Melly's comment in my post about Rules, made me have a deep and profound thought - that is that people often confuse skills for rules. (So thanks to Melly for getting the wheels turning!)
Everyone needs skills for the job they're trying to do, whatever that might be. In the past, I had to be able to read statutes, decipher judgments and write briefs as a lawyer. In the present, I have to be able to figure out how to turn on the stove, know the difference between salt and sugar, and various other things if I want to cook anything edible.
All that is meant to lead to the point that writers need certain skills, too. Our skills might not be as easily defined as others, which is why the fuzzy boundary between rules and skills often becomes completely illegible - I find it easier to find the line of separation when I think of these skills as building blocks.
For example, grammar is a building block. You have to know the rules of grammar (which does have rules) if you're going to break them. Writers, especially fiction writers, break grammar rules all the time. Most of it is done instinctively in pursuit of telling a good story, but I think you should still make the effort to learn those rules. It's not sexy or easy, but it's a skill you should have. How are you going to argue against someone if they accuse you of writing in passive sentences if you don't know what passive sentences are?
Another different type of writerly skill is the ability to motivate yourself and get it done. Writing is not a group affair. You may have critique partners or beta readers, but it's your butt in that chair day after day, night after night.
The third example takes us closer to the writing itself - knowing what point of view is. It's your business how you write, whether you like to stay with one character or head-hop, but knowing the possibilities, knowing what you can do should you feel so compelled, is a skill, part of the building blocks of writing.
It's when people say that you should do X with POV that they're taking what is a base skill and trying to turn it into a rule. The same goes for climaxes, backstory dumps and world-building among other things. A writer should know what these things are. What they then decide to do with those building blocks is up to them.
Agree? Disagree? Any deep and profound thoughts of your own?