When I decided to create a blog for new writers, I searched out help from experienced bloggers. John Saddington of Tentblogger has been invaluable. John is a professional blogger who shares his knowledge with others “for fun and for profit.” His blog is full of the information you need to start and sustain a successful blog. [Update: John no longer publishes his Tentblogger blog, but he lists many of those posts on his new site. They can be found here.]
One of his best pieces of advice is to create a mission statement. But you don’t have to be a blogger to own a mission statement. My mission statement works whether I have a blog or not:
My mission is to become a better writer who takes advantage of today’s best devices, tools, and techniques to have my writings positively noticed in this fast-tech world.
The primary reason for having a writer’s mission statement is to get you focused. Prior to creating mine, I didn’t know what to do with the desire I had for rebooting my writing life. The steps to creating a mission statement forced me to pin down what I was going to do about it.
Here are three steps to a writer’s mission statement.
- Start with your thoughts. With a pad of paper or a blank computer screen, start writing down all your writer’s hopes and dreams. I filled up about 10 sheets of legal-size paper with my thoughts.
- Focus on a single writing goal. From your list, zero in on one main goal. My goal is for my writing, wherever it turns up, to be noticed in a positive way. When people read my writing — whether it be in a book, an online article, a business report, a blog post, a letter to the editor, or any other source — I want them to leave it thinking good things about the grammar, the punctuation, the story, me, and everything in between. What goal do you have for your writing?
- Choose 2-3 things that will help you meet that goal. Use your original list and find interests that will help move you towards that goal. Be sure that these are realistic and that they are actions. Notice my choices: (1) become a better writer; and (2) use today’s technology. In order to have my writing noticed, I have some work to do. What can you include in your statement that will help you meet your goal?
- Write, write, and rewrite. Do this until you have several phrases that embody your goal and actions. Then work them together like puzzle pieces until you have one concise, well-written sentence. You’ll be challenged with this one, but the result is worth it all. How well can you voice your purpose for writing?
After you have a writer’s mission statement, what do you do with it, besides marvel at your clever handiwork?
- Memorize it.
- Print it like a business card and let it help answer questions about your writing.
- Frame and hang it on a wall in your writing workspace.
- Share it with your family.
- Add it to your social media profiles.
- Claim it, own it, and live it!
Creating a writer’s mission statement will jump-start your new writing life. It sure did that for me. Don’t let another day go by without taking time to start this exercise. Having a clear and concise mission statement will give you a valuable tool to get started on your journey.
Question: If you have a writer’s mission statement, what has it done for your writing life?