Where is Your Warrior? By DiAnn Mills

Monday, June 01, 2015

If you’re like me, writing can be a war zone. Every day I march to my computer and battle with words. Sometime I carry the flag and stand on my desk and scream victory. And other times I hide under my desk and cower like a . . . little girl. I make the choice to be successful. I don’t choose my circumstances, and neither am I controlled by them. I am a writing warrior.

Writing tactics vary according to personality, and all of us have ways to achieve our objective in a strategic manner. We approach our stories with proven maneuvers we’ve learned from other writers, and we’re not afraid of making adjustments. The crazy truth? There isn’t a perfect way to create a novel.

If you doubt your fighting and survival abilities in the writing and publishing world; if you want to crawl out of your foxhole and write a marketable story, here are ten ways to champion the writing warrior in you.

The Writing Warrior

1. Purpose: A warrior understands the goal of his craft is to pen a manuscript that exceeds anything the writer has created in the past. The elements of story are deepened through vigorous practice and a review of skills. The first line of defense is creativity.

2. Motivation: A warrior finds the drive to begin and finish a story by understanding his purpose and ignoring the enemy flanks approaching on all sides.

3. Determination: A writing warrior isn’t afraid of an ambush. In fact, the writer is prepared. Revisions from the editor, changes in the industry, and personal situations don’t have to be an ambush. A writer is ready with a counter-attack. We arrange our schedules to finish manuscripts before the due date so a hitch in our professional, personal, and psychological life doesn’t flatten us. We find the resources necessary to do the work. Period.
4. Mental: Courage takes its form in ways that are often unpredictable. A writer is prepared by mentally being aware of what success entails, training the mind to review and add ammunition to his arsenal. The writer isn’t afraid to invest in how-to books, explore the best methods to use social media, or research the best writer conferences. A warrior seeks the tools to keep his morale up.

5. Physical: A warrior trains his body so his mind will respond accurately. This means eating nutritionally healthy foods and exercising daily. Put the good stuff into your body, train it, and watch it operate more efficiently by defeating self-doubt and exhaustion.

6. Spiritual: The Bible says to put on the armor of God so we can stand firm in our faith. Do you wear your faith like a set of new clothes? Are you clothed in the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, boots of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit? A warrior without faith is defeated before he begins. Look up for your marching orders, not at your fingers on the keyboard.

7. Objective: A warrior knows his objective before he straps on his weapons. He trains with courage. Don’t be afraid of guerrilla warfare. If your story isn’t flowing the way you envisioned, take a step back. Look at the story from another angle. What happens in the middle of your story that changes everything for your characters? What detail in your backstory pushes a character into unexpected action? Reach out for a critique partner. Work your way back from the story’s resolution.

8. Hunger: A warrior craves his very best and leads the charge. Do you hunger for your work to be viewed as respected, a strong story that entertains and inspires the reader? Does your heart want a manuscript that fulfills a need?

9. Love and compassion: A warrior takes every weary step forward because of his love for people. The world is filled with hurting people, and he wants to protect and help them overcome adversity by showing them how to be warriors.

10. Commitment: A warrior faces the challenges of the ever-changing writing and publishing industry by seeking information that teaches new concepts. His allegiance to story and pleasing readers links him to all areas of writing and publication. A warrior doesn’t admit defeat; he’s armed with knowledge that ensures he’s still writing when the smoke clears.

Have you discovered your hidden warrior? A writer without a battle is a writer who’s given in to the echoes of defeat and forgotten the will to create.

I’m a writing warrior. What about you?