I want peace in the world, but I also want it in my house. If everyone would just follow these seven rules, everything would be almost absolutely wonderful.
1. If it's not yours, don't touch it. That means don't steal it, don't use it without permission, Whether it's a sweater in the store, another author's novel, or your brother's car, hands off and get your own.
2. If it's broken or not working, either fix it or recycle it. It doesn't matter if it's a bicycle or a manuscript. If it doesn't work then it's not doing you any good. Replace that flat tire or rewrite that chapter. If it can't be fixed, then put it in the recycle bucket. The metal from a bike can be remade into steel cans, scenes from a novel can be reworked into a new book.
3. When you're done with it, put it where it belongs. If I allow you to use my stapler, return it to my office, to the spot on my desk where I keep it. Don't leave it in the laundry room. Same with tools, books, or quotes. The proper place for everything, and everything in its place.
4. If you broke it, you own it. Knock over a vase in a store and you own it. Break your word and you own the consequences. Be responsible and do the right thing- make good on whatever you broke.
5. Do what you're supposed to do. If your job is to take out the garbage, then do it. If you have to send revisions in by the end of the month, get it done. No excuses, no whining. Just. Do. It.
6. Pitch in. Everyone needs a hand sometimes- whether it's doing the dishes for your mom or a newbie writing that first book. If everyone gave a little back, there would be more happiness in the world-and my house.
7. It's not all about you. Everyone needs their time in the spotlight. Don't make it always about you or others will get tired of hearing you talk about you. Just give it a rest once in a while, sit in the background. The time off will give you a fresh perspective and an appreciation for relaxation.