Making Your Own Rules

Do you make your own rules about blogging, email, writing time?

Most of us do. We nearly have to or we would just become bogged down by the sheer weight of all of the responsibility.

I commit so many sins where email is concerned. With a smart phone, I-pad, kindle, and lap top — all backups for the desktop computer — I can check email any time of day normally.

So, I scan through them, reading the ones most important to me. However, the others build up until I’m looking down the list of page after page of interesting articles I meant to get to, sales I’ve missed, and opportunities to connect long gone.

My new rule, I cannot let the first day of the month arrive with old emails in my inbox.

“Your email inbox is a bit like a Las Vegas roulette machine. You know, you just check it and check it, and every once in a while there’s some juicy little tidbit of reward, like the three quarters that pop down on a one-armed bandit. And that keeps you coming back for more.” — Douglas Rushkoff

Blogging is a passion, but if I spend too much time on posts — and let’s face it, who among us doesn’t seek the best picture, the most poignant quotes, the perfectly worded sentences — then I’m not connecting with other bloggers, working on the next manuscript, learning a foreign language, or getting in a workout.

My new rule, I will post at least once a month and connect with my followers and those I follow before moving on.

Writing time? Oh boy…this is sacred. Around here, things start getting crazy as soon as the sun rises. So I have to protect writing time with an iron fist. And the only way to do that, is to get up early and by that I mean…4:45…which gives me a couple of hours to write in solitude.

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”W. Somerset Maugham 

Workouts? I know what you’re thinking. If anything on the list could be passed over, this is it. Well, NO. Workouts are a writer’s best friend. We sit too long at a time. We hunch our shoulders. And we probably drink too much coffee.

So getting a full rush of sweat is good for us. It also feeds our creativity.

New rule, I won’t have dinner until the workout is in!! Most days I can squeeze something in even if I have to break it into chunks of time, say 20 minutes in three different segments. Try it, it works.

“So many people are insanely busy nowadays, and it’s easy to say, ‘Ah, I’ll workout tomorrow.’ But you have to set aside a time and stick to that schedule.”Derek Jeter

But these are my rules. What are some of yours??

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  1. Congratulations. Excellent rules, excellent schedule. My rule-keeper seems to be on vacation. I’m not sure she wants to wake up.

  2. Your post describes me, but I need to make some rules and stick to them. I’ve been choosing to do things formerly neglected, but then I end up late at night looking at email–and then I doze off! I’ve been shirking workouts, but a Fitbit is helping to motivate me to do better in that area. It’ll be so nice when the weather entices us once again to come outside.

  3. Your rules are great way to get organized.
    Email is a wonderful gift of the internet unfortunately, time doesn’t always allow for quick replies.
    Writers write all day long and dare I say all night long without even picking up a pen. It’s good the handheld devices have notepads so we can jot down our thought(s) until we can write them out more fully. The notepad app of the devices is one of my most favorite parts.
    All-in-all, It sounds like you may need a few more hours in the day. 😉

  4. Sensibly said! Early morning is the best time for me to write – it seems easier then. Once reason winter’s longer nights isn’t so bad since the dog who gets up with the sun sleeps later. She pretty much has to go for a walk early – which works out since exercise is great for writing and working out sentences that just don’t work and passages that need to be resorted. Walking seems to help there.
    I think I’ll try your idea of cleaning out the easy to get loaded with them.
    You’ve got a good plan here. Stick with it!

  5. Sure the blogger must set their own rules, and of course follow them. However, one of the rules should also be to not force yourself into posting. As you know, I post a lot, so I used to (in a way) panic if I didn’t have something ready. Well, at least I’ve gotten over that.

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