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Mission Statements for Writers

Mission Statements for Writers

“If you don’t know where you’re going, it doesn’t matter which way you go.” ~Cheshire Cat, Alice in Wonderland

Do you have a personal or family mission statement? If so, you know how helpful a well-crafted mission statement can be. If you don’t have one, I strongly encourage you to create a personal mission statement for yourself. If you write, a mission statement tailored to that part of your life is also a real benefit.

What is a mission statement?

The simple answer is that a mission statement is a few sentences or a paragraph that describes your purpose and passion. It’s a mini business plan, if you like, that describes what you do and why you do it. Some mission statements also include the “how.” A mission statement is not a tag line or a USP (unique selling proposition), but both can be distilled from your statement.

How is  a mission statement useful?

We are inundated with choices and options for how to spend our time and energy. A well-written mission statement not only helps you define the areas in which you want to invest time and energy, it also helps you evaluate opportunities and choices so you can say yes to those supporting your goals and no to those that don’t.

What are the elements of a successful mission statement?

  • Present tense–not “I will do this,” but “I do this.”
  • Answers the following:
    • What you do
    • Who you do it for
    • Why you do it
  • Succinct language. State your purpose as clearly and concisely as possible. Be specific.
  • Prominently visible. Refer to it. Use it.

Some authors create a mission statement for each book. I have one that covers fiction and a separate one for non-fiction/mentoring/coaching. I did two because the functions and purposes are quite different.

As an author, you can also include your goals and your plan to get there. If you prefer, you can leave those as part of your business plan instead.

Don’t worry about making your mission statement formal. Start with jotting down your thoughts and string together a few sentences. Play with it until you are happy that it represents you. As a living document, your mission statement should grow and evolve with you.

Further Resources:

The Creative Penn: The 5-Step Mission Statement (an Author Essential)

Joanne G Phillips: Author Mission Statement

Allen Watson: Your Indie Author Mission Statement

Beth Morrow: The Art of Creating a Writer’s Mission Statement

For business: What Should a Mission Statement Say?

Personal Mission Statement Examples (check out the one under Digital Portfolio as best example).

Do you have a mission statement?

 

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9 thoughts on “Mission Statements for Writers

  1. I think I’ve been saddened by reading so many politically correct corporate mission statements, to the point that it would be hard to write one for myself. I’ll think about it.

    • My personal mission statement isn’t very politically correct. 🙂 I tried to not include corporate examples for that reason. I just have too many interests, so the ms helps me narrow my focus.

  2. Pingback: Mission Statements for Writers | Robyn LaRue

  3. It’s funny that you mention mission statements. One is included in the body of my first book in the MG fantasy series I’m writing. I wrote one for my characters, but not one for myself! Haha! What an ironic twist. Thanks for the idea!

  4. I think a mission statement is more critical than most artists (of all kinds) and writers realize. It lends it’s self to the idea that writing is a business. I’ve noticed that most creative types are loathed to do business–business, they feel, cheapens what they do. Not so. How do I know? I’m now an artist, writer, musician, but first I was in the construction business 35 years– another creative vocation. Yeah don’t mix art and business when you create, but at the end of the day we do want our stuff read, right? I look at it this way, I wear two hats, the artist hat and the business hat. I switch as required. Having a mission statement is a good step in the two hat direction for non-business minded creators.

  5. Pingback: Defining Success as an Author | Robyn LaRue

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