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    A Writer's Credo

    Writer, thou shall write with passion. The kind of writing you produce shall oftentimes reflect the current state of your emotions. Be indifferent and your writing will be indifferent. Be cheerful and watch the words dance across your page. Whenever you sit down to write, put your heart and soul in it. Write with passion. Write as if you won't live tomorrow.

    Writer, thou shall write with purpose. Be goal-oriented. Do you write everyday with the purpose of getting published tomorrow?

    Writer, thou shall write with awareness. Be alert. Be observant. Extraordinary things happen to ordinary people. Your job as a writer is to capture as many of these things and write them down, weave stories, and create characters that jump out of the pages of your notebook. Don't let anything escape your writer's eye, not even the way the old man tries to subtlely pick his nose or the way an old lady fluffs her hair in a diner. What you can't use today, you can use tomorrow so it is good to store these in your memory or better yet, have these jotted down on your little notebook.

    Writer, thou shall write with your voice. Don't even try to copy your favorite writer's writing style. That's being unfair to your writer self. You were given the talent to write, not the talent to be a copycat. Learn to trust your own voice. Write how you are supposed to write. Write what your inner voice is telling you. When someone reads your story, they won't say, "Oh, her style is like Julie Garwood's..."

    Writer, thou shall write with clarity. You're a writer, therefore, you have no excuse to have your words buried in mediocrity. Write to be understood. Writing in precise and clear style is the stuff that makes a writer successful in connecting with her readers. So get rid of those big words, unnecessary phrases, dangling modifiers and what-have-yous. You aren't writing to impress anyone. You're writing to tell a story and make your readers understand what you are telling them.

    Writer, thou shall write with confidence. Tackle each writing assignment with confidence. There will be days that you will feel you are writing blah. There will be times that you will get rejection letters. There will be times that your finished product will fall short of your or your editor's expectations. Don't let these discourage you. Learn and grow from the rejections, the bad days, the shortcomings. Believe in yourself.

    Writer, thou shall write with discipline. Writing, like any other form of art, work or talent, requires discipline. It won't ever be enough that you say to yourself that you are a writer. Only when you write and write with discipline can you call yourself a writer. Like playing a musical instrument, your writing will get out of tune if you don't practice and instill discipline within. Write everyday. Write even though you're in a bad mood. Put yourself in a routine.

    Writer, thou shall write with proper grammar. Correct grammar is the beginning of writing well. Master it, and when you do, you'll know which ones to break.

    Writer, thou shall write with the richness of your experience. Write what you know. This is the beginning for writers. Write about your experiences, what you have learned, what you have lived through. There is a lesson in there somewhere that your readers will find interesting, helpful, uplifting and even motivating.

    Writer, write with gusto. Tackle each writing activity with enthusiasm. Your zest, your enthusiasm will be reflected on your writing. This will help your readers feel excited and enthusiastic too.

    Writer, thou shall write with wisdom. Your life experiences will give you the wisdom. Being wise is being able to differentiate between the truth and falsehood; what is elemental, deep and superficial.

    Writer, thou shall write with faith. Being a Christian writer doesn't mean you only have to write religious-oriented themes. It doesn't mean that you have to write about your religion or your belief only. Writing with faith means you write with the purpose of sharing the good you have experienced, the bad that life threw at you, and inspiring and motivating your readers that good always triumphs over evil. Walk with faith, write with faith, and your writing will shine through.

    Copyright © 2000 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

    Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ is the creator of WriteSparks!™, the idea and story generator for writers. Download your free copy today by going to this link.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



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