Every writer needs a mission. It’s a simple fact of life. Without a mission, I am but a rudderless boat, drifting in the Atlantic.
First things first, Peggy, you say. What on earth is a writing mission?
Think big. Think a book. Think ten books. Think even bigger than that. Then you have your mission. Your mission isn’t just writing a book. It’s greater than putting words on paper, or getting published. Your mission as a writer is what you want to attain through your writing.
Ok, you say, but why do I need that? Why make such a huge deal out of it?
Your writing mission is your driving force
Imagine, for a moment, a person that is running a long distance. If this person runs just because he likes running, or because he wants to, or because he thinks it will be fun, he won’t go very far. The first couple of kilometers it might be fine. But when his lungs start to burn? When his calves starts to cramp up? When sweat starts dripping down his face? He’ll stop soon enough.
Now, imagine that you give this man a reason to run. The whole picture changes. Maybe he has to deliver an important message. Maybe he has to run to save somebody’s life. Whatever this reason is, if it’s important enough to him he won’t stop. He will keep on running until the finish line, even if he coughs up blood.
The same thing happens when you, as a writer, find your mission. If you know that you have an important message to deliver, you won’t stop writing when the going gets hard. When writer’s block has you by the throat, or when your characters turn their noses up at you, or when your plot has more holes than a piece of Swiss cheese, you’ll still keep on going. You won’t stop writing, because your mission is greater than your circumstances.
Great, you might be saying now, but how on earth to I find my mission?
It’s not easy, and it will require some careful thought. I’ve compiled a few questions that could help you figure out your why.
- What do you want to attain through your writing?
- What is important to you?
- What do you want people to remember about your books?
- If there was one thing that you could say to the whole world, what would it be?
- What would you consider worth taking the time and sweat to write, even if only one person ended up reading it?
You can also check out my personal writer’s mission statement, if you’re looking for some inspiration.