This line by Kurt Vonnegut, one of my favorite writers, often gets quoted by would-be writers and literary types:
“Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.”
This sort of exaggeratedly arbitrary, nose-thumbingly subjective opinion is exactly what we love in lovable writers, but it is also the exact sort of thing we should develop in ourselves, not mimic (or worse, throw as a “rule” at others when they fail to comply). I’m happy to have a writer who insists on something as inconsequential as eschewing semicolons, but I’m also happy to have a writer who, like Kafka here, in the opening of my favorite short story, The Bucket Rider, employs them masterfully:
Coal all spent; the bucket empty; the shovel useless; the stove breathing out cold; the room freezing; the leaves outside the window rigid, covered with rime; the sky a silver shield against anyone who looks for help from it. I must have coal; I cannot freeze to death; behind me is the pitiless stove, before me the pitiless sky, so I must ride out between them and on my journey seek aid from the coal-dealer.