Inside us, we have two competing factions. Not wolves, but inclinations.

Most of us have both the desire to fit in and the desire to break the mold, the instinct to follow the rules and the drive to think for ourselves.

You’ve probably faced this in your writing, in various ways. When we start writing, we want to know “the rules” – the methods and techniques that make a successful story. What to do and what not to do. We also want to learn the magic formula – the tricks and tips that transform an unknown writer into a bestselling author.

But at the same time, we want to be recognized for our unique talents. We chafe when someone suggests we write to formula. We don’t want to be merely successful, but respected. We want to be known for our creativity, the originality of our writing, and our keen insights.

We have to understand the rules of grammar, spelling, and syntax, or we risk looking foolish. But also, we admire the writers who take risks, who play with language, who fashion new words from old, who break molds.

Today, take a few moments to appreciate both sides of your mind. Appreciate the fact that there are rules of good writing and repeatable steps to success, as well as your soul’s desire to color outside the lines.