S.G. Browne

The Ten Commandments for Writers

So as we come to the end of another year, which always ends with me turning a year older and wondering what the hell happened to all that time I said I was going to use to get things done.  To spend more time doing the things that matter.

Like writing.  And reading.  And cleaning my bathroom.

Writers excel at procrastinating.  At postponing.  At finding distractions and excuses that keep them from being more productive.

We answer e-mails.  Update websites.  Read reviews.

We surf the Internet.  Play Scrabble on Facebook.  Tweet.

We discover Zombies vs Plants.  Spend an afternoon playing Madden NFL.  Watch an entire season of Entourage.

Or maybe that’s just me.

So as 2010 comes to an end and 2011 is just around the proverbial corner, I offer up the following New Year’s Resolutions.  Think of them as the Ten Commandments for writers, only without Moses and the Burning Bush:

1. You shall have no Facebook before writing
2. You s
hall not make any false promises of word counts
3. You will not take your editor’s name in vain
4. You sha
ll remember the writing process and keep it holy
5. Hono
r your protagonist and plot
6. You shall not kill the narrative with unnecessary exposition
7. You shall not commit Twittery
8. You shall not steal another writer’s ideas
9. You shall not bear false witness against your dénouement
10. You shall not covet other writers’ successes

I hope these commandments serve you well in 2011.

Happy New Year!

Filed under: The Writing Life — Tags: , , , — S.G. Browne @ 11:01 am


  1. I love it! Thankfully it’s not 2011 yet, so posting this comment while reading the Internet before I have yet to do any writing today doesn’t count. Win!

    Comment by James Melzer — December 30, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

  2. Thanks James. And yes, those resolutions/commandments have one more day before they kick in.

    Here’s to 2011…

    Comment by admin — December 30, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

  3. *raises hand*

    It’s January 3rd and I’ve committed both Twittery and Scrabble on Facebook. And Facebook in general.

    Comment by Melanie — January 3, 2011 @ 11:25 am

  4. Join the club. Stupid commandments.

    Comment by admin — January 3, 2011 @ 11:28 am

  5. […] and read for longer than I should, it’s 9:00am.  Breaking rule #1, #4, and #7 of my Ten Commandments for Writers, I check my e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter accounts first and get sucked into them for at least an […]

    Pingback by S.G. Browne » A Day in the Write — March 9, 2011 @ 8:38 am

  6. Hey would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m looking to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

    Comment by Timmy Sherwood — March 29, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

  7. The platform is WordPress but I had a web designer create the site for me, so it’s not a standard WordPress template. Hope that helps.

    Comment by admin — April 8, 2011 @ 8:20 am

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