It’s not a bad idea to take a critical look at yourself, not only as a writing exercise, but to inform your work–in light of Diaz’s quote (right) but also in regard to your long-term goals and objectives.
Who do you need to become to write the book you have inside you? Or the book you are struggling with even now?
Where do you wish to be as a writer ten years from now? What are you doing now to ensure your dreams become goals; your goals become actions–and your actions bring your dreams to fruition?
The following questions are meant to be a springboard for your own Writer’s Mission Statement or Credo:
List five people who were important to your development as a writer. Explain how they impacted you, whether positively or negatively.
What significant event in your life has changed the way you look at the world?
Was there a time when writing became difficult for you? What happened? How long did it impact your ability to create?
How is it that even during times you couldn’t write, you still considered yourself a writer?
How often do you write?
Do you have a set time each day? Why or why not?
Do you share your writing with anyone for feedback?
Do you participate in a writer’s group? Why or why not?
How often do you read books on the craft of writing?
What are your favorite things to read?
How often do you read?
What is it that you would like to write but haven’t? Why?
What is it that you write but would like to get away from? Why haven’t you?
At what point in your life did you first consider yourself a writer?
Do your spiritual beliefs influence your writing?
What is your preferred mode of writing? And where?
Are you a plotter or a pantser? (for those who write novels or books) How does that system serve your purposes? How could you improve your efficiency, if at all?
What are your plans for publishing? Traditional? Self/indie? Why?
How do you get your ideas?
Where do you see your writing career in a year? How about five years? Ten?
How are your actions turning your dreams into goals?
How are you doing with your goals? What could you improve? What should you modify?
Now, take some of your answers and craft a Writer’s Mission Statement. In it, discuss your commitment to the craft, to a certain project, and to your own professional growth.
What does your future as a writer hold? What are you doing to make it happen?
Use your answers to the inventory as a springboard, but do not tie yourself to this list–if the muse blows wind into your sails, travel in your own direction.
Remember, your life is shaping you to be the writer you are meant to be…but you must meet the muse head-on if you are to achieve your dreams.
Work hard, so when your head hits the pillow you are able to dream big. And to ensure that once you awake refreshed, you have the stamina and work habits to make it all happen.
Best wishes and write on,
S.J. Anderson, Foxy Writer Chick