An Author's Mission Statement Defines a Writer as a Professional
For an author, writing a mission statement is should be more than just a "feel good" exercise. A good mission statement can become a source of inspiration for your business as a professional author.
The main difference between an aspiring writer and a professional writer is that the professional writer defines her work as both art and business. It is art in the sense that what you are doing comes from the heart. It is business, in that the author is serious about making money through her writing. As one of the main elements in a business plan, the mission statement determines: How do we determine our mission statement as writers? Does our writer mission statement reflect our personal mission statement. How do we determine our personal mission statement?
Who Am I and Why am I here?
Probably the most important thing aspect of our author mission statement is that it must reflect our personal mission statement. So how do we determine our personal mission statement? As a writer, I have heard the old adage, “write what you know” many times. Too often, it is taken to mean that a person should write about issues that are currently in their life or dealing with situations that they have personally experienced. This idea often leads the youth of this world to believe that what they need to write about is about those things that you are currently experiencing without research. The adage is a good place to start. However, this should only be where your writing begins, but not the destination. Our personal mission statement as well as our business mission statement must reflect what we want our lives and writing business to encompass. Our personal missions statement should reflect not only who we truly are, but who we want to become.
A better adage to for a writer to live by would be to “write based on who you are and what you want to say to the world as well as what you want the world to say about you when your writing career and life are over.” By understanding yourself and what you want to say to the world, you can focus in on, develop, and use your author Mission Statement to reflect your personal mission statement. It answers the question who I am, why I am here, and where do I go from here.
Determining Our Message to the World
We write from the heart by first discovering who we are as a person and to do that, we have to get to know ourselves in the best possible way. I discovered that one way that I use to discover my passions is through daily journaling.Writing our thoughts and feelings on a daily basis helps us understand ourselves better. Because we know ourselves better, we can then translate that into our personal then our business mission statement.
Our personal mission statement, is based on what is in our heart to share with the world. By writing daily we discover what it is that is important to us. It becomes the theme that fuels our creativity because it ignites from our true selves. We shouldn't worry about what to write, we should whatever comes to mind. Over time a pattern develops which helps determine what our message is to the world.
Another place that will help us determine what our message to the world should be will be our interactions on social media. Who do we talk to, what do we talk about, and what kinds of advice to we give to others. These also give us a clue on who we are and our message.The answer to these questions leads us to our perfect author mission statement.
Now look back at what we said, especially during those times when we have felt particularly inspired. what words stand out? How can we incorporate these words of inspiration into a statement that reflects who we really are?
How to Write a Great Mission Statement
Working With Others to Create a Plan
Involving others in your writing group in helping create your mission statement can help you see things about your mission that you might not have considered on your own. In fact, each of you in the writing group can work together to develop your individual Author mission statements. These other writers can help you see strengths, weaknesses and voids you might miss. If you are not in a writers’, group or consider knowledgeable family members and close friends. Pick positive supportive people who truly want you to succeed.
When working with others, consider every idea, no matter how silly it sounds. Stimulate ideas by looking at sample mission statements and thinking about or discussing the questions in the previous section. If you are working with a group, record response so everyone can see them. Once you have finished brainstorming, ask everyone to write individual mission statements for your Author Mission statement. Read the statement, select the best bits and pieces, and fit them together.
To come up with a statement that encompasses the major elements of whom you are and what you write. What do you know? What do you want to know more about? What is your writing niche? You have already gone through the steps of discovering your niche when you have answered these questions:
Why are you writing what you are writing? What sparks you to write what you write? What is it that ignites your passion to write?
Who are your readers? What can you do for them that will enrich their lives and contribute to their success--now and in the future?
What image as a writer do you want to convey? Customers, suppliers, employees and the public will all have perceptions of who you are as a writer. How will you create the desired picture of your writer self?
What is the nature of your writing? Do you write fiction or nonfiction? If both, what do they have in common? What basic elements are not likely to change over time?
