Drawing for WHAT HAPPENED ON FOX STREET by Tricia Springstubb open till Sunday the 12th! Scroll down one post.
...and at the time, the reason was to become more employable than a math major alone would make me. (Not that this actually worked: the job market was lousy, women were viewed as chancy-to-lousy hires who'd just get PG and quit, and my business goals were lousy-to-nonexistent, but I digress.) I've since learned that my temperament type isn't really cut out for business; however, it IS cut out for writing and teaching, so Marcia has found her niche, if not her fortune. Still, with all this, that business major wasn't a waste, and not just because no education is wasted or because God can make sense of things even when I'm bumbling around. You know where I'm going with this, don't you? Writers are businesspeople! Even if we have agents. Business may not be our favorite aspect of writing, but fortunately it doesn't have to be dull. (Okay, taxes are DULL. But again I digress.)
I took a leadership course through my church recently, stressing casting vision, strategic planning, and goal setting. Now, I like dreaming, the big picture, and the future, so I can get into that. And when I picked up The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell, I was all over it. The section of the book called Strategy begins with Step 1: Cast your Vision! I'd been hearing "cast your vision" for months, and here it was in a writing book! Not that I couldn't have figured out on my own how to apply what I learned to my writing, but I like the affirmation and integration, you know? While people often write a paragraph-long or longer vision/mission statement, I wanted a sentence, and I wanted 25 words or less. Yup, my life in an elevator pitch! And after many drafts, I arrived at the following. Though they meet my criteria there are two of them, one a bit broader and one specifically about my writing. They are:
Broader: To be a scribe -- writing speaking, teaching and singing words born out of worship.
Focused: To write artistically excellent fiction born out of worship.
Bell also covers specific goals (e.g. words per day, target dates to query), plans (e.g. days and hours for writing, a spreadsheet for agent/publisher research), networking (being a giver as well as a receiver), and writing six days a week and taking a Sabbath on the seventh. He also, like my leadership class, talks about the Pareto Principle or 80/20 rule: 80% of your achievements come from 20% of your activities. Once we know that, we can prioritize, schedule, fund, etc., the 20% and ferret out waste in the 80% (80%!!) of our activities that produce no more than 20% of our results.
How about you? How do you view the business end of writing? Do you have a vision statement? Care to share?