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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Writer's 12 Step Program

With the advent of a new year, everyone I know is set on making changes. Posts about resolutions have been about the blogosphere, including one of my own. No shock. But how about a tool writers can use to actually reach a healthier place?

Those of you familiar with the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous will appreciate the Writer's Anonymous version that is circling the internet, courtesy of Dr. Stan Williams, whose work I have the highest respect for. Here they are below:
  1. I admit that I am powerless to write like I should—that my creative life has become desolate and unmanageable through disuse.
  2. I believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity, and get my quota of words written each and every day. 
  3. I have decided to turn my will and my life over to the care of God, as I understand Him.
  4. I daily search my life and make a fearless moral inventory of my motivations and whatever else has prevented me from applying my butt to a chair and my fingers to the keyboard.
  5. I admit to God, and to another human being the exact nature of my wrongs from the previous step.
  6. I am entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character so that I will complete the story that God has set before me.
  7. I humbly ask God to remove my shortcomings and expect a completed work in the not too distant future.
  8. I have made a list of all persons we I have harmed by not living up to and disciplining my creative potential, and I am willing to make amends to them all.
  9. I have made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. I continue to take personal inventory and when I am wrong I promptly admit it.
  11. Through prayer and meditation (or medication, depends on how bad off you are) I seek to improve my conscious contact with God praying only for knowledge of His will for me and the power to carry that out in my creative life of writing.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, I will carry this message to other writers, and to practice these principles in all my affairs.
They are based on the actual 12 step program, which I think is way cool. There are other versions that I found on the internet that I found comical and amusing as well. Two of my favorites are versions by Eric Dalen and Susan Sheehey. Be sure to check those out for a laugh.

Let's Analyze: What do you think about the Writer's 12 Step Program? Couldn't we all benefit from a group that uses those steps as their "Big Blue Book" manual?