The first rule of Fight Club...
The First Rule of Writing a Book is DONT TELL ANYWONE ABOUT THE BOOK
The Second Rule of Writing a Book is DONT LOOK AT THE BOOK
The Third Rule of Writing a Book is Choose a Good Pen Name
(First names edited out, but yes: they use my pen name as their last name when writing. SO CUTE I KNOW.)
And, the most important rule:
The book is going to be great!!!
Don't ever forget that last one.
Seriously, I think these are going to stay taped up on my wall forever. But my kids are pretty dang smart. Observe:
Don't tell anyone about the book. Keep it yours while you are writing it, because so many people are going to see it at other stages. First drafting is for YOU.
Don't look at the book: In their case I think it has more to do with secrecy (in which case, maybe they shouldn't tape the pages up on the wall as they go along? I dunno, I'm not six, so clearly I don't understand these things), but I think it applies to drafting. I try not to look at the book while I'm writing it. Nothing kills that first draft wave for me faster than editing as I'm working.
Third rule, well, we can't ALL use White as our last name when writing. Sorry.
And finally, despair is for after you've finished the first draft and realized how much editing you have ahead of you. First draft? Repeat after me: THE BOOK IS GOING TO BE GREAT!!!
(Just to clarify, there are no "rules" for writing for my kids [or for anyone, really, if you ask my honest opinion]. They did this on their own. I'm still not quite sure where it came from, but making these and putting them on the wall took more time than the actual writing. So, another aspect of writing they have down pat! Doing "important" things to get ready to write and then never getting to the writing! Pros already!)