Why You Need A Creative Writing Mantra

I think everyone has an internal champion that pushes them on with colloquial phrases. Aside from the “you can do it” self encouragement I think it’s important to display your mantra in front of you at your work station. We all know we can do things if we dedicate time and attention to them; however, it’s easy to forget when inspiration isn’t coming or you’ve had a hard day.

Let me tell you about mine.

My creative mantra is “trust your future self.” In creative industries there are a lot of what ifs and uncertainties. It used to cause me lots of stress worrying about everything to come. In life, especially in a creative life, there are no guarantees so all we can do is work hard and prepare our unknown selves for what’s to come. And if we live with the awareness that each effort is better preparing us for future struggles we will be ready to tackle them with inspired fearlessness.

I think we underestimate our future selves because we only have our current capacity for understanding. But what if you thought about your future self as separate from your current self. All the wisdom you believe yourself to have in the present would only be multiplied in the future, right? So why don’t we give our future selves more credit to adapt and be even stronger than we are today? Everyone thinks they carry the weight of the world on their shoulders, so believe that your future self has already carried these burdens and survived to become the person you want to be. I think we owe it to our growth.


Whether you need to overcome rejection, find your tribe, or feel the strength to write the most honest parts of you, there is a mantra you can find to bolster your journey.

Personally, I’m looking forward to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. It’s her new book about creativity and it’s out this fall.

If you don’t have your creative mantra yet, here are some other favorites of mine you can borrow: 9e4073d6863e21b9a5b923c3e62390af 64dc2842e4f64e924cff62860a37cbe3 854bdb9922cae40934cf19855987807c c960caaf15c4d669ae4b735e37709d8f 6db4b3782b555876f83e4d5f7ebddcd0 56742506bd278f91f9bf7a557dd13802 34d4f71fc9ac164fd6af6bc5770ca7e4 Q: I’m excited for Elizabeth Gilbert’s BIG MAGIC to come out this September. Are you?

Published by Carly Watters

Carly Watters is a SVP, senior literary agent and director of literary branding with the P.S. Literary Agency. She is a hands-on agent that develops proposals and manuscripts with attention to detail and the relevant markets. PSLA’s mission is to manage authors’ literary brands for their entire career. Never without a book on hand she reads across categories which is reflected in the genres she represents and is actively seeking new authors in including women’s fiction, commercial and upmarket fiction, select literary fiction, platform-driven non fiction and select memoir. She occasionally represents children's book projects. Carly is drawn to emotional, well-paced narratives, with a great voice and characters that readers can get invested in.

18 thoughts on “Why You Need A Creative Writing Mantra

  1. Love this so much. And all the quotes! Can’t wait for her new book. Have you been listening to her Podcast? Obsessed.


  2. Love it. Made me think about mine, which is Creative Work First–meaning (to me):

    Create First, React Later.

    I didn’t make it up from thin air; I adapted it to suit me from this brilliant wisdom:

    “Creative work first. Reactive work second.” ~Mark McGuinness

    I like the double meaning behind React Later. You’ve got to get the words down first. You can always evaluate them, and reevaluate them later. And if you react to what everyone else wants from you first, you’ll never get to the creative urge that wants to spill out of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love yours, Carly. I think you are wise to make that point. Our future selves are in us! I think for me I don’t have a mantra other than, when I doubt myself a little voice inside sings out, ” Why not you? You will do it!” I think of things I want to accomplish and always picture myself doing it. A mantra…maybe. A dreamer….more so. But when I Iook back at my life I have pretty much done what I set out to do thus far. Good or bad….you can make it happen. So, first, be careful what you ask for. Second, you can achieve it if you dream it. (Oh, with a lot of work!)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My creative mantra is the same as my martial arts one: “What I can’t reach today I’ll be able to reach tomorrow.” I can’t expect myself to be able to make something perfect on the first try, but with practice I can get a little better with time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this. It’s funny how sometimes when I look back on memories (especially things from the distant past), I may feel like certain events happened to someone else and not to me. In a way, they did happen to someone else. They happened to the person I used to be–not the me who exists right now. I’ve never really thought about applying to same attitude toward the future, but it’s helpful. It sort of immediately puts into perspective whatever’s going on, and it gives you some freedom simply to grow and be. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

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