susan3As I tip-toe my way back into my blogging on a regular basis I thought I’d talk a little bit about my newly designed website. When I began the massive undertaking all I knew was that I wanted to combine my writing, my art, and my photography under one website. It meant it would be huge. It meant a lot of work. It meant I walked around for a few days mumbling to myself about having no idea where to start. So I decided to do what I always do when starting a new book – I reread old material. In this case I started with rereading some grant applications I had written a few years ago. They were for a writing project and I remembered the process of writing the grant really helped me better define my identity as a writer. So I decided to apply the same technique to creating my website, beginning with a mission statement.

A mission statement, at its most basic level is who you are and why you are doing what you are doing.

Before people start jumping up and down about the differences between mission statements and vision statements and artist statements I’m going to say that I rolled mine all up into one. As the sole proprietor of my creative business venture, that works for me.

I think my first introduction to mission statements came many years ago when the company I was working for adopted the Franklin Covey Habits of Effective People. It was a personal productivity program about getting things done but also about having a good idea of your personal and company values and how they could work together for success. An old version of Microsoft Word even had a mission statement template built into the software. It wasn’t easy but the program asked you simple questions which you answered and then it spit out a draft of something you could then edit. Okay, for the heck of it I just Google mission statement generator and Franklin Covey offers a free one here. It might be a good place to start. If you Google mission statement template or generator you can find lots more.

As a writer I do a lot of revising. In fact I’d say my best writing often comes from revising. The new website is about revising my own way of looking at my creative life. It is about defining myself as not just a writer, but as a writer, an artist, and a photographer. And now when I have doubts about my creative identity, I can reread my mission statement and be reminded of the path I am meant to be on, even if sometimes life is a bit too foggy for me to see the path in front of me.

So do you NEED a mission statement for your website? Maybe not. But it might not be a bad exercise to try and see where it takes you.

You can read my mission statement here.

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