Obey.The.Rules!

Just step outside the box for a moment. There aren’t as many rules as you think there are.

A long time ago, I trained as a volunteer counsellor on a national telephone helpline…and this is what one of the trainers said to me. I’ve never forgotten it.

Mind you, I’ve never really known what to make of it either.

I mean, this organisation had more rules than boarding school. Don’t say’should’. Don’t say’you must’ as in ”you must feel awful…’. Don’t advise. Don’t sympathise. Don’t say”if I were you’. Paraphrase, reflect, never judge…and if you do get it wrong, they’ll probably jump and it’ll be all your fault. I didn’t last long.

Still, it made me think. What are my ‘rules’? Should I chuck some of them off the books?

One day I was hanging out at the shops with my mate – the two of us were about twelve at the time – and I greeted some elderly passerby, just out of random friendliness. “You can’t say hello to people you don’t know!” exclaimed my friend, shocked.

Oh? Can’t I? Ok. So I put that one down in Book of Rules for People Who Don’t Know What the Rules Are, and never did it again. See, people like me don’t know what the rules are: we need normal people to tell us. And they do!

The Man and I joke that we should own a reference book on What Normal People Think. Then, whenever we have an argument about what’s normal, we’ll just get the book down and go ‘oh yeah, it says here 99% of people get out of bed on the left side…ok, you win.’  Sadly, nobody’s written that book yet (but there’s still time…).

But sometimes, when I create, I find myself thinking, hang on a minute. Why shouldn’t I give this watercolour portrait of my favourite aunt snake hair and a witch’s hat? Why shouldn’t I make my romantic hero fat, or my heroine unlikeable, or my thriller introspective? Why shouldn’t I make up words and mix prose with poetry?

Well actually, I can do what I damn well like. I can make my own rules. I CAN learn French at 55, and eat breakfast with a hot water bottle under my jumper, and sing like a rock star while I’m making dinner. I can watch Outlander in bed, and stick pictures of my favourite hot actors on my bedroom wall. I can, finally, say hey to people I don’t know from Adam.

Do you set rules for yourself when you really don’t need to? What rules would YOU like to ditch?

Fallacious Rose writes a shit ton of books. You can find them here.

 

 

13 Comments

  1. With each book I write, I’m saying “Why can’t I?” more and more often. There are all these writing “rules,” and when we’re new to writing, we tend to think we can never break them. Then, over time, we realize these “rules” are more like guidelines. Doesn’t mean we can’t ever break them. Just means we should be aware of them and not go overboard.

    As for rules in other areas of life, I do tend to follow them. I don’t like to follow orders, but I will follow rules. 😁

    1. Oh yeah…all of them. Regards Buddha, thanks, I’m so glad you liked it and yes, a review would be welcome. Sorry have been not getting around blogs etc recently as I’ve been finishing my trilogy.. more on that in the next post.

  2. there are lots of rules, some of which are meant to be broken. was told a while back I should not use the word why as it is too aggressive. The man is a moron. How did our ancestors ever learn to stand upright without asking why? maybe it’s the most important word we have

  3. All the rules that give unfair power to a mighty few over anyone else. Especially over women – also, children, refugees, the elderly, the handicapped – yeah, everyone. Rules are good for driving a car and paying for the things we take out of stores and building houses other folks will live in and keeping voting booths fair and good schools open to all kids. But the rule about the guy who’s rich enough to buy beach front property so he should be able to keep me off the beach, when I know his fortune was stolen by his great-grandpa and he inherited it and also his sheet-eating attitude about the beach and all of the rest of the resources in the world? Dump that rule.

    Sorry if I got off track again.

    (Rose, I think you’re being trolled by the sexyqd and sexyap websites.)

  4. Totally agree about the rules the rich make.. they’re just annoying. You shouldn’t be able to own beaches anyway. But what’s the thingummy website? They’re not doing a very good job of trolling, are they, poor things. I could troll better than that any day😋

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