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DL’s Rules to Live By

Now that WRiTE CLUB and the DFW Conference are in my rear view mirror for the year, I have an abundance of time to worry about how my book is doing while its on submission. This is when the self-confidence begins to waiver and whispers of doubt creep in, which of course leads to self-reflection and questions that are hard to face. At times like this I tend to do a soft-reboot and remind myself who I am...and more importantly...who I want to be.   

Below is a list of 30 rules I've accumulated over the years that help define who I want to be. They're  from various sources (movies, songs, literature, bathroom walls, etc.), and in various ways help me navigate through life.  Some are corny...some not...but I can relate to them all. I feel that everyone would benefit from composing there own list and reviewing it often. Today is one of those review days for me, and I'm letting you peek over my shoulder.

DL’s Rules to Live By

1.      Most doors in the world are closed, so if you find one you want to get into: you damn well better have an interesting knock.
2.      Even though I’m not very religious, this still applies.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
3.      Work before play, but a long break every now and then never hurts anyone.
4.      As far as criticism goes, always consider the source.  The same is true for praise.
5.      Sometimes it’s easier to just agree to disagree.
6.      There's nothing wrong with being afraid of the dark...especially if you're a writer. It just means you have an active imagination.
7.      Respect your elders, until they give you a reason to do otherwise.
8.      If you’re paid a day’s wages, then work an honest day’s work.  Sick time is for when you’re SICK.
9.      Guys don’t hit girls.  Period.
10.  Too good to be true, usually is.
11.  People who believe in Santa Clause receive more presents than people who don’t.
12.  In for a penny, in for a pound.  There are no part-time friends.
13.  SELFISH is not a four letter word.  It’s OK to think of yourself first sometimes.
14.  Reality TV...isn't.
15.  Never say never.
16.  Relationships are HARD work!  For better or worse isn’t just a catch phrase.
17.  Pick your battles, then fight to the death.
18.  If you can’t look at yourself in the mirror, then how do you think other people see you?
19.  Making love and having sex is not the same thing.
20.  Shit happens.  Why spend so much time looking for someone to blame?
21.  Your beliefs are your beliefs.  Don’t try to make them somebody else’s.
22. If you like something because you think other people are gonna like it, it's a sure bet no one will.
23. Everything you think is important, isn't. And everything you think is unimportant, is.
24. The people who talk just to fill the silence, are the ones who rarely say anything.
25. Lean into it: Sometimes in uncomfortable situations the outcome doesn't matter. What matters is that you're there for it.
26. Knowledge comes and goes, but wisdom lingers.
27. The day you stop laughing…is the day you grow old.
28. Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.
29. Don’t listen to what people say, watch what they do.
30. Inspiration is the act of drawing up the chair to the writing desk.

Bonus Rule: Give me the "Hollywood ending" every time. If I wanted reality, or shock value, I'd start watching the six o'clock news.  

Tell me, what’s something from your list?


  1. Great list, DL.
    Best of luck with your story submission. Don't get discouraged if you get rejections.
    Not everyone orders Today's Special when they go to a restaurant. Even though they know its special and fresh and new. But, the right person will order it. You'll see.
    Keep moving forward.

  2. Those are good! Number twenty-eight is so true.

  3. Great list. No. 1 cracked me up. How about this. Become a brilliant and prolific writer.'s a quote and I can't remember who said it.

  4. What a great list. I may have to steal some of those. But in the meantime, always remember to party like a rock star.

  5. #14 is so true. Why does no one else seem to see it? :-(

    Love the list. I try to remember to 'treat myself the way I would treat my best friend'. No telling myself I'm fat, ugly etc... because I wouldn't say that to a friend.

  6. Ah, is that why I always get loaded up at Christmas? Nice :) Great list! I especially agree with 7, 8, 21, 27, 28 and 30. And about not watching the news! Hmmm, to add my own... don't really have a running list, but off the cuff I'll add:

    Enjoy the simple pleasures in life. And the grand ones :) It's what living is all about. Savor it!

  7. Great list - I can relate to all of them. My list would have to include "Never underestimate the simple pleasures like hot running water".

  8. Hi DL - I agree ... interesting list ... manners maketh man ... cheers Hilary




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