My Writing Manifesto: Why I Write

My Writing Manifesto

Curt Iles

July 2024

  1. I write and tell stories that connect with people’s hearts.
  2. I write about what I know: the unique and fascinating stories of Louisiana’s people, places, culture, and history.

I am a writer who is very comfortable in my own skin.

I am a Southern writer/storyteller who lives in Louisiana and tells stories from the Pineywoods section of Louisiana’s “No Man’s Land.”  It’s where branches of my family have been since 1818.

I’m a Southern Indie writer and proud of it. While my works may never reach a national audience, I’m comfortable with who I write for. They are my people.

I love my home state. Everything I write celebrates, criticizes, reveals, makes fun of, and analyzes my love of Louisiana.

My writing heart is grounded in Dry Creek, Louisiana, on the porch of The Old House on the edge of Crooked Bayou Swamp.


My goal is to have reach.

What is “Reach?”

I write for both Influence (how wide) and Impact (how deep), so I can reach the hearts of my readers/listeners.

I want extended reach.

I believe in the power of the Story.


I write/tell stories that move me. “No tears in the writer; no tears in the reader.”

I write Poignant stories.

Poignant means “painfully affecting the feelings, deeply affecting, or sharply effective.” 

My stories aren’t necessarily painful, but they do move people. Many times in the same story, they’re moved to laughter, tears, and investigation.

I’ve been given the gift of “Speaking into people’s souls.”

I humbly work to be a good steward of this privilege.


I am a proud Southern Indie writer and a curious historian who also writes and speaks.


I write memorable books and stories that I’m comfortable for my grandchildren to read.

I worship when I write, and I write when I worship.

I’m a committed writer who takes speaking seriously. I have honed the art of capturing a reader or an audience.

I am a professional writer.

I write every day

I have a set-aside space(s) where I write

I am a lifelong learner. LLL

I seek daily to hone my craft of writing.

I have an important job: I’m making flesh and bone come alive in my characters and a heart-connection in all of my stories.


In summary, I write because it’s who I am.

It’s my calling.

It’s my mission.

The best stories come from the woods.












My People and the Louisana Pineywoods

I write from a rural setting/mindset.

My people come from the pineywoods section of western Louisiana.


My heritage is tied in with the Neutral Strip/No Man’s Land.Outlaw Strip/The Neutral Territory.


I’m an 8th-generation Louisiana writer.


My dad’s ancestors came to the piney woods section of Louisiana, known as the Neutral Territory/No Man’s Land, for many reasons.


They were looking for land and freedom.


I write from a Dry Creek point of view.


Going Down South

Over and over, I find myself going down South in my writing, and I always feel most comfortable in the Louisiana Pineywoods.


But I know this: I’ve spent a lifetime among the pineywoods and creeks of SW Louisiana. Sharing stories from there is my labor of love.


My father’s people have one thing in common. They arrived in Louisiana’s Neutral Territory in the years before the Civil War.


They were English, Irish, and Scot-Irish. They came for a multitude of reasons


They settled in the Pineywoods for a multitude of reasons.


I believe they came for freedom, free land, and room to stretch their legs.

They would call it elbow room.


Louisiana Culture comes in lots of flavors.


Louisiana- Write about what you know.








A good book needs friends before it needs readers. I want to surround myself with friends who improve my writing.



It takes a village to raise a book.



Am I a writer or historian? After fourteen books, I’m not quite sure.


For whatever it means, I’m a mystical spiritual writer


Don’t worry about that. We’ll write it into the book.


That story/book is writing itself. I’m just along for the ride.


What is my genre?


True stories that move readers.


Historical Fiction with rich culture and memorable characters

It’s a Love Story, Stupid!




I’m a storyteller. I tell good stories.





“Words are like pistols.” -Sarte


Writing a novel is hard work. Roll up your sleeves and get to work.


Remember: I’ve done this before. I can do it again.




No one can write this book if I don’t.


If I don’t write it, no one else will.


Lots of people start a book; few finish one.


Lots of people have a book in their hearts/minds but never put it on paper.


Most men go to their graves with their song inside them.


“All good novelists must have bad memories.” . -Graham Greene


*“Anyone can start writing a book, but it takes real streugut*

to finish one.”


* grit/balls


“I’m on a mission from God.” -John Belushi








very journey is a story, and every story a journey


Epic Literature/Ulysses



*You’ve got to be willing to write a bad book before you can write a good book. You’ve got to write a good book (and have lots of help) to finish a great book.





*I may not be a first-rate composer, but I am a first-class second-rate composer.”. -Richard Strauss


*If you write a good book, you better have a good s*** detector -E. Hemingway


*Go ahead and write your book. If there are too many, they’ll just build more shelves.



When your editing reaches a point where you are only moving commas and periods, it’s time to pass it off.


*RECIPROCAL RULE OF EDITING: I won’t be offended by your comments to improve my book if you’ll not be offended if I ignore them



“Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭22‬:‭29‬ ‭ESV‬‬



July 2024

Reader: this fat cow will be divided into five digestible sections.

I’d love your input.

The best stories come from the woods.









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