The Ten Grave Precepts of Writer Zen
1. No killing dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, hamsters, goldfish or any other helpless animal in the story.
Bump off all the humans you want; just leave the poor defenseless critters alone!
2. No stealing titles from other writers' published work.
That goes for cool character names, too.
3. No misusing sex scenes.
Work out your divorce on your own time.
4. No speaking falsely in the author biography.
We know you aren't the greatest American novelist of all time, or we would have seen you on Oprah after the Dr. Oz explained how high colonics are our friends.
5. No giving or taking chocolate-covered Valium.
Unless you get completely hideous cover art, in which case, I'll give you a two-year supply along with counseling and free membership in my little support group.
6. No discussing the faults of non-writers.
We need them to drag us out of the workspace now and then or we'll starve before we finish that rewrite of chapter three.
7. No praising yourself while abusing other writers.
They're not that bad. You're not that great.
8. No sparing the character assets.
Of course a recovering crack whore hiding from the cops in a flop house room with a sometimes-boyfriend named Wife Beater is a truly hip protagonist, but she's also a little depressing. In between detox and ER visits, have the girl volunteer at the local library, or deliver Meals on Wheels or something.
9. No indulging in anger at one's editor or agent.
Naturally if you have the financially independence that allows you to wait forever for that next advance check or contract negotiation, go ahead.
10. No defaming the Three Publishing Treasures (Dan Brown, Stephenie Meyer and J.K. Rowling.)
Like they care what you think anyway.
This list was inspired by a link I found over at The Presurfer for ZenHabits, a blog devoted to "finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives. It’s about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, create something amazing, find happiness."
Which I think for writers, is writing. Yes?