On the taco’s podcast, one question that always gets an exciting response from guests is, What is your writing mascot or spirit animal? I guess it gets a happy response because it’s fun to think about. But, more than that, if you’re a writer, it’s a great way to get to know who you truly are as that writer. It can guide you on to great things.
What do I mean, Writing Mascot or Spirit Animal?
When I say Writing Mascot, I mean, what animal represents you if writing was your sport? If writing was your football team? Or, if your writing was a brand?
By Spirit Animal, I mean, what features or characteristics do you share with an animal that represents you as a writer?
Why have a spirit animal?
To help define who you are as a writer, recognise your style and the way you approach writing. It can help you focus on a story by reminding you who you are, and why you’re writing it. It can ground you or inspire you in those times you’re just not feeling it.
Authors we’ve had on the show
We’ve had many great writers on the podcast share their mascots and spirit animals. All our guests have great reasons as to why their spirit animals have chosen them.
Author and illustrator, Tania McCartney is a Deer because it represents individuality and intuitiveness, along with adventure and a free spirit. And, they’re physically beautiful. All things Tania strives for in her writing and illustrating.
Emily Rodda is a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo because they are energetic, cheeky and curious. Emily says, just like her, they fly in all weather, screeching eccentrically.
Helen Castles is an Ant, constantly scurrying here and there to get her writing done.
Mary Anastasiou says she has always resonated with the Butterfly because they represent evolution and change. They go from a caterpillar to a butterfly much like the process of a manuscript to finished book.
Oliver Phommovanh is a PigTurtle. Born in the year of the pig, Oliver also loves turtles because they have their home on their backs. Oliver sees one of the perks of being a writer is to work anywhere and everywhere. It’s a job on the go for a pigturtle.
Adrian Beck is a Tassie Devil – just like the one in the Looney Tunes cartoons. Adrian’s from Tasmania and says his writing style is very Tassie Devil like. He comes in a whirlwind of activity and leaves a destructive mess behind.
The spirit animal chooses the writer
Like a wand in Harry Potter’s world, the spirt animal chooses the writer. This makes sense when you think about it. Often writers come up with ideas but not know why. They might tend to write the same type of stories in the same manner without thinking why they gravitate to that style, or topic, or format, or genre, or why they’re drawn to certain sections of bookstores and libraries.
The method – What is your writing mascot or spirit animal?
I challenge everyone now to find your spirit animal. I won’t put you through a quiz. And, you don’t have to tell anyone what it is. You can keep it completely to yourself. However, if you’re up to it, share it with us at the end of this post or on socials.
If you find a spirit animal that really resonates with you, you might want to pin a picture of it to your computer or workstation.
Okay, find a quiet place to sit and reflect for a moment on your writing life – what you aim to achieve and what your writing life means to you. Then close your eyes and see what animal appears.
Of course, it only works if you’re truly honest with yourself. Don’t tell yourself you’re a tiger if your style is more cheeky monkey.
If you’re struggling to find your true inspiration, you can dig deeper and use the how, what, where, when and why method.
How: how do you write? Are you a plotter or a panser? Or something else?
What: what is your personality? Do you write to your personality? What type of stories come to you?
Where: where do you write? In a quiet room or do you prefer noise and activity? While out walking? Where do your ideas or motive come from – family, life experience?
When: when do you write? morning? Evening? A drib here, a drab there? When do your ideas appear?
Why: the most important question of all.
Live your journey
I want you to know there are no rules here. It’s your party. You can be one animal or several. Perhaps even be a combination of many. You may have your own vision of it and your own name for it. But, whatever it is, let it lead you to the blank page with enthusiasm. Let it drive you on to great things, amazing times and breath-taking adventures. And, let it guide you to the truth. Be the writer you’ve always wanted to be.
For those looking for a little more info on specific spirit animals, here’s a link to a site I found with a range of spirit animals and their meanings.