Monday, March 15, 2010

I Declare: Envisioning Your Writing Future

Sit and think about your dream writing life. What does it entail? Do you spend vast parts of your days writing and taking trips and spending time in the library to research and experience the world to which you will write about? Are you a novelist? An essayist? A poet? A screenwriter? A playwright? All of the above?

What do you SEE? And just as important: what do you WANT?

It's not good enough to simply have these visions and wants locked inside your mind. You need to DECLARE them - to yourself and to others.

When we declare, we

1. make known or state clearly, esp. in explicit or formal terms;
2. announce officially; proclaim: to declare a state of emergency;
3. state emphatically: He declared that the allegation was a lie;
4. manifest; reveal; show ("Declare" -

Take out a sheet of paper, and number it from 1 to 5 for starters (you may have more than five declarations, but let's start here.)

After each number, write "I".

Each of these "Is" will begin a declarative statement about you and your writing desires.

Some of us may think it's not very humble to go off declaring all over the place, but this isn't about you simply tooting your horn. You are affirming what you know to be true.

Once you have written your declarations and have announced them, then you must plan to achieve them. What are you going to do, what action are you going to put into motion so that you can realize your declarations?

Nothing comes to fruition without a declaration of it and then a plan to obtain it. Having these two things will practically guarantee your literary success.

What are YOUR writing declarations? What is your plan to make your declarations reality?

Shon Bacon is an author, editor, and educator. She has

published both creatively and academically, and her debut solo novel, Death at the Double Inkwell, will be released June 2010; you can read an excerpt here. Shon also interviews women writers on her popular blog ChickLitGurrl: high on LATTES & WRITING. You can learn more about Shon's writings at her official website, and you can get information about her editorial services at CLG Entertainment. Currently, Shon is busy editing, promoting her debut project, writing screenplays, and pursuing her Ph.D. in Technical Communication and Rhetoric at Texas Tech University.

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  1. 1) I will write something that changes the world.
    2) I will not be afraid.
    3) I will always be the best that I can be.
    4) I have no excuses.
    5) I am a writer.

  2. Simon, I like your declarations. I've never done this exercise. It definitely looks like an interesting one.

    Straight From Hel

  3. 1) I will send my story off to a literary agent this year or a publisher.
    2) I will not be afraid of rejection but take it in my stride.
    3) I will write a new book.
    4) I will try to stick to one genre.
    5) I will take advice.

    That made me chuckle. I can do it. I can, I can, I can!
    Blessings, Star

  4. Shon this is the perfect post for me to read today. I have been so distracted by the wrong things. I need a serious sit down to get focussed and I'm going to use your method. Thanks!

  5. Perfect for me, too! I seriously need a kick in the butt.

    Here's my declaration:

    1. I will complete a children's story including the query letter and marketing proposal by March 31, 2010
    2. I will submit same to six agents or publishers by April 30, 2010

    My latest stumbling block is completing the submission package in its entirety. There's always one tiny piece missing that keeps me from sending. I have now declared myself!

    Thanks, Shon. :) Do you provide nag services, too?


  6. I will spend more time writing and getting my manuscripts done.

    One declaration is enough for me for now. (g)

    Morgan Mandel

  7. Can't hit a target if you don't know what it is! Great way to express it.

  8. 1. I will find an agent this year (which means I will query like crazy until it happens).

    That one is so big and may involve so much work, I think I'd better leave it at that.

  9. LOL, Dani, I need the nag service, too. This is an excellent post and reminder that we need to stay focused. Thanks, Shon.

    I think we could all make a couple of Simon's declarations:

    I am a writer.
    I will not be afraid.

  10. I want to keep doing what I'm doing - writing, sending stuff out, meeting friends on the internet, setting up bookstalls at local fairs... plus selling and getting published, but they're a little harder.

  11. It's all about SPECIFICS and DATES. :)


  12. Oooh, I need to think about this, but I'll do it. Thanks for making me think outside the box.

  13. I CONSTANTLY have to nag myself. The more I put on my plate, the more I found myself doing less with my own creative endeavors. Latest addition: doctoral work. I find that I have to go back and look at the list and refine it--make sure I check SOMETHING off the list as accomplished. No one is going to ride us, to push us in this writing endeavor the way we can do it ourselves.


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.


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