Daily Writing Tip 1 of 100, Draft a Mission Statement For Your Work

For one hundred days, I’m going to post a writing tip each day. I have a whole bookshelf full of writing books and I want to do some reading and increased studying of this valuable resource. This will help me keep track of anything I’ve learned, and help motivate me to keep going. If anyone has a favorite tip of their own to add, contact me. I’d love to put it up here.

Today’s tip – Draft a Mission Statement For Your Work

Source – “Writing Tools – 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer” by Roy Peter Clark.

I cannot overstate the value of this exercise. It gave me a view over the horizon as I drafted the story. This 250-word mission statement, which took about ten minutes to write, helped create a 25,000-word series. It provided the language I needed to share my hopes with other writers, editors, and readers. It could be tested, expanded, revised – and it was – during the writing process.

What a great idea! At work, I am always derisive and suspicious of corporate Mission Statements and such – they are classic vessels of mendacity. However, a personal mission statement – especially one tied to a specific piece of work – will be such a focusing… a crystallizing snip of text. It will be a weapon to fight procrastination, general fuzziness, and fatal ennui.

I have a short story I want a first draft finished by Wednesday and have been waffling terribly. This is (right now) a perfect opportunity to write out a mission statement for the story – then hammer out a few thousand words.