My rules are pretty simple. I have just two of them.
I've realized that if I stick to "my rules" good work will happen.
1. Don't Be Lazy. To do this I need to schedule my creative time. If I just wait for "inspiration to strike", either I won't be prepared or I will be out of practice. I make my studio time a priority during the week even if it's only a few hours at a time. Heck, with a nine month old baby boy who's getting really good at butt-scooting around the house...I really can only squeeze in an hour here and there. So there it is. Make the time. Don't be lazy.
2. Don't Be Afraid. This is especially true in my abstract painting. In the midst of creation I need to be free to change the composition entirely, or to try a new technique or color scheme. It is the only way to keep things exciting. And if there is a beautiful mark that needs to be covered up in order for the piece to work as a whole...so be it. Don't be afraid to change it. Don't be afraid to do something crazy. Don't be afraid to ditch a project for awhile if it isn't working. Just don't be afraid. Simple as that.
And when I think about it...these are good rules for life as well. LIFE. But that is a topic of another post...