Hobby or Business?

To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.
~Leonard Bernstein

I met my friend Shawn to do some writing at an area Starbucks yesterday morning. She was one of the municipal liaisons for NaNoWriMo the first year I participated, way back in 2009, and we have kept in touch ever since. She is terrific; she proposed a thirty-minute writing challenge during our meeting, and when inspiration wouldn’t come, she suggested writing prompts until something struck a chord with me. “Write a flower into your scene,” she said. I eked out almost 300 words. “Thank you,” I said.

Anyway, after our challenge, when I was back to catching up on emails and Facebook updates while I was supposed to be writing, she asked me if I had a mission statement for my writing. Ahem. No one had ever asked me that question before. I hung my head in shame. Turned out she didn’t have one either. So we challenged each other to put our mission statements in writing before our next meeting Tuesday evening. I am working on mine.

Having a mission statement is one of those things that separates the hobbyist from the business person. Clearly defined goals, a road map for achieving them, and a training plan are also essential. I intend to incorporate all of these into my mission statement.

Because it’s now or never. Yes, I have a busy life. But if I am going to achieve my dream of being a traditionally published novelist, I have to stop treating writing like an option and start treating it like a business. With regular hours of operation, hard deadlines, and accountability.

Starting with my mission statement, which I will present to Shawn on Tuesday night and publish here on Wednesday.