You need to know who you are before you can find direction

You need to know who you are before you can find directionLittle did I know that attending a Webinar about creating a media kit would lead me down such a rabbit hole. Like Alice, I am on a search for self-identity. When I look in the mirror, I no longer see the fledgling author, nor do I see the seasoned authorpreneur, an author who manages her writing business. Even though I know what I have to do, I haven’t taken enough steps in the right direction. I think this is because I haven’t yet defined my purpose. I haven’t yet verbalized who I am at this point in my life and what it is I do.

Some people are lucky and know from an early age what they want to be. Others have to work harder to find that single purpose in their life. I am one of those.

You may ask how this is possible. I am writing my second book, I write a blog, I promote my work. How can I not know what I do?  The best way to explain it is that I am doing these things without conscience intention, more like a knee-jerk reaction. At times I am confused by the amount of work that I have to do. I am pulled in so many equally important directions: write more, blog, more, tweet more, tend to the business more, etc. Without focus, I am having trouble setting priorities. Instead of moving forward at a steady pace, it feels as if I am just inching along. Until a few days ago, I had not been able to pinpoint my problem.

This self-introspection all started with my trying to write a 140-character bio. In such limited space, I could write about being an author, being a blogger, or being an authorpreneur, but not all three at once. I came up with the following:

  • Twitter bio option 1: Jane V. Blanchard, author of the Woman on Her Way series, writes and speaks about her adventures on the back roads and trails of the world.
  • Twitter bio option 2: Jane V. Blanchard’s blog, My Musings, provides strategies and support for indie authors, helping them take charge of their writing business.
  • Twitter bio option 3: Jane V. Blanchard writes the Woman on her Way series for your escape and adventure. Her blog, My Musings, helps indie authors be successful.

Options one and two are very specific and lead well as first sentences in the short, medium, and long bios. They even work well in the introductions. Option three is a mixed-bag. None really describes me or my work. Before I could write this short bio, I needed to honestly define who I am and what I do.

I went out and did yard work. When I returned, I wrote the following: My purpose is threefold. I want to write about my adventures, run a successful business as a writer, and help other indie authors become successful.

You may read this and think, “So what? It’s just semantics.” But to me, it is a revelation. For the first time, I feel integrated, whole, and empowered.

This is the focus I have been looking for for months. No longer are each of these elements competing with each other—they are part of each other, and only together do they fully define me. This makes so much sense to me on so many levels. From writing my bios, to redesigning my webpages, to scheduling my time; I now have a road map, and I write the perfect Tweetable bio:

Jane V. Blanchard writes about her adventures, runs a successful business as a writer, and helps other indie authors become successful.

Being well-focused is crucial for success.

Most companies write a Mission Statement, a statement about its purpose and reason for existing. This is used to guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a path, and guide decision-making. I feel that this short bio fulfills those requirements

The lesson I would like you to take from this is obvious: You need to know who you are before you can find direction. For me, limiting my bio to 140 characters gave me clarity and helped me crystallize my purpose. If you are looking for focus as an author and business person, I encourage you all to do a similar exercise. Then let’s see how far and how fast you move forward.

Do you have a mission statement? I would love to read it. Please comment.

About The Author

Jane V. Blanchard

Adventurer and Author, I was born in Hartford Connecticut and now live in Sarasota, Florida.