In the period when I was on my way out of the military, creeds became very popular. There was a Soldier's Creed, an NCO's Creed, a Warrior's Creed, and various creeds for the more specialized jobs. I have an issue with a few points of the Soldier's Creed (which seem to be there more for macho posturing than to actually make a coherent point) but for the most part it's not a bad statement to make. And it's not a bad concept.
A creed establishes what you should be working for. It formalizes the values you claim to believe in. And inasmuch as anything becomes more valuable when you write it down, I started wondering whether there ought to be an Author's Creed. Not one that we recite each morning and before every convention panel, but more like one you could receive a knitted version of and hang up on your wall.
I started to fiddle with the idea but I almost immediately hit a brick wall. What sorts of things are universal values held by every author? Almost nothing. Just in my short experience in the literary world I've already encountered authors from every walk of life, who agree on almost nothing.
I almost feel like I have a better shot at writing a Horror Author's Creed. I could at least say, "Our job is to scare or make the reader uncomfortable." But even that seems a little wishy-washy.
So, being as my blog is, naturally, ground zero of the literary community and a tourist destination for artists from all walks of life, I thought I might crowdsource this one, so...YOU DECIDE!!!™
If we actually followed through and put together an Author's Creed, what points would you like to see included? What points could you not bear to see included? Let me know in the comments.
Here are a few points I came up with at least for discussion:
- "I will always remain true to my artistic integrity."
- "Other authors are my peers, not my competition."
- "The only critic who matters is myself."
- "I will be a responsible and respectful member of the literary community."
- "I will only submit my last draft, and my last draft will be my best draft."
See, even with these I can see some points for disagreement. So let's discuss.
"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov
Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."
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