Mission Statements. I've always thought of them as corporate jargon, something that big companies and organizations write to explain what their goals are (although normally they sound so vague and full of business-speak that I can't understand the actual goals they're stating anyway).
Then my good friend and critique partner Corrie Wachob blogged about her writing mission statement, and I realized how useful they can really be.
Writing a mission statement makes you get back to basics. We talk all the time about our writing goals: finishing manuscripts, completing edits, winning over an agent or selling a book.
But how often do you sit down and ask yourself why you write? Why do you choose to tell the specific stories that you do; what do you hope your readers will someday take away from your tale; what inspires you to toil at this frankly grueling process day in and day out?
I blogged a bit more in-depth about my mission statement, but in a nutshell, I want to write about diverse characters in relatable situations who prove their badassery by choosing the hard path. That doesn't necessarily mean they're all sword-fighters or quick shots or expert warriors. It just means that when they're facing a hard choice, they choose to follow their hearts, fight the good fight (even if it's a metaphorical fight against the silent majority, or just a fight against boredom and stagnation in their life). After all the blood sweat and tears I put them through, I want my characters to be strong enough to still be standing at the end (even if it's a sad ending). They may not win -- that's life, you can't always come out on top -- but I hope my readers will be inspired to badassery in their own lives, too.
Which, when you say it out loud, sounds pretty high-brow. I want to inspire people to badassery? Who do I think I am, this MMA fighter/gas station clerk who took on 3 robbers at once?
But at the end of the day, when I'm tired and burnt out and I want to shred a project I've been revising for too long, that's the daydream that keeps me going back for one more edit. (The inspiring people daydream, not the kicking a thief in the face one. ... Although that second one may have cropped up once or twice back when I used to work in customer service).
We want to hear your mission statements! Why do you write? What do you hope that people reading your stories will come away thinking/feeling? Let us know in the comments below!