Rules don’t work for creatives and creativists, not if work means following them in their entirety.

The novelist and political activist, Leo Tolstoy, confided to his diary as a young man:

I wrote down a lot of rules all of a sudden, and wanted to follow them all, but I was not strong enough.

So now I want to set myself one rule only.

And to add another rule to it only when I’ve followed that one.

The first rule which I prescribe is as follows: Carry out everything you have resolved must be carried out.

[pause for effect]

I haven’t carried out this rule.

Tolstoy went on to be among the greatest of all the great rule-breakers. See More: BBC doc: The Trouble With Tolstoy