If you want to become a writer, you must become a warrior. Writing is hard. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Yes, it is rewarding. Yes, it is worth it. Yes, we’re glad to have you aboard. But we like you, so here is a hand held out to you. We’re all in this together. Writing is not easy. When the excitement of beginning has worn off and you’ve already met and established your characters, you find yourself in the middle of the book. The story is developing but it has not reached the final stretch, the exciting battle, the conquered goal, the confrontation. It’s on that trek from A to C and you’re finding out that “B” stands for “bogged.”
It’s here – when every word is hard won; when the storyline has leveled and you’re staring at the long road ahead – that you need your creed.
What Is Your Creed?
Your creed can be as simple as words jotted onto a piece of paper, or as elaborate as a poster or mind movie that you watch. It is the reminder of the decision you made when you became a writer, of the book you want to write, and the effect you want to have. It is the end goal you’ll need to remember while you’re in the thick of battle. So write it ahead of time, before you tackle your manuscript. Your creed is the cross around your neck, your good luck charm, your parchment closed with your seal – or simply your daily reminder that you say before you begin your writing session with coffee in hand.
In other words, make your creed whatever works for you. Just write it.
What to Include in Your Creed
Here are some suggestions for what you can include in your own personal creed. Remember, this is only for you, so use what is helpful and ignore the rest.
- What kind of writer do you want to become? Take some time to think about it. What work ethic do you want, what do you want to be known for, what does success look like for you?
- What do you want your final book to look like? Is it selling thousands of copies as ebooks, gracing shelves as a slick hardcover, or on its way to become a movie deal? Visualizing the end result will keep you from feeling like the goal of writing is just an endless task of adding words to a screen.
- Who are you writing for? I don’t mean the traditional way of visualizing your ideal reader and how you can entice them to buy your book. I mean, picturing your book in the hand of an individual reader and what your story will make him or her think and feel. How will your story relate to his reality and what will you add to the way that she sees and approaches her world?
- Who do you want to be as a person? How do you want to be treated and perceived? How do you want to relate to others? What is the best and truest version of yourself and how can you get there?
While you are working on your creed, remember that every statement does not have to ring true.
This is who you want to become, the ideal you want to stretch for.
Believing Your Creed
When you paint this picture in your mind over and over, you will begin to base your choices around that image. You will begin to grow into that person. So be fearless in your declaration and remember you can change and modify your creed as you begin to develop and hone your dream into your reality.
When you have your creed, place it where you will see and read it every day. You will be surprised at how you begin to adopt and use the statements in your actions as you become a writer. Use your creed to open your writing sessions and you will enter your day with the mindset of a writing champion.