Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Mission Statement

At a church gathering recently, I was fortunate to meet a real live writer/writing instructor. I am very new to writing and am still quite intimidated by it. Especially the process of starting. For any new venture my usual modus operandi is to get instruction from some credible source which, for me, usually means books. But here was someone in the flesh who said that she would be willing to read some of my writing and give me feedback. I was excited. And terrified. What if she told me that I was terrible and to quit right now before it got any worse? But, I bravely gave her the address to my blog as well as some poems that I had written. I heard back immediately and was greatly encouraged by her instructions which were very "nuts and bolts". She told me I needed to be more "focused and perhaps a bit shorter". (I knew this but needed to hear it.)

She also said this:

To take your work to the next level, begin by asking yourself, “What is my purpose in writing today? What journey, event, development, trend, perspective, set of values and beliefs do I want to explore and explain? Why do I want to do this? For whom?”

If this sounds like a corporate mission statement, you’ve got the idea, Rebecca. I hope you’ll spend some time answering these questions for yourself and then whittle your thoughts down to a sentence or two. Put that sentence at the top of your blog. Then aim every bit of writing you do subsequent so that it advances that mission statement. Any sentence that doesn’t hit the target gets deleted. Yes, really.

Groan...

It all seems so...so...unspiritual. Mission statement? Yuck!

But, I kept coming back to that line, To take your work to the next level, and I knew that she was right. So, I have been working on it, but, a sentence or two!? I'm not focused enough yet. How about two very long, run-on sentences? (And then two or three short ones?) So for now, I think that I have a mission statement and then a whole paragraph explaining my mission statement. Somehow, I don't think that this is what I'm supposed to be going for.

I would love to hear from some of you. Why do you blog? Do you have a mission statement?

12 comments:

Nichol said...

No mission statement. I blog because it feels good.

I like to read blogs that are both fun and deep. I want them to make me laugh and think! Not necessarily on the same day.

I think i like fluff more then you? possibly?

I LOVE to take the journey...(meaning, follow their train of thought and i am perfectly happy if it takes awhile for them to get there)...with the bloggers I read. i think it's a very personal thing.

I would not be a very good student to your new teacher! I like blabber too much.

Ps...i love your blog.

SUNRISE SISTER said...

Hmmm, mission statement....a very interesting idea and I find that I have a few thoughts about those two words that you've given me today. Come back to MindSieve later and I think they'll be posted:)

I think you're a great writer, keep it up!

kigen said...

Higher level means simply a higher level of experience. I say just keep writing and be observant about what works for you. Pay careful attention to how other bloggers put something together, not just the content, but how they organize their material. Critical observation is a big part of experience too. Let the process shape your craft from within, instead of imposing rules on top of it.

Roy said...

What's more important than what is read? That which can't be read by human eyes.

What's more important than what you write? That which makes you write.

What can't be judged good or bad? That which you don't judge good or bad.

Just write. No thinking. Let the Spirit flow through your fingers. Let your fingers tap dance on the keys. Then with a long sweet exhale and smile, hit publish.

Macrina said...

Ah dear heart...no mission statement for me when it comes to writing. I do, however, like the idea of sitting down and asking myself some soul questions. And I think it is very good advice that a blog post ought not be TOO LONG, One of your best gurus lives right there in the center of your heart. And life will provide you with other flesh and blood gurus also. Take the advice that is helpful. Leave the rest. It may be helpful on another day. Believe in Rebecca! I do!

Rebecca Johnson said...

Nichol, Sad to say, but I'm not very "fluffy". Oh, well. I"m sure we will still be friends. While you may love your fluffies sometimes, a wise man once said "deep calls to deep". (It's in the Psalms.) May we always have our deep and our "fluffies", too! Love....

Rebecca Johnson said...

Kigen, I appreciate your thoughts and your first line especially resonates with me. I am coming to think that while I want to write coherently and well so as to get my thoughts across, what I am doing here is not REALLY all that much about the writing. I will write more about it soon. I think that being involved in this blogging community takes me to new levels spiritually and maybe that will impact my writing skills as well. Paying close attention is always a good idea, no matter what we are doing. Yes?

Rebecca Johnson said...

SS, Thanks for you support and your encouragement!

Rebecca Johnson said...

Roy, If Lao Tzu were going to write a scripture about blogging, it would be what you just said. Do you believe in channeling? I think that you have something going there. So good to hear just a little bit from you. Don't be a stranger. Ok, I'm pressing publish now....

Rebecca Johnson said...

Macrina, Your compassionate encouragement means so much to me. Thanks for believing in me! Love....

Beth Knight said...

Keep writing Rebecca. Your blog ... whatever else really is the mission... our lives are often so structured with to do lists, calendar dates, deadlines, commitments... so whatever else comes thru your finger tips is as Roy said "that which makes you write". Let the Spirit flow as he says ! Spirit is definitely channeling through your new writing endeavors. Shorter is yes a good tip. Those of us that are A.D.D. need a bit shorter. But your quality and candor are truly delightful. Your blog is one of my favorites! And why do I read blogs? because I want to stay in touch with all the thinker / feelers out there that are not zoning out but are AWAKE. Spiritually AWAKE. I also agree with Macrina that you have the best guru inside of you.
Contemplate all of what everyone has said and then WRITE ! and keep writing ... we love it and love you !

kigen said...

yes!