Read that title, again would you?
I know, right?! SNOOZEFEST!!!
I promise, this isn’t going to be as painful as it sounds and it might be one of the most useful tools you have when it comes to guiding your writing. A writing mission statement turns vague hopes for an outcome into solid ideas and language.
So what is it that you want your writing to do?
Last week I asked you to compose some answers to questions about your writing in hopes that you can expand on those answers in the coming weeks and use them in addition to our exercises to flesh out your writing career.
From those answers, you should have written down aspirations for what you wanted to accomplish in a year, month, week, etc, and the small manageable goals that can get you there.
This is a little different.
Thinking about the work in progress you’re embroiled in (be it a novel, an article, an essay, or directions on how to make a giant rooster shaped cake)
I want you to write down what you hope to accomplish with this particular work. We’re talking end game stuff here. What do you want the people reading your work to walk away with afterwards?
Say you’re working on an article about the wage disparity in large corporations.
Take ten to fifteen minutes and write what outcome you want to see as a result of your article. How do you want people to see your subject of the story? How can you make them identify with the people involved? Is it to educate? To change policy? Do you want to give them the tools to make changes, or just to think about it in a new light and in a way that encourages discussion?
Once you know the end goal, it will affect how you write the story.
For novelists a mission statement is integral to developing a relationship with your reader via your characters.
I want my readers to identify with a cranky, semi-violent spirit, haunting an old seaside house and fall in love with him. I want my readers to feel the sting of being trapped, and the power of love to soften hurt.
Writing about what you want to write will actually help you know what you need to learn in order to accomplish this mission statement.
So here’s your job this week:
- Write a short mission statement for your work in progress or your next work.
- Share it with someone (accountability bitches)
- Where is the next, imagined destination of this work?
- If you have time—study some of your old work, and see if you can write a mission statement for them—what did you learn from each?
- If you have time—think of your favorite articles, books, masterpieces and see if you can decipher what the mission statement was for them.
Oye, so much work. Don’t make me crack a whip.
Again, feel free to share. I love hearing about your purpose in writing and remember that sharing that will help to manifest your goals!
Next week we’re dipping into some heavy creative work to balance out all of this business side.