One writing rule you break by J Vincent

Breaking a rule presumes one knows the rules. When I began writing I knew English grammar and the fundamentals of research and for writing term papers.  But fiction writing--not so much.  The one fiction story I wrote for a college English class received a “C.” I was told writing fiction would never be for me. At the time I was not interested in writing fiction but chafed at the grade on a story I had written, rewritten, struggled with and rewrote again.  That teacher broke a rule I’ve always held dear: NEVER tell someone, including yourself, that you can’t.  ALWAYS tell them and yourself you can. I reaped the rewards of this rule with the students I taught when they were successful in achieving a goal they didn’t think they could. I reaped it for myself when my books were published.
The first story I wrote was a medieval mystery romance in a fictional setting. I’m sure someone cognizant of writing “rules” would find I broke many if they read it.  That particular story that drove me rather than the other way around.  I had three children under seven at the time and a husband going to night classes who left before dawn and came home after ten.  Nap time (for the kids) and after bedtime was the only time I could write and I did it reluctantly.  Cut the characters would not let me rest unless I wrote.  Is that a rule?--Always write when characters push you to do so? I wrote in secret, telling no one.  After all who was I to think I could write a novel?  I had been told I never would do it or at least not do it well.

But I digress and I still haven’t come up with a rule to break. After I finished that first novel another story came to mind and again characters drove me. I submitted that second work to a publisher using what I found in the Writer’s Market.  It sold. Even after a dozen published books I still have to admit I didn’t know any writers rules.

When I joined WARA and listened to Rox and Pat and others I really felt the writing idiot. What they said made sense and I absorbed some of it. But when push came to shove so to speak, I found writing rules differ writer by writer. Or rather what I was willing to accept as a must follow rule was different than some. When I first read this topic I thought, “never plagiarize” but decided that wasn’t really what the topic meant. So help me here.  Give me some writer’s rules so I can decide which one’s I might be breaking.