My ten rules for writing and revising (as of today):

1) If the thought of reading the manuscript one more time makes my eyes cry blood, I know it’s time to put the manuscript aside or send it to my agent / critique group / editor.

2) If I keep skipping a part as I revise, I know that scene is either boring / unnecessary / bad. Probably all three.

If_you_Give_a_Mouse_a_Cookie3) If, five revisions later, I still laugh at the same jokes, I give myself 10 minutes of Internet time and a cookie.

4) If I send my editor or agent three or more unanswered emails within the span of an hour, I am probably always freaking out over something silly.

5) If you’re going to freak out over each and every word, don’t wait until First Pass Pages.

6) I will never understand why I like writing about fictional people but hate writing about myself. Maybe I’m too boring. Too bad I don’t sparkle in the sunlight.

7) No, dear editor, there can never be too many Star Trek jokes.

TooLegit8) It’s okay to have a theme song for your book, as long as it’s not sung by MC Hammer or Vanilla Ice.

9) That sexy idea that pops up right before your deadline—it can wait.

10) I will never learn the rules for ellipses and em dashes, and I’m okay with that. That’s why God created copyeditors.

So far, I’ve only broken four of these rules…on this book.

What are your rules?