Photography is probably the easiest medium in which anyone can be competent.
Anyone can be a marginally capable photographer and produce a decent photograph.
The hard part of photography is developing a personal vision that is idiosyncratic.
The hard part of photography is separating yourself visually from the rest of the photographers who are making decent photographs.
Your photography has to become more than decent and has to visually communicate your personal perception.
You cannot communicate your personal perception by working in an automatic exposure mode. The only way to communicate your personal perception, which will automatically separate you from all the other photographers, is to work your camera in fully manual exposure mode and use your personal perception of what you are seeing to drive your composition.
Oh yeah, toss all those rules of composition out the window, they’ll suck all of the vitality out of your work.