The 4th Rule

A mad idea grabbed me last weekend. I have a vague recollection of reading a blog whose writer, Dean Wesley Smith, advocated following Heinlein’s rules for writing. For those that don’t know these, and why would you, they are:

  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.
With the novel I finished a few weeks ago, that novel that’s been pestering me for years (oh why won’t you finish me? why don’t you love me any more?) I found I was actually doing OK on some of these rules.

  1. You must write. – Done. I definitely remember doing some of this.
  2. You must finish what you write. – Done. At last. Despite several valiant efforts to get embroiled with yet another draft, I must confess that I’m all about drafted out on this novel.
  3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order. – er OK. I promise I won’t do any more rewriting.
  4. You must put the work on the market. – Damn and blast you. Why would I want to do this? Are you insane? Put my work on the market, like it’s some penny dreadful. My book exists as art, and it’s quite happy living on my computer. No one wants to read this thing.
  5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold. – WHATEVER
Maybe, I had some issues with these rules. Perhaps, a little.
But, you see, from my point of view I had nothing to prove and a lot to lose by putting my novel on the market (and by the market, I’m talking about self-publishing on Amazon. Life is way too short and I’m getting too old to start collecting a pile of rejection slips). By putting in on Amazon I risked criticism. None of us like criticism do we?
I feel I’ve drifted a bit. This was about the idea I had. What was the idea I hear you shrieking at your monitors?
To publish.
To damn that internal critic and just bloody do it.
So, that’s what I’ve done.
Yes, you can actually buy my book. It’s here: