Heinlein’s Rule #1

That’s right. I’m back to #1.

Life has been rough for…well, a few years honestly. I’ve lost people I love… and of late a job that I loved.  If I’m completely honest, I may have some depression that needs tackling.

One of the symptoms, I’m aware of is the lack of interest in doing the things I truly enjoy. Which, is all my way of saying that my writing has been very spotty over these last couple of months. I think it was fine in the early goings of dealing with my latest life turn — the job loss. For one, my focus has been (and still is) finding the new source of income.  But… as time has gone, I’ve realized that 1) I could have managed a lot of writing during the hours I haven’t been job searching and 2) I love to write. It certainly could help with my mindset.

So, I’m back to Heinlein’s Rules.  Those incredibly simple set of rules. Most, of which if you read just on the surface without any real reflection, will result in you saying, “Duh. No shit Sherlock.”   But here’s the thing, they are simple to understand, and probably easy to follow… but it’s also incredibly easy to “fall off the horse.”  But I’m here, and I climbing back into the saddle. Right on #1.

You Must Write.

And for me that means every day.

Today? That meant 800 words this morning, when I woke up (not by design) at the insane hour of 2:30 a.m. It involved heavy, cycling back to get back into the story…and I’m sure the early going will be slow, and require more heavy cycling.  That’s okay. It’s all part of working towards adherence to Rule #2 – Finish what you start.

I’ve gotten some feedback from readers and writers of late. Asking when the next story is coming. Telling me they like this blog. Of course, none greater than my wife, Jill.  All of it is really, really appreciated. My purpose in all of this is to “entertain myself”… but that is always immediately followed by “and hopefully others.”

So, thank you others. The support is helpful.

— TD

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15 thoughts on “Heinlein’s Rule #1

  1. Good for you, Tony. And just so you know, Heinlein himself said he’d fallen off his own rules more than once. The secret isn’t to never fall off. The secret is to keep getting back on. Good luck with your job search. And I’m still pulling for you to break my record. (grin)


    1. Thanks Harvey. A writing friend once asked what I would title an autobiography. I said The Boxer. “Interesting, I didn’t know that about you.” I said, it has nothing to do with throwing punches, but my propensity for pulling myself back up off the canvas.


  2. Tony, I’m glad to see that you’re getting your groove back. I’m constantly falling off and getting back on Heinlein’s Magic Carpet ride…Let me say, I think that’s pretty natural. There are times in one’s life where the writing must take a backseat. The key is just making sure it doesn’t fly out the window and get run over by whoever’s behind you. 🙂

    Silly analogies aside, it sounds like you get that and you’re back in control, so make the most of it while you can! I found that giving up my early morning exercise routing and spending an hour writing instead has really given me momentum, so you may find that you need to figure out where you’re spending your time and swap in some writing to keep you going.


      1. I concur. Layoffs hurt. “It’s not personal” is part of the problem. Both of mine hit me hard, the second one delayed. I think as long as you’re being proactive and not judging yourself for feeling blue, you will heal.

        And yeah I hear you about limited funds for fun. That was yesterday’s wallowing session… wishing I could take the boys kayaking again this summer. All they’re doing is gaming, and I miss doing fun stuff like that with them.


      2. It was good seeing you tonight. BTW, Jill evidently called Izzie’s Pond and left a message this evening…I guess we had three baby raccoons in a storm drain near our place.


  3. I made my first novella my anchor following Layoff #1. Following Layoff #2, the novella was just about complete and I wasn’t in the mental space for revisions. I made sure my editor was cool with extending my deadline (she was) but I was glad to finish it up so I could move on to something fresh. I almost think that fresh projects are better in situations like this because there’s nothing but you and the story. No expectations, just pure creation. Hoping you find the same and make it work for you.


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