Awhile back I wrote a post called The Rule of Threes.
In re-pondering this again recently, the thought occurs that I'm not generally much of a rule follower. In fact, you might even accurately describe me as a person who is incapable of following rules. I break them like crazy in real life (which is why I have to free-lance; most jobs require employees who follow rules) and I break them in writing.
Here's just one example: I use adverbs.
There, I've said it.
I can hear your shocked gasps and the urgent whispering amongst you. But it has to be said. I use adverbs. I use adverbs joyously, lushly, over-the-toply. I like adverbs. And I really don't want anyone telling me that I shouldn't use them.
Truthfully, mostly I edit them out after sprinkling my prose with them liberally (except in this post). Why? Because I want to follow the rules? No, I edit them out because in re-reading my work I can see it will be stronger without them. I'm doing it because I want to and not because someone told me to.
So when I leave adverbs in its for a reason. Case in point: the lead character in my novel is an over-the-top sort of person who dramatizes and exaggerates everything. For her, using adverbs in speech and thought pattern is as natural as a bird singing. So she spouts adverbs prolifically.
The point here is that I know the rule against using adverbs (don't ask me to explain it, though) and I've internalized it so that I now can break the rule. I am in a place where I can break rules with abandon.
Which is exactly where I like to be.