What do you mean if as a writer you write“best sellers”? Do not be vague. Define what “kind of book you would expect to see as a best seller. That is the kind of book that you will want to produce and that should be in your mission statement.
How do you differ from other writers? As a writer, you are not in competition with anyone else because you are creating something unique. People who buy mystery novels from one author are likely to buy good mystery novels from any other good mystery writer. Your mission statement is to incorporate the best you into your writing that you can write. When you recognize that you are not in competition with anyone but the best you that you can be, you will know that you have the seeds to greatness.
Putting it All Together
Write out a statement that best describes where you think you are today and you anticipate you will be in the future. What is it that best uses your knowledge, of which you are, your technological ability, your talents, what you want out of life. Keep working on it until you think you know what your statement must be. Come back to the statement a month later to determine if it still speaks to you and if it inspires you to write. If it does not, then work to discover what it is that does not work.
Creating a mission statement takes time, thought and planning. You won't come up with a perfect mission statement immediately. Over time, you will discover the underlying philosophies and values guided your responses to the previous questions. By writing them down you will clarify the "why" behind your Author mission.
Once your mission statement is complete, you should then incorporate your mission statement into every aspect of your writing endeavors and do not’ be afraid to add them to your writing brochures and your business cards. Not only will your mission statement inspire you but also it may inspire everyone around you.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Cygnet Brown
Cygnet Brown (author) from Springfield, Missouri on January 13, 2016:
livingelysian, I used to do business with someone in Loveland! It is a small world, isn't it!
Elysia Valdivia from Loveland, Colorado on January 10, 2016:
Thank you for this! I just finished writing mine and will keep this as a resource as I continue on this wonderful journey God has blessed me with!
Cygnet Brown (author) from Springfield, Missouri on September 24, 2013:
Thanks for your comment, epbooks! Comments from you are always appreciated!
Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on September 24, 2013:
Well-written hub and definitely thought-provoking. Thank you for sharing!
Cygnet Brown (author) from Springfield, Missouri on September 20, 2013:
Hi teaches12345, it certainly does help define an individual's writing purpose! By knowing my writing purpose, I am able to determine what to write as well.
Dianna Mendez on September 20, 2013:
This will certainly help to define your writing purpose. Thank you for the advice.
Cygnet Brown (author) from Springfield, Missouri on September 17, 2013:
Thank you carol7777!
carol stanley from Arizona on September 17, 2013:
Being focused on the subject and getting your ideas across make the work worth reading most of the time. Well done and you got your point across for sure.
Cygnet Brown (author) from Springfield, Missouri on September 17, 2013:
Hi Cyndi10 I was thinking about working on a vision as well and I can see how the vision board would help in creating that vision. I see the mission as an overall theme whereas the vision provides direction.
Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on September 17, 2013:
A good article. A mission statement shows intent and focus. I think it is especially useful if you have goals for your writing. Visiting the mission statement, like reviewing your goals and your vision, is important. It's also good to realize that it might change over time and that is ok.
A mission statement may be hard to do and may seem to be at odds with the creative process. Most writers who are published and who share their writing process with us show intent and focus. I use my vision board in the way that you use your mission statement.
Cygnet Brown (author) from Springfield, Missouri on September 16, 2013:
I had not realized the power that a mission statement could have for a writer until I had finished writing my mission statement and realized the power that it provided for me.
Justin W Price from Juneau, Alaska on September 16, 2013:
This is really interesting. I use Beta readers to help flesh out my stories and poems but never considered it for a mission statement. I think this is a fabulous idea. Well done.
Cygnet Brown (author) from Springfield, Missouri on September 15, 2013:
Defining a mission statement certainly separates a professional writer with the aspiring writer.
mactavers on September 15, 2013:
Hobby writing for pleasure is one thing, but for those who write to publish, you are so right about keeping focused by staying true to your mission statement.