Joanne DeMaio’s take on Breaking The Rules

It seems as if everything I read this week spoke about breaking rules. Joanne DeMaio’s blog post was especially delightful and insightful.  Read what she had to say in  her Wednesday post here.

When last did you break a rule to advance your dream?You’re welcome to share details.


7 thoughts on “Joanne DeMaio’s take on Breaking The Rules

  1. Thanks for the mention, Cheryl. It was a fun post to consider. I broke a rule recently for marketing my memoir manuscript. The rule is that the writing should always stand on its own, along with the proposal. But I created a web site dedicated to supplementing the proposal, to give the project a visual. We'll see what happens …


  2. That was an ambitious rule breaker and I wish you success with it.

    After, the fear and anxiety over breaking a rule, comes a wash of excitement and confidence, even if it doesn't deliver the outcome we envisioned.

    Breaking rules (in a wise and ethical way of course) is an adventure, a step/sprint/full-fledged leap out of our comfort zones. And we may very well ask, “Why didn't I do that before?”

    Again, good luck with your memoir and have a lovely weekend.


  3. What an excellent post, Cheryl! Thanks for sharing it! I think Joanne has really captured the essence of true creativity.

    I believe that when we first understand the rules well enough, we're free to use our creative judgment in judiciously breaking them when that would be prudent for adding a special spark to our work or using a fresh approach that might make an endeavor more likely to succeed.

    I often break certain hard and fast writing conventions. When I feel it furthers my writing goals or makes my writing more expressive and flowing, I am not at all afraid to use passive voice, insert as many colorful adjectives and adverbs as I need to adequately describe a concept, begin a sentence with “and” or “but,” write longer and more complex sentences, or even use certain tried and true cliches.

    I never use these less-orthodox techniques wrecklessly, of course. For example, I try never to use an adjective or adverb when a livelier noun or verb would ace the job. When I use passive voice, I usually alternate between passive and active sentences or clauses — and I do the same with long and short sentences — to add variety and impact.

    Yet, I'm a firm believer that every writer should be fearless in developing a style that differentiates him or her from the crowd. If we write exactly the same way everyone else does and always fear breaking with convention, why should anyone choose our writing over that of others?

    When we test our limits, explore our imaginations, and stretch our creative muscles, we often find delightful new ways of expressing ideas that make readers come back to feast on our work again and again.

    Thanks for sparking the creative process by sharing Joanne's insightful post!


  4. Jeanne,

    And you demonstrated your willingness to break with blog-commenting convention with this long comment. I so enjoyed reading it.

    I'm going to post your second to last paragraph on my Facebook page. It is a lovely quotation to keep too.

    Thank you for sharing your own take on this interesting topic.


  5. And I will once again break with blog-commenting convention by coming back to respond to your reply (which sometimes happens in the blogosphere but, in my estimation, not nearly often enough).

    I appreciate your posting a paragraph from my comment on your Facebook page and feel honored that you believe my thoughts worthy to pass along.


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