The Hippocratic Oath, the promise doctors make upon graduating from medical school. The oath is all about doing no harm and maintaining patient care. In this and many other honorable professions, there is an oath…to be a lawyer, to join the military–there’s even an oath when you adopt a pet. So, why isn’t there an oath we take as authors?
As silly as it sounds I believe we have an unwritten oath.
Writers 101 Tip…The Author’s Oath.
I promise to write everyday no matter what happens, I will write, even if it’s for ten minutes.
I promise to read everyday no matter what, even if it’s just a paragraph.
I promise to write to the best of my ability even on the days when the zone has eluded me.
I promise to let the blood flow from the pages on editing because it makes a story better.
I promise to be inspired by the world I live in and to inspire others in their world.
I promise to at the very least, entertain…even if I’m the only one being entertained.
Now why is this oath important? Why is it not the stupidest thing you’ve ever read? Simple, like doctors we have instruments, tools, learning and even cutting we have to do every day. Like medicine we are constantly growing and changing. The tools we need come from reading and writing.
It could almost be considered a moral imperative to uphold the Author’s Oath. We may not be cutting open the people who read our books, but we most certainly are making an impact and that’s what it all boils down to.
What kind of impact do you want to make as an author? What kind of inspiration do you want to leave behind? As I tip toe through the shadowed pages of life, I look for ways to get inspired. It can be something as simple as how the wind blows through the yard or as vast as how a storm develops across the plains. It may sound like a lot of hoopla to most who are reading this…but to me those small pieces of inspiration breathe life into the stories I paint on the white pages. They are the colors, the dreams, nightmares, traits and even senses that bring everything to life. The only way to constantly grow in this is simply to read and write.
And so it comes to the original question, why isn’t the author’s oath the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard of? The answer is simpler than you would think…because that oath, if followed will lift your art to the next level. To me, that’s important.