I have done you a service and read a bunch of writing rules lists, and picked out the best ones. Not the best advice, mind you. Just the best rules. Sometimes it's a bit of classic advice, but well expressed. Other times it's the most entertaining. My favorite was this one from Henry Miller: Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing. It just appeals to my current attempt to live more in the present, be mindful etc.
Neil Gaiman: The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.)
Zadie Smith: ...try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.
Susan Sontag: If I am not able to write because I’m afraid of being a bad writer, then I must be a bad writer. At least I’ll be writing.
John Steinbeck: Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.
Jack Kerouac: Try never get drunk outside yr own house
Kurt Vonnegut: Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
Margaret Atwood: Do back exercises. Pain is distracting.
Elmore Leonard: Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.” …writers who use "suddenly" tend to exercise less control in the application of exclamation points.
Diana Athill: Cut (perhaps that should be CUT): only by having no inessential words can every essential word be made to count.
Roddy Doyle: Do spend a few minutes a day working on the cover biog – "He divides his time between Kabul and Tierra del Fuego." But then get back to work.
To be continued tomorrow.