Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Writer's Manifesto

So I've been thinking about my own personal mission statement.  A 'writer's manifesto' of sorts, if only to answer the question of why I write and what I hope to achieve with my writing.

As I've inched closer to the dream of publication, I've been reading industry blogs and hearing more and more about 'platform' and 'brand'.  I can honestly say I'm not a brand.  I don't want to be a brand.  People are not commodities. Besides, I think I'm too quirky to be any single thing.

I kind of like it that way, though I can understand why it might give any future (thinking positively here!) publicity team/publisher fits.

But here's the thing.  I can have a mission statement.  Something I aspire to and work like hell to achieve.  A message of belief that encompasses everything I write and in some way illustrates who I am.  So here it is, my first stab at a mission statement.  I suspect that I will refine it as I go, so stay tuned for an edited version.  When I have it where I like it, I'll post it on a permanent page and/or on the main website.   

I write because I want have the kind of impact on readers and their lives that Madeline L’Engle had in my life.

I want to write books that kids and teens read over and over again–even into adulthood– because the stories and the characters resonate with something deep inside them.

I want to write stories that push them to be better than they think they can be; stories that assure them it’s more than okay to dream, it’s vital; stories that don’t shy away from hard truths–-that life involves difficult choices–-but that also remind them they have the power to make those choices.

I want to write stories about young men and young women finding their own power and agency in an often bewildering world.

I want to write stories where characters make mistakes, sometimes big mistakes, then figure out how to recover and move forward in their lives because we all screw up. 

I want to write stories that feel authentic and also magical.  Stories that are honest, that never, ever talk down to or moralize the reader. 

I want to write the stories that live on in the reader's heart and mind, long after the book is finished.

It would be an honor and a privilege to be able to write those stories.  So what about you?  What's your creative mission/vision statement?  Your manifesto?


  1. I only wish I knew what my mission in life is (or was!) I can only say that, at this stage of my life, I'd better decide before it's gone and I haven't achieved anything!

  2. I'm thinking that your peach pie has to figure in there somewhere. :)

  3. I too read about platform and building an audience before you have a sell-able product. So I applaud you in your recognition of your uniqueness. And to boot, your mission inspires. I'll be thinking of one for my own work as well. Thanks for sharing.