Memorizing the Pledge of Allegiance was tricky for me since I missed the first day of kindergarten, but once I did, it stuck to my brain like crazy glue. Even after all these years, like many of you, I can recite it in my sleep: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
“Liberty and justice for all” — what promise this pledge offers: it lays the whole world at your feet! It inspired me to create a writer’s pledge to myself and my readers. Here’s what I commit to:
I pledge to treat my desire to write with respect. I will nurture and honor it.
I pledge to treat my readers with respect. I will put myself in the place of my audience and strive to write poetry or prose that enlivens, empowers, and entertains.
I pledge to free myself from limiting beliefs about my ability to grow and improve.
I pledge to devote the hours needed for mastery: 10,000 hours to my newfound desire to write fiction.
I pledge to honor my time on the page and give it my absolute best.
I pledge to do whatever it takes to push myself to the next level and to go all out.
I pledge to stretch myself – to push myself out of my comfort zone.
I pledge to seek out juicy adjectives and to constantly strive to find a better word, a fresher way of saying what I want to say.
I pledge to put 10%-15% more effort in when I hit the wall – to grab my second wind.
I pledge to give my writing group and anyone else who asks my help my fullest attention and most thoughtful feedback.
I pledge to write dangerously, instead of playing it safe on the page.
What promises would you make?