Why YOU Need to Create a Mission Statement

Saturday, January 07, 2017
One of my writing buddies was talking about losing her writing momentum. Her book came out in October, but the publishing company shut its doors the day before it launched. The book was printed but few copies made it into circulation. Fortunately another publisher bought part of the backlist including her book. Still, her launch just wasn’t what she had dreamed it would be and her momentum fizzled.

There are times we all lose our writing steam. Maybe it’s triggered by a rejection on a manuscript that you rewrote twice for the same editor. Or maybe your book just isn’t selling. Or your editor leaves and you just don’t click with her replacement.

I was feeling a little ho hum after my last deadline, but then I saw Leanne Sowul's post on writing a mission statement.  A mission statement helps you see past the commas and quotation marks and remember why you got into this business in the first place. I adapted the questions that Sowul used to generate her statement and my responses below.

1. Why do readers want to hear what you have to say? I have an uncanny knack for identifying realities that many people would rather ignore. This particular talent makes me especially popular with teens and boys.

2. What unique skill set do you bring into this venture? My mother called me a “nosey body.” I prefer to think of it as curiosity. My academic background is anthropology/archaeology and history. I know how to dig for the facts, what questions to ask and how to evaluate what I find.

3. How does writing impact your life?  What does this offer your readers? Every time I write something, I learn something new that changes how I see the world. I want to share this wider reality with my readers.

Working from these answers, I created my mission statement.

My mission as a writer is to locate and tell nonfiction and fiction stories that make people squirm, stories and realities that young readers want to read as they grow and learn about the world and try to sort out what is real. Because I am willing to explore uncomfortable truths, I will offer my readers the opportunity to broaden their perspectives and to truly see the wider world around them.

Not too shabby and I'd like to thank Sowul for her post.  You can read it here. Now I just need to memorize it so that I have it on hand the next time I’m questioning why I should even sit down to write.


To find out more about Sue Bradford Edwards writing, visit her blog, One Writer's Journey.
Sue is also the instructor for Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults which starts again 2/6/2017.


Sioux Roslawski said...

Sue--If you tattooed it onto your forehead--backwards--you could read it every time you looked at a mirror.

Just a suggestion. ;)

Mary Horner said...

I think mission statements help us stay focused in this world of so many distractions. I'm going to try to write one myself!

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

It would probably be better if I posted it on the refrigerator door. Or if it popped up whenever I opened Facebook. You know how that work avoidance goes.

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