Day 20: What’s Your Mantra?

Dec09WM20We’re two-thirds of the way through, and from what many of you have been sharing, this has been a “busy-insane-nutso” month for many of us. Still, regardless of whether or not you’ve written or revised one chapter or several, there’s something we can all learn from being this busy. Sometimes, in order to write we need to shut off our brains and just put our fingers on the keyboard. (Like Yoda says, “Do or do not, there is no try.”)

I love the idea of being surrounded by clean, simple mantras or phrases you can really hold on to. Lilith Saint Crow‘s recent advice was to put the words “no choice” on a postcard in front of you. My New Year’s Resolutions are simply to use the words “Yes” or “No” more often. Let my characters over-rationalize. Let them over plan and obsess about what they have or haven’t done through their thoughts and actions on the page.

So today, in the midst of your writing, think about what your mantra is or will be. Let that be your rallying cry to keep motivated or to help yourself minimize the distractions that are often all around us.

Here’s a few of my favorite “I” writing mantras:

  • I love to write
  • I will write every day
  • I will learn one new thing about writing every day
  • I will not worry about how good of a writer I am
  • I am proud of my ethics as a writer
  • I am a writer

I hope you find your own rallying cry, and that you continue tapping away at your keyboard. After all, how can you revise a blank page?

4 Responses to Day 20: What’s Your Mantra?
  1. Jim

    I’m at a all time low. I got layed off yesterday. My rallying cry is determination and don’t give up. Now more than ever I need to write so I don’t think about how bad off I am right now. I will not give up. I do not care how bad my work is. I will write 3000 words a day.I have a book finished. I will write mods for game systems too. Any, and I mean ANY advice on finding freelance work? Its like buying a really expensive car-if you have to ask, you can’t afford it. With freelance work in the game industry if you have to ask then you’re nobody and you get ignored. In other words you need a established rep but no one will talk to you to look at any of your work if you don’t already have something published. And around and around and around it goes. Almost no companies have a open submission anymore but they use freelance writers they already know. I have no problem with writing something for free the first time to show off I have skills but even that is not availible. Any suggestions?

    • Monica Valentinelli

      Hi Jim,

      I’m sorry you’re going through this job situation right now. I really don’t have any easy advice to give you, because (having been through company restructures and lay offs myself) the emotions that you are feeling will color and affect what you do professionally. In the best and the worst of times, in my experiences the freelancers that stand out are the ones that are professional but still persevere. Some things you’ll need to deal with on your own before you leap back into the fray again.

      I recommend feeling what you’re feeling, cutting yourself a little slack, and then make it a point to move forward. Here’s a good website that can help get you started:

      Good luck!

  2. Jim

    Thank you. It is a emotional roller coaster right now. I’m determined though. It helps to have family and friends for support. I find myself writing up a storm though on many different fronts!

  3. Jennifer Brozek

    My mantra is “Just write.”

    It’s kind of a “stop all the excuses and just do it” mantra.

    The other one I have is, “I will survive. I may not like it but I will survive.”


Monica Valentinelli is a writer, editor, and game developer. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Firefly, Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

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