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?