One thing I love to do, is talk about writing.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s about the craft, the business, lifestyle, inspiration… whatever it is, I like to chat about it.
No matter what time of day or year, I’m either writing, thinking about writing, chatting about plot and purpose, or reading something.
The written word is powerful.
It can be persuasive, educational, pretty, petty, fluffy, off-putting, or simply enjoyable and relaxing.
It means something different to everyone.
Recently, a reader asked me a question about writing.
Now, I get questions all the time, but this one made me pause and really consider the meaning of the question as opposed to the answer.
They asked the following (and yes, it’s cut and pasted for accuracy):
How would you define a writer’s “mission” in writing? What is your mission?
My immediate thought was that I didn’t really have a mission, but then I had to stop and think… Hmm.. what do we mean by “mission”?
The reader put those original quotes around the word mission so I thought I better define the word before I began to apply it.
A mission is a special quest, one that involves more effort than, say, a trip to the corner store. If you were to drive all around the state searching garage sales for porcelain cats, you could say you were on a mission.
Mission comes from a Latin word that means “to send.” It was first used by Jesuit missionaries who sent members of their order overseas to establish schools and churches. Foreign travel is still associated with the word. When diplomats and humanitarian workers travel abroad, we often refer to those trips as missions.Vocabulary.com
When I look at the definition I love the first few words… a “special quest”.
I’ve honestly never thought of myself as being on a mission with my writing. Have you?
What is a Writer’s Mission?
It’s here that we must realize just how personal one’s own mission is and the motivation behind it.
When I speak of motivation, it makes me think of a conscious choice.
For me, my writing has always chosen me instead of being the other way around.
So as far as motivation, this too would be a very personal decision and choice.
What is your “mission” as a writer? Do you have a special quest?
Are you looking to teach? Lead? Persuade? Sell? Preach? Change the world?
Can you put your finger on it?
What is My Mission?
So after considering this question for a week or two, I’ve decided that my mission is one of teaching, sharing, and perseverance.
I had a writing mentor for many years. He’s still a very good friend. He is a successful writer and yet he constantly gives back without expectation. He’ll attend any meeting if able, he’ll share his thoughts and professional opinion, and he constantly supports the reading and writing communities.
That to me, is part my quest and who I want to be as a writer. I want to give back and support other writers on their individual journey through the quagmire of the writing industry and all it’s pitfalls.
Being able to share knowledge through my blog and speaking engagements is empowering to all involved. It allows me to share and answer questions, but also provides fresh knowledge and thought for others.
Building the Wine Country Writers’ Festival is also part of that quest to impart knowledge and direction.
But all of that is only part of who I am as a writer.
I’ve written two and half (the last one needs a rewrite and edits) books. That’s not an easy task. To finish a project from A to B takes tenacity and focus.
These books came through me–having the ability to write is a gift.
You can call it the muse or whatever you want, but the fact that talent exists can’t be denied and means the work should be shared. The finished product deserves to be out in the world for people to enjoy.
That’s where a different part of the ‘mission’ comes in and ties my hands to a certain extent.
I’ve chosen to focus on traditional publishing which is a very long and drawn-out process.
I want my work published. Shared. I want to see people enjoying my work.
I think most creatives do want to be recognized for their hard work. It gives agency in the sharing of the words.
Oh, and the final thing with my “mission” is to do it until I’m really old and hopefully leave a legacy of work that will be timeless in it’s meaning and message.
If one of my books or stories helps even one person live a better life, as they define it, then my mission is complete.
Phew… answering that question was a mission in itself. I best get back to that editing and rewrite.
To the reader who gave me this question, thank you for making me stop and think.
Sometimes I believe we have the knowledge within us but when you try and define it on the page, it takes time and thought.
So what YOUR mission?
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5 thoughts on “Writers. Are You on a Special Quest?”
Such a well written response to the question. I think you nailed it. You are on the “mission” you describe. Thank you.
Thanks Nancy. Yeah this one tickled the ol’ brain cells for sure 😉. 💕
I think my mission was to write stories that people would enjoy. Make my readers, laugh, cry or feel emotional and maybe think about the different scenarios of life. Also there is ego involved. To know I succeeded in finally getting my story collection in book form. I pat myself on the back.
Yes! So true 💯💯. Being recognized for your work is so important. 💕
“ I want to give back and support other writers on their individual journey through the quagmire of the writing industry and all it’s pitfalls.”
I certainly affirm the mission you are on, Faye. I have benefited personally as have many others, I’m sure.