I’m a fan of…breaking rules

I’m a rule follower always have been. No white shoes after Labor Day. Brush your teeth exactly two minutes. No kissing on the first date. Salad forks are for salads. A lady never kisses and tells. I could go on…

Problem with rules? Some rules serve no other purpose except to create conformity in situations when conformity shouldn’t exist.

So how do we break free from such rules? We step back, gain perspective and sometimes change our path.

Travel always has and always will be my touchstone when it comes to perspective. I am “home” this week in the Vail Valley where I spent summers and winters most of my life. Frustrated with my book, I decided to pause the writing and just think. It worked.

Like a surgeon, I’m on the verge of amputating the first half of my book. My story had evolved to the point where I was writing two books and currently the second book- the part about my sister and my family is where my heart is.  Interestingly, art again imitates life as the first part of the book and relationships explored had just become increasingly disappointing and lacking in depth.

So here it is: I’m breaking rules. I’m changing the book to a first person narrator. I’m making it less of a novel and more of a memoir which is bold for a first time novelist. And finally, I’m pushing the boundaries that my writing instructors have taught me, and I’m writing better than ever. As fellow rule breakers, I know that they will approve.

Greatness has rarely been achieved by following the rules. So, I’m breaking another rule by saying, “I will be great.” Watch out-I have become a total rebel. (I will, however, still be abiding by the white shoes and first date rule but probably not the kiss and tell rule.)

About Jen Cross

Born and raised in Dallas, TX, I enjoy writing books about life in Dallas and relationships and their many ups and downs.
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4 Responses to I’m a fan of…breaking rules

  1. I can’t wait to read your memoir. I know it will be great. I call dibs on an invite to the first book signing. Or whatever fun celebrations happen. 🙂 Go forth and smush rules!!

  2. Lars Rood says:

    I’m a fan of breaking rules too. The nice thing about writing fiction is you are creating a “world” and not just telling a story independent of it. You can lop off the first half and add more to it later. Go with your gut and write what makes you happy. LIkely that’s what people will want to read anyways.

  3. Matilda Valencia Hauss says:

    As a “fellow rule breaker”, I whole heartedly encourage you to follow where your heart is leading you. It won’t lead you wrong. Besides, knowing you as long as I have, I wouldn’t expect anything less of you! Buena suerte! I know that it will be an awesome read!

  4. Christina says:

    I waffle on following rules (I’m passive-aggressive like that) (and I wonder where my children come from).
    I’m sure you have heard of the book Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History. 😉 I bet many of the ladies that got into history books didn’t exactly follow the rules. Just sayin’…

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