Authors are entrepreneurs in their own right, which means we should use the same set of tools any other business would use to move toward the company’s goals. Putting together a mission statement doesn’t take a long time. All you have to do is answer a couple of quick questions, then take your answers and work them into a short paragraph.
Question 1: What do you do?
Don’t just say “I write” or “I am an author.”
NO! What do you DO? What is the BIG picture of what happens when you sit down and write? Do you give life to some incredible characters? Are you the architect of another universe? Do you give a voice to the unheard? Use those creative juices to really describe (in a few words) what it is you do.
Question 2: Who do you do it for?
It’s time to talk about your readers. Who are they?
Don’t use those canned marketing terms like “20 – 30 year olds who like science fiction.” Give dimension to your readers, give them personalities and faces. Say something like, “People who want to escape this world and explore another.”
Question 3: Why are you different?
What is your most unique attribute?
It might be your perspective, your experience, your technique or your characters. Something about your writing is different from every other person who’s ever put pen to paper. That one little attribute is what will connect you with your readers, so it’s critical. Dig deep, find that special streak, and put it in writing.
Question 4: Where are you going?
What are your goals as an author?
Do you want to create one long-running series? Or is your primary objective to create quality artistic pieces? Or maybe your goal is to put write short stories?
Whatever your destination is, it needs to go in the mission statement. That way, when you reach the crossroads, you can eliminate any option that doesn’t lead to your ultimate goal.
Question 5: How are you going to get there?
You’ve got a plan in mind, right?
It can be a little general, but you should have an idea of how you’re going to reach your ultimate goal. Whether it’s eventually getting to traditional publishing, or being a resourceful, social media-savvy indie, you need to ask yourself what path or vehicle is going to get you where you want to go.
If you’re not sure about the specifics yet, focus on the skills you have that can help you reach your objective. Perseverance, self-discipline and hard work are all valuable tools in any indie tool box.
Bringing It All Together
Once you’ve answered each of the above questions in a short sentence, you should be able to put all five together into one cohesive paragraph – your new mission statement.
Next time you’re unsure about which path to take in your indie author career, you’ll be able to look at your mission statement and find the compass to guide your steps.
My Mission Statement
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