Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What's Your Vision Statement?

Last weekend at the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference in Seattle, I tried to show how a vision statement can sustain us through turbulent times in the industry. Here's mine, created five years ago:
To create and celebrate good stories,
especially about children and teens in the margins of life.

I also created a visual picture by brainstorming words with a wordle:


If you don't have a vision statement yet for your vocation, here are some prompts to get you started creating your own:
  1. Describe two pivotal events in your life (one before age 20).
  2. Name two things you LOVE to do with your time other than writing or reading.
  3. Complete this eulogy: “S/he would have done ANYTHING to help …”
What's your vision statement? If you'd like, leave it in the comments along with a link to your website or blog. You don't have to be a writer, and it doesn't have to be brilliant or perfect—just something you use as a guide in the world of books.

12 comments:

  1. To give a voice to the voiceless ...

    Mitali, I read a summary of your keynote that was posted on the Chinook Update and I'm sorry to have missed your talk. But you'll be happy to know it was for something non-negotiable: worship.

    It was a pleasure to meet you in the hallways. Auf wiedersehen.

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  2. Vijaya, I love that statement. And I enjoyed meeting you, too.

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  3. I love your vision statement. Really great thing to think about. I also like the term vision instead of mission. I don't know, but vision seems more take charge.

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  4. Vijaya - i love that!

    Mine is: Planting seeds in the imaginations of children

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  5. I've been working on mine. I absolutely loved your talk and the way you reframed the idea of crafting a career. I keep asking myself the question you suggested, "How can I serve?" Somehow, it makes the dream seem both more meaningful and more helpful to the world. Thank you for your wonderful inspiration!

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  6. Shelli -- that's a wonderful vision!

    Jeannine, I do think there's a difference between mission and vision. Mission is what we're doing right now, and vision is a dream of what we hope to contribute through the years.

    Molly, changing those three questions and asking that one has revolutionized my vocation, so I'm very glad it seemed to resonate.

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  7. Great idea, Mitali.

    This has been my guiding statement for a few years now:

    If my books or my programs inspire a child to take a closer look at a rock or to chase after a butterfly, just to see where it's going, then my job is done.

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  8. Hi there Mitali!
    LOVED meeting you and hearing you speak. I told my husband about your personal story and how you met your "Trekkie" friends and why :) I can't wait to see you again.

    I Googled Sant Jordi in order to give you more info on the April 23rd festivity in Barcelona. The Wikipedia entry is a bit long, but scroll down to Catalonia and look at those pictures of the streets in Barcelona covered with tables of books and books. My favorite day of the year in Barcelona by a long shot.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_George's_Day

    and here is some more info:

    http://www.donquijote.org/culture/spain/fiestas/ladiada.asp

    Have fun! And happy 5th Bloggoversary! :)

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  9. Your keynote was thought-provoking. We cannot take the tomorrow of publishing for granted.

    My vision statement is : Love is its own reward.

    Only happy surprises tomorrow, Roland

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  10. Mitali, what a wonderful and concrete way of telling yourself what you want!

    I am an aspiring author of children's books and write novels set in hostory (at least, currently). So, my vision has always been:

    "To write a book(s) that would make at least one youngster try to dig up the past, literally or figuratively."

    Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

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  11. This is a wonderful idea.

    Mine would be: To tell a story.

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  12. Sarah9:24 PM

    Two Pivotal Events in My Life:
    1) When we moved to Pakistan.
    2) When we were evacuated from Pakistan after the Marriott Bombings.

    1) Running (track and field)
    2) Filming

    I'm not really sure what you mean by a vision statement. That part made me a little confused.

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