inspiration to keep the ideas flowing. At least it has been for me. And not just as inspiration for blogging, but also for my writing.
The most recent for me was a quote from W Somerset Maugham “There are three rules for writing a novel; unfortunately no one knows what they are.”
I love it. It reminds me what I read again and again – there are no rules. Even rules of grammar can be broken, if it’s clever and creative, and most importantly, if it works.
I have just recently finished re-reading “Reading like a Writer” by Francine Prose. I had actually forgotten that I had already read it, and purchased a copy, looking forward to reading it for the first time. Never mind. Reading it again reminded me of all the things I had forgotten from the first time around; that a clever writer can get away with anything. That, as Maugham said, there are no rules.
Now, I am not sure that I am a clever writer; there are many far more talented than I, but still it gives me the confidence to write and edit following my intuition. To know that there is still a chance for my words, even if they don’t fit what is known as the ‘proper’ rules of writing.
I went back to my novel with a new perspective, finding on the reread that it was better than I had remembered. The thought returned, that maybe all this work will pay off , maybe a publisher will accept my novel, maybe I will be published.