I'm reading How-To books-you know- How to get a job over 40...How to be gutsy and get what you want from life...How to get people talking about your work.
The crazy part is that I've read all this stuff before. As they say-there is nothing new under the sun... But I think we all need to be reminded sometimes. There is so much information in our lives that it's easy to get lost. Sometimes a good How-To book will pull us back on track.
The biggest thing I'm taking away this time is to write a mission statement. A mission statement is not a dream statement. It's not how we want the world to be, but instead what we can accomplish to get us closer to where we want to be. For example- it is unrealistic for a writer's mission statement to be: "It is my mission to become a number one NYT bestselling author." There are too many uncontrollable variables...right down to a fire in the ware house that stores your books the day before they're shipped. Instead, a good mission statement is: "My mission is to complete two quality manuscripts a calendar year and to market them in the best possible way." or "My mission is to continue to produce quality work in an interesting way." Although the last one is a bit vague.
Why a mission statement? When you get swamped by other people's ideas or requests you turn to your mission statement and ask yourself- does this idea or request further my mission? If so- go for it. If not-smile and let it go. Letting things go is one of the toughest and yet most powerful things we can do in our lives.
What's your mission statement?