Creation Credos: Fill in the Blanks

For a long time, I had a quote from one of my favorite authors taped above my computer screen:

Let me be wise in my creation, let me be fierce in its defense, let me be true to my message and my vision.” –Laurell K. Hamilton (source)

One day, as I was gazing at it while procrasti-thinking (like you do), I suddenly realized that, for me, two of the words were switched. I don’t really want to be fierce in defense of my art. My right to make it? Yes. The art itself? I’d rather let it go and keep creating than spend time defending what’s already done. That day, I printed out a new version:

Let me be fierce in my creation, let me be wise in its defense, let me be true to my message and my vision.

That felt more accurate to my personal tenets. For me, fierceness is more important than wisdom in the act of creation. Whereas it takes wisdom to know when and what to defend about my creation. So for a while I was satisfied with that.

But changing it made me realize that a credo such as this is really more of a personal choice than a blanket philosophy. Not only that, but each step or portion of creation deserves its own descriptor, its own goal. What words would I choose if I split my mantra into sections? What words would others choose? While in the process of thinking up my own, I went to Twitter (and then Facebook) with a simple fill-in-the-blank request:

I got 11 answers overall, a lovely mix of fun and thoughtful. Thank you so much to everyone who played!! I’d like to share them all before I share what I came up with for myself. (My comments are in italics; couldn’t resist!)

Your Answers:

Febe Moss ‏@TheFebeMoss

Dream with strangeness. Create with a tilted head. Review with focus. Submit with courage.

The titled head is my favorite here!

Daron Macke ‏@daronmacke

Dream with balls. Create with balls. Review with balls. Submit with balls! 🙂

For the record, women can and do all of the above despite not having the required anatomy. It’s all attitude!


S.P. McConnell ‏@SP_McConnell

Dream with The Neverending Story. Create with Harold’s Crayon. Review with Nancy Drew’s eyeglass. Submit with Dumbledore’s Pensive.

Love the creativity here!

Laura Rueckert ‏@LauraRueckert

Dream with pillows. Create with pillows. Review with pillows. Submit with pillows.

I’m apparently a little tired. 😉

To be fair, pillows are really nice.

Aditya Thakur ‏@eddyfy_

Dream with soul. Create with heart. Review with brain. Submit with a smile.

Sometimes simple is the most effective!

Benjamin Inn ‏@BenjaminInn

Dream with EXPLOSIONS! Create with EXPLOSIONS! Review with EXPLOSIONS! Submit with EXPLOSIONS!

*makes explosion motion with hands* *adds sound effects*

Carie Juettner ‏@CarieJuettner

Dream with soul. Create with sweat. Review with heart. Submit with blood.

Create with sweat is my favorite here!

Alex Langley @RocketLlama

Dream with butts. Create with butts. Review with butts. Submit with butts.

Ah, butts. A classic reviewing tool.

June Weiss ‏@BijouxIce

Dream with abandon. Create with élan. Review with brutality. Submit with hope.

Hope is a good one. A required ingredient even?

Kalli Hale (via Facebook)

Dream with inspiration. Create with imagination. Review with irreverence. Submit with independence.

Irreverence is my middle name!

Russ Linton @Russ_Linton

Dream with Cthulhu. Create with Cthulhu. Review with Cthulhu. Submit with Cthulhu.

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn! (But shouldn’t it be submit to Cthulhu?)

My Answers:

Seeing these answers did help put my own thoughts into perspective. Of course, it’d be fun to come up with some silly ones too, but ^these guys really have that covered, and I was still looking for my real credo. Here’s what I’ve settled on:

Dream with abandon. Create with ferocity. Review with distance. Submit with quiet but infinite hope.

I’m not sure it’s worthy of being taped to my computer, but it was a nice exercise in examining my beliefs.

Missed the boat? Feel free to fill in the blanks yourself and share in the comments below:

Dream with _____. Create with _____. Review with _____. Submit with _____.

[Note 1: I’ll be on a writing retreat Sunday through Thursday, so I might not get to comments as quickly as I usually do. But please know I read and appreciate each one, and will get to them all when I get home, if not sooner!]

[Note 2: If you haven’t already, please do stop by my latest Twitter column at Writer Unboxed: “Should You Be On Twitter?” I’m helping undecided writers weight the pros and cons of joining Twitter.]

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  • Regina Richards

    Dream with child-like playfulness. Create with discipline. Review with a fine-tooth comb. Submit without looking back.

  • There are great! I like Aditya’s the best. Let’s pretend I wrote that . . . it’s what I’d want to say.

  • Cynthia Robertson

    Wonderful! Yours is probably closest to one I would say for myself, but all were interesting.

  • Melissa Crytzer Fry

    You are one of the most creative people I know, Annie. What a fabulous way to interact with other writers. And I love the responses as well! Your credo seems pretty darn good to me.

  • I love Aditya’s, although some of the others sound like they were TUI – Tweeting Under the Influence. lol

    Dream with abandon. Create with enthusiasm. Review with help (lots of help!). Submit with crossed fingers and a truckload of chocolate. 😉

    • Ha, I happen to know that most of these goofy answers are from writers who need no outside substances to be perfectly nuts. 😉

      Chocolate! I need to work food into my credo…

  • Traci Kenworth

    I love how you switched this and made it your own!!

  • Hi, stranger! I’m glad you found me. Thank you so much for the kind words! I love your quirky creation credo! You’re obviously very creative. Thanks for stopping by, and for playing!

  • Katy

    Dream with Fantasy. Create with Adventure. Review with Melodrama. Submit with Thriller.

    • I know a few people who “review with melodrama,” hehe. 😉 I love it, Katy!