Important rule of writing is to be your self. Another important rule is to write your goals down so you will be guided along the way. There are many others to include in this list. As a writer yourself you may have a different important rule of writing. As for me, I have discovered the most important rule as I was teaching on a set of conferences. The most important for me is that every writer should keep in mind is that writing is a process.
Why this important rule of writing should not be ignored
It is a known fact that writing is a process. If as a writer you ignore this important rule of writing, you will be sure to face challenges along the way. But if you will follow this, recognizing it as a process rather than just a one-time event, it will help you to work better. That means writing will be much easier for you, and the words will also flow much better.
Writing consists of a step-by-step procedure. While each writer has a style of writing, the process of writing still remains to have these four basic steps.
The most important rule of writing: writing as a process
1) If you were following the most important rule of writing that writing is a process, the first step would be brainstorming. In this step, no actual writing occurs, but perhaps some taking down of notes and exercises in writing. Do not get impatient with this step, if would like to follow the most important rule of writing, you have to allot time for this first step. If you do, the next steps will be much easier. Try to explore and brainstorm differently to find the best pre-writing style that works for you most effectively. What works for some writers may not work for you so better to try and experiment for yourself first.
2) The second step in this most important rule of writing is to write a draft. Making your first rough draft should relatively be quick and easy. The actual objective for this step is to actually turn all those ideas from step one of brainstorming into an outline that can help you in the next steps. Just keep on writing down your thoughts, no need to be careful yet of your spelling or grammar, and no need to edit and revise yet. If you are the kind of person who is really particular about not leaving behind some gaps, the technique that I usually do is type in TO BE CONTINUED written in all caps, so can move on to the next part without forgetting about this in the future. Again the objective here in step two is to be able to write down the ideas from the previous step as fast as possible. It need not be perfect; it just needs to be done.
3) Step three of the most important rule of writing is to revise what you have done from the previous step. In this procedure, it might take you more than one draft. But still do not take too much time in revising or editing the fragments, checking out punctuation marks, spelling and grammar. What you should revise first are the more evident mistakes that are too distracting before you get to the main reworking of the whole thing. The objecting for this step is for you to see the big picture. Check if your thesis statement is being well supported. Check if the ideas that have unfolded were developed and fleshed out well. Check for proper logic and comprehension, as well as proper transition.
4) The next step of the most important rule of writing is to edit. This is the time you can nit pick about the little things like punctuation, spelling, grammar, even the careful choice of words. From your objective of seeing the big picture from the previous step, your goal for this step is to focus on the micro details, tuning into the sentence and paragraphs more. This step may take you more than one draft so you can refine your work very well.
If however your project is more in-depth, then you can add another step in between one and two, which involves researching on your topic and organizing the data you have gathered. If that were the case, this most important rule of writing would now involve five basic steps.
It is important to take note that this is just a basic guide to the writing process. Because every writer has his or her own style to the writing process. You should dwell on refining and revising your work for this is how you can grow as a writer. The secret here is you just have to set aside ample time for each process, as well as time for yourself to grow as a writer and for your writing to develop as well. That being said, do not rush your writing. If you need to rest, give it a break. If you need more time, then find the time.
Trust me, as an experienced writer, believe and follow that the most important rule of writing is to treat it as a process, and you will become better every step of the way.