We talk a lot about rules here at ELEW. Woids to live by and all that. But no set of rules are a standardized, across the board thing. It's whatever works for you as an individual to get the job done. To get the book written, and to stay focused. But not only is it okay to ignore someone else's 'golden rules of writing' and make your own, it's also okay to ignore your own golden rules and break them on a whim.
Especially if you're like me, a crazypants mind-changer who couldn't stick to one way of doing things to save my life. I've got to follow the rules of the day, the hour, the minute, whatever I'm feeling at the time to try and keep up. For instance, last week I decided I was putting too much pressure on myself and stressing myself out. I was focusing on how much I had NOT done to complete the new book rather than how much I had done. So I said "Don't push yourself, Adrienne, take a couple of days off! No one can function like this, you're a damned lunatic! Here...how bout a nice bubble bath? There ya go. You wanna glass of wine? Magazine? Easy does it, you poor overworked thang."
And now, this week, it's all turned around. I have decided, on a whim, that I WILL finish my first draft this weekend, come hell or high water! Whether I will or not remains to be seen, but the point is, that's the goal, because THIS week, I've decided a challenge is just what I need to light a fire under my ass, to push myself, to go Full Metal Jacket on this bitch! No more coddling and pampering of myself, but full on boot camp writing sprint.
Will it be different next week? Probably. But I just follow the whims where they go, because you can't stick to a formula if your mind and your moods are too fluid. So it's not so much 'Whatever works for you' as it is 'Whatever works for you in the moment'. So just follow that maze, whichever way it turns. As long as it the end game results in a finished novel, you can smash that GPS, grab a scythe, and bushwhack your way through however you damn please.