Playing By House Rules
As a creator, you get to create the rules for how you make and market your work. And you likely won’t find success until you do.
Think about the board game, Monopoly for a minute.
Chances are if you play it 10 different times with 10 different people you’ll get 10 different variations on the rules.
Some of the variations are minor, such as changing the amount of cash each player starts with, randomly dealing out a selection of starting properties, or taxing certain board spaces.
Others are drastic alterations to the core mechanics of the game, such as adding custom rules that apply to specific dice rolls, and new opportunities (or requirements) for landing on a certain spot on the board.
It’s not that the rules of Monopoly are fluid by nature.
The official rules for the game are firmly defined, set in stone-or at least in the paper print-out that comes in the box.
And yet despite these standardized, codified rules, so often, we, as the people playing the game find ways to reinterpret, bend, break, subtract from or add to the rules in a way that makes the game more fun for us.
Having fun, of course, is the whole point behind playing a game in the first place, so if we stumble across (or engineer) a way to play that makes it more fun for all involved, why not ditch the official rulebook and adopt the House Rules.
What we need to realize as creators is that we too have the ability to create our own house rules.
We might read about a dozen different frameworks and strategies for growing our audiences or creating better work.
Each of these frameworks is likely solid, and probably even works wonders for some people.
But no matter how granular and detailed their instructions, by no means is any framework or strategy hard and fast.
If the process doesn’t work for us, whether related to the results we’re receiving or the experience we’re having while following it, we have the option to create our own House Rules.