Heinlein’s Rules

In 1947 Robert Heinlein wrote an article for a book titled Of Worlds Beyond on the science of science fiction writing. Near the end of the article, presented almost as an afterthought he told the reader his five business rules for writing.

Heinlein’s Rules For the Business of Fiction Writing

1. You must write.
2. You must finish what you start.
3. You must refrain from rewriting except to editorial order.
4. You must put it on the market.
5. You must keep it on the market until it has sold.

Every writer who has followed these five rules as a career writing fiction.

For the last 10 years, I’ve barely gotten past rule one. Starting today I’m committed to following all five rules, because I want to be a professional fiction writer. I love telling stories I love reading, hearing and watching fiction.

Fiction at its best functions as virtual reality. Master practitioners can make you forget that you’re reading a story and transport you into their world. That is an art I will devote the rest of my life to.


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