Last month, we introduced you to the concept of an Author Mission Statement and explained how it can create authenticity and clarity in your journey as an author. We’re hopeful that you could create some silence in your life to reflect on the questions posed in that blog post. With this introspection and reflection in mind, now is the time to create your own Author Mission Statement and build the writing life you want in 2018 and beyond.
Examples of Author Mission Statements
To illustrate how Author Mission Statements can be written, let’s start with examples from five different writers.
My writing will be shared with my children and is for them to share with their children. I want them to know the places and people from which we hail, our heritage and our traditions. I want them to understand their roots and to know what kind of people their parents and grandparents were and strived to be.
>Author 2 who keeps a private journal:
I write for myself, to understand the world I inhabit and what that means for my own life. As I write, I untangle complicated relationships and circumstances. Writing keeps me grounded in my self-worth and focused on how I can become a better person.
Author 3 who writes humor as a hobby:
I write for fun! My family finds my stories humorous and I enjoy having a creative outlet that also brightens people’s lives.
Author 4, a journalist who writes travel articles:
The readers of travel publications, both online and print, are where I sell my articles. I want to take readers to places they may never be able to go, and provide travelers with ideas and plans for trips they may never have considered. My articles provide a way for me to share what I learn from the people I meet in faraway places and they create a personal chronicle that I can enjoy when I can no longer travel.
5, a career fiction author:
My self-published books are intended to engage readers who enjoy mainstream literary fiction. They primarily deal with themes of complex family relationships and uncomfortable social issues, such as bigotry and abuse. I intend to craft thoughtful stories that challenge readers’ perspectives and perceptions of what they have always known, and in the writing, I unravel and challenge my own views.
Create Your Author Mission Statement
As you can see, your Author Mission Statement can be a single sentence, two sentences, or a paragraph. The form can vary, but it should clearly and concisely state your “why” for writing and can include your long-term goals.
To assist in creating your own statement, download our Author Mission Statement worksheet. It expands on the questions in our previous post and provides plenty of space for crafting your own mission statement. Get it HERE.
In addition, the consulting firm Franklin Covey offers their own set of questions for creating a mission statement at https://msb.franklincovey.com/. Although theirs are not author-focused, they include general life questions that could influence the choices you make about your writing life.
Revisit Your Author Mission Statement Often
If you’re a new writer, you might not yet know where you want the writing to take you. As we noted in our last blog, even experienced writers may change their aspirations. So, don’t ever worry that your Author Mission Statement is perfect or consider it finished.
That is, it will require revision over time. Our life circumstances change. We grow and transform personally, ideally reaching for our finer selves. We learn more about our craft and become clearer about our writing preferences with experience. We may decide to explore new topics or genres. So, plan to revisit your Author Mission Statement approximately every six months to ensure it is aligned with the writer you are becoming.
To Share or Not To Share
Some writers prefer to keep their Author Mission Statements to themselves while others find that sharing them reinforces their resolve to create a writing life on their own terms. If that’s you, you’re invited to post your Author Mission Statement in the comments below. Share a little about your experience while crafting it too, if you’d like. It’s always helpful to know that we don’t write alone.
Regardless of whether your share your statement with others or not, be sure to place it conspicuously so you can read and reflect on it regularly—perhaps by your computer monitor or inside your day planner. Put it where you’re most likely to notice it when you’re faced with challenges or decisions in your writing life. Your Author Mission Statement is your definitive guide for creating a writing life on your own terms.
Gina Edwards is a retreat leader, a certified creativity coach, and a book editor. She is also a writer, so she’s intimately familiar with the challenges and elation that come with being one.
She supports all writers—published and aspiring—who want to write as an act of courageous and necessary self-expression.
Walking the writer’s path hand-in-hand with her clients and students, she helps them establish a writing practice and define a creative life on their own terms.