If you listened to last week’s episode you probably heard my faux pas. I’m sure that most of you, if not all you, caught it, but were so gracious not to blast me about it on social. Thank you! Lesson learned – don’t record AND edit in a hurry! Missed it and are curious? Head on over to my IG stories to hear me talk about my blunder! I’d love it if you commented and followed me while you’re there.
We are in the midst of March Madness – the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball playoffs started this week and ends with the final game on April 3. There are 68 teams vying for the title and trophy of national champion. They are divided into brackets and play through elimination rounds until the winner is determined.
It’s a crazy, exciting, disappointing, and long-awaited event.
It reminds me a little bit about the process of writing and publishing a book.
We’re EXCITED to share the story or message God has laid on our hearts and start off with all we’ve got.
But soon, the writing life becomes a CRAZY, multi-faceted endeavor requiring us to learn new skills and step outside of our comfort zone. We don’t always have time to stretch and warm-up – leaving us sore, exhausted, and overwhelmed,
Our plans are often thwarted and DISAPPOINTMENT sets in when
- a reel we spent an hour creating gets only 20 views in 30 days,
- the proposal we’ve worked so hard on gets rejected multiple times, or
- the revisions we made are wiped out by a computer crash.
Yet if we’re persistent and continue to work hard, the long-awaited event happens – our book is published!
Today I want to discuss the foundation of our writing efforts. Without a vision and mission, the author life is much more difficult, and dare I say less fruitful.
You might be thinking that a vision and mission statement are only for businesses. But guess what? Your writing is a business! If you plan to sell your book and earn money from it, you need to treat your writing as a business.
Even if you plan to give away all of your work for free, it’s still a ministry. And if you ask any non-profit organization out there, they’ll quickly tell you that they operate by a vision and mission statement, too.
They’re the pieces that keep businesses, ministries, and entrepreneurs (which includes us authors) focused, grounded, and unified.
Let’s dive in!
Vision: The Goal
One definition of “vision” from Merriam-Webster is “a thought, concept or object formed by the imagination.”
When you think about your book being published and available to the world, what do you envision?
Maybe you think about it being placed on a bookstore shelf. Maybe your goal is to become a bestselling author on Amazon. Maybe you simply want to be able to place your life story in the hands of loved ones.
These are just a few of the many goals a writer might have., and none of these goals are necessarily bad.
But have you ever considered God’s vision – His will – for you and your book?
Romans 12:2 (NKJV) – “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable ad perfect will of God.”
2 Timothy 1:9 (NKJV)- “who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV) – “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
- The world doesn’t need more of me, it needs more of Jesus.
- The world doesn’t need another book that is simply good and clean – it needs the gospel message revealed through its storyline.
- The world doesn’t need another bestselling book – it needs the Savior.
- Our loved ones don’t just need a written legacy of our life experiences – they need our experiences to point to the Source of Life
- The world doesn’t need another feel-good book – it needs a soul-good book.
Are we writing with the goal of pleasing man and ourselves, or to represent God well as we do His will?
Whew. That’s a heavy question, but it needs to be asked, and we need to consider it – myself included.
So I’m going to give us a minute to think about it now while I introduce this week’s sponsor,, and then I’ll return to discuss the Mission of our writing.
Mission: The Plan to Reach the Goal
Now that we know what our vision is, it’s time to focus on our mission.
Going back to the March Madness reference, each of the 68 teams are divided into brackets and the games are spread out over several weeks. There are just too many teams to play against each other in just one or even two days.
The same is true with writing a book. There’s too much information to simply throw together into a book in one sitting. We need to break it all down into categories and create a writing schedule.
In other words, we need a plan to reach the goal. And often, that plan requires sacrifice.
Self-sacrifice isn’t a popular topic in today’s world. Look around and all you see is “You deserve it!” “Go for it!” “It’s your right!” “You do you!”
But our mission – our plan – should align with our vision. And if our vision is to do the will of God, then our mission should be to serve our readers by sharing the message God has given us, not serving ourselves and hiding or minimizing God’s message.
- Is anything holding you back from sharing the message God has given you?
- Is your vision unclear?
I encourage you to take it to the Lord in prayer.
May we be honest with Him – and ourselves.
And may we be willing to sacrifice what’s necessary to write, publish, and market our books for His glory.
Related to the idea of sacrifice, I recently came across this thought-provoking Publisher’s Weekly article by Ann Byle:
“The American gospel is a message that prioritizes comfort, power, politics, and prosperity in our country over and above the words and ways of Jesus. The biblical gospel is a message that does the exact opposite: it exalts Jesus over and above comfort, power, politics, and prosperity … All around the world, people are making great sacrifices to follow this gospel … God is calling us in the United States to sacrifice in the same way, to believe that the reward of following Jesus wholeheartedly is far better than anything this world has to offer.” David Platt
If you’re looking for ways to tighten up your message by writing clearly and succinctly, check out my recent guest interview with Ruthie Gray on the Authentic Online Marketing podcast, where I share How to Write Lean and RIPT.
The Inkwell Collective
Have you signed up for the new Inkwell Collective yet?
There’s a free general membership to test the waters to connect with other writers. Ask your questions, share your successes, ask for prayer. In addition, once a month we have a free writing session at the Inkwell via Zoom and that’s at 10am Eastern Time and 2pm Eastern Time. You’re free to take advantage of both of those sessions on the second Wednesday of every month, so be sure to check that out!
Again, the basic membership is free, and you can upgrade for a very low monthly price to get weekly writing sessions plus access to the monthly q&a craft chat. This past month, we had a great discussion on the q&a about plagiarism, grifter, reprints, and copyright issues. So there was a lot of really good information that was shared and discussed. Each month we’re going to discuss a different topic. Everything is recorded for the paid members to go back and review at their leisure if they’re not able to join live.
Join the Inkwell Collective. On this landing page, you will see a video tutorial so you get to see actually what it looks like inside. Remember, you can join for free to get a feel for it and see if you like it!
Come get connected with other Christian writers who don’t just support each other, but also encourage each other and grow in the Lord together.
Question of the Month
I am excited to bring this segment back to the podcast; it’s been a while since I’ve offered the question of the month!
This month’s question:
How often do you visit author websites and what info do you look for while there?
Your responses to these monthly questions are going to provide helpful feedback for all of those listening. It’s going to help other writers hear what people are looking for when they’re going to author websites so that they can streamline their own author website.
And this is what I’m so excited about: It’s also free promotion for you because in addition to answering the question, it’s an opportunity for you to be featured on the podcast!
Be sure to share:
Your response to the question,
your most recent book or blog title and its genre, and
the website address that you would like listeners to go to.
How exciting is that?! I hope that you will take me up on this opportunity!
Listen to the podcast to learn how to submit your response by midnight EST March 31.
Did you find this episode helpful?
If so, I would be ever so grateful if you’d spread the word about this podcast. I know there are many Christian writers out there, and I’d love to help support as many of them as I can, wherever they are in the world!
How to do that?
On Spotify, simply go to one of the episodes and click the share icon. You’ll then see that you can copy the episode link or share directly into a multitude of social media platforms.
I’m sure it’s similar on Apple – sorry, I’m an Android user.
Or, when sending emails or talking with other writers, simply direct them to inkandimpact.com
Thank you for your support, and I look forward to sharing more with you next week!