It's essential to know the rules and to choose consciously when breaking them, but there are SO many rules ... is it even realistic to know them all? No. That's why it's crucial to study and read and revisit the craft of writing as often as possible. The one rule I wish I'd never read is the one about split infinitives. I struggle constantly with them. They plague my writing - not by choice, but by personal blindness to them. Thank heavens for terrific critique partners who catch them for me.
Here are two more writing "rules" --- do you follow these?