This post is by our newest regular contributor Carlos Cooper. He is author of the My Name Is… series, the Corps Justice novels and The Chronicles of Benjamin Dragon. He also runs a indie publishing blog at Welcome to the team, Carlos!

What is a mantra? Why use one? What are you even talking about?

Let me start at the beginning. Once you do something for a while you tend to morph into some level of expert. You may not feel it in your gut, but others view you that way. Here's my example: I've been writing for a couple years. I'm getting better and better…I hope. Out of the blue friends started referring wannabe writers to me. Cool.

writer, mantraImage by Jiuck

So I talked to them in coffee shops and over the phone. What do you think the common thread was? None of them believed they could be a writer. Whether it was preconceived notions, naysayers in their past or just ignorance, each person harbored a feeling of unease at calling themselves a writer. I mean, aren't you supposed to go to some special school for that?

Fast forward a few months, and I got busier and busier. I finally got smart. Instead of retelling the same thing over and over, and tooting my own horn in the process, I wrote a short book. It's called My Name is (state your name), and I am a Writer. The novel tells the story of Sherri, an overworked young woman who wants to be a writer, but doesn't know where to start. At the end of each chapter I included a practical exercise (not unlike what you find on The Write Practice) to go along with the tale.

Where Did It Come From?

I found out a long time ago that repeating something over and over again instills power. It sounds silly, but it works. When all my inner doubts and fears keep me from taking action, I write down a new mantra and say it again and again… out loud. I've said them to help me lose weight, become a better public speaker, become a writer, and more.

In fact, here's one definition of mantra:

A sacred verbal formula repeated in prayer, meditation, or incantation, such as a syllable containing mystical potentialities.

Another definition states that a mantra is capable of “creating transformation”. Awesome.

Utilize The Secret Power

I struggled with the thought of calling myself a writer. Deep insecurities threatened to crush my dream. It wasn't until the day that I stated out loud, “I am a Writer,” that everything changed. The transformation happened.

Doubt and fear are part of being human. If you're afraid of calling yourself a writer, don't be. As long as you have the ability to express yourself in written form…you can be a writer.

So tell me, what's holding you back?


This one's really easy. In the Comments section below simply write the following statement: My Name is (state your name), and I am a Writer. And don't forget to insert your name in the middle!

Carlos is author of the Corps Justice novels. Get the box set of Books 1-3 for FREE HERE.

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