Use the Muse to Write Your Business Plan
The first part of writing a business is often to put together a mission statement. Doesn’t that sound super, umm, boring? Yeah, I thought so too.
So I transformed this dull, no fun task into something I could relate to. I understand the muse. Well, when she’ll talk to me. Best way to get her feeling chatty is to strait up ask her for help. I asked her to help me write something to keep my inspired about my writing career.
Here’s what she told me.
Write one or two sentences that sum up you and your goals for a successful writing career. Think of this as your mantra, or the logline for your writing career. Your books have loglines, why shouldn’t you?
Whenever you’re stuck, feeling down about writing or getting published, or need a jumpstart to your day, get this sentence back out and see if it doesn’t get your imagination running again.
Try to give your muse value. That can mean financial value, but can also be personal values — like family or life philosophies. If being able to support your family financially is an important value to you, include that. If you need to write just to stay sane, include that. If it’s important that your friends and family are proud of you, say that. These are your core beliefs as they relate to your writing career. Include them in your muse statement so that it is valuable to you.
The name of the muse game is inspiration. If you think it, you believe it. If you believe it, you are it. If you use the present simple tense, i.e. I am instead of I want, I will be, or I can, then you’re one step closer to believing you are the writer of your dreams. Another part of inspiration is to use those big dream goals. If you want to be a best-selling author, include that in your muse statement. Whatever your true aspirations are, use them here.
Woo-hoo! You’re getting excited now, right? Okay, not to be a downer, but the inspiration you put in this all-important sentence must also be realistic. You might be tempted to say you’ll be making a million dollars with your writing next week, but unless you’re already a multi-published author whose last royalty statement came in at $999,999, this isn’t very realistic. A million dollars can absolutely be your goal, but be honest with yourself about when that might actually happen. If it happens sooner than that, then yay!
You also need to be specific with the goals in your statement. Don’t say you mean to write a bunch of books that people really like. Do say you write four books a year, or fifty books, or one book that gets five-star reviews and wins your genre’s industry award.
Here’s an example:
I am a financially successful author who shares award-winning stories of love and adventure with readers around the world.
Let’s evaluate this muse statement’s components.
Does it have value? It does say financially successful and award-winning, both of which hold some value.
Is it inspirational? The sentence is in the present tense, and assuming the author isn’t already financially successful and winning awards, it does have modest goals. The part about readers around the world also speaks to the idea that the author wants to be read by more than just family and friends.
Are the goals plausible? Sure they are.
The biggest problem with this muse statement is that it isn’t very specific. It has the other three components, but they seem ho-hum because there is no specificity.
Try rewriting this statement with some specific goals for these words: financially successful, shares, award-winning, and around the world.
Do you have a clearer vision of where this author wants to be?
Now try your hand at writing your own.
Your muse statement can go through lots of drafts and incarnations. If you add a new dimension to your business plan, you might need to update your statement.
You can have more than one mission statement, too. If you find creating a mission statement motivational, consider creating them for different parts of your life and career. You can have one for your writing career, your marketing efforts, your financial goals, your family life, spiritual life, your health, or anything else that is important to you.
Thanks Muse. You’re the best. So dear readers I’d love if you would share some inspirations for your muse about your writing career.
Leave a comment with some inspiration or with questions about business plans. I’ll pop in to chat and answer the best I can.