Coming Up With an Artistic Life Purpose Statement

And I imagine that some people might have tuned out at that point.  A ‘Life Purpose Statement’ sounds so daunting, doesn’t it? 

I’ve been reading ‘Coaching the Artist Within’ by Eric Maisel and checking out a blog called ‘Life Unfolds by artistic coach, Jennifer Lee, and I was intrigued by the idea of coming up with a plan or principle that guides your artistic life.  I was struck with the similarity to coming up with a business goal or plan or vision statement in a business context, and thought why not become more focused in my creative life as well?

I didn’t want to get to the nitty gritty of ‘what strategies will be implemented when’ (a la business planning I’ve been involved with in the past).  I have a number of deadlines spread out for the rest of the year, and don’t want to add any more!  But a guiding principle broad enough not to trap me with failure but specific enough to be taken into account when making artistic decisions might be helpful.

So I have come up with the following goal:  I will support my artistic growth with integrity and positive feeling.

Maybe it needs a little work, but it’s a start.  I’ve already been finding it pops into my mind when I’ve been making decisions about what to writenext.  It makes me check in with how I feel in my gut, if it feels ‘right’ to continue with this plot point, or if I need to redirect.  An interesting exercise.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Graham Storrs
    Jun 14, 2009 @ 21:04:41

    “it pops into my mind when I’ve been making decisions about what to write next”

    This is definitely what I need right now! In the past few months I’ve started three different novels, written about 20,000 words and then stopped. Each time I stop it’s because I’m thinking, “Is this really the book I want to write?”

    I’m not sure what the problem is but it has something to do with me trying to write ‘publishable’ books I think. What I need is a ‘mission statement’ or ‘vision’ or ‘life purpose statement’. Trouble is, I’ve sat through so many business meetings that came up with such things – all of which turned out bland, vague and useless – that my soul cries out against them.

    Still, maybe my own vision statement would be a good one…


    • J-A Brock
      Jun 15, 2009 @ 19:46:55

      so get what you’re saying about the whole overload on business statement thing! but give it a go, you can only try. and i know what you’re saying about the publishable novel leading to stuckness. if i start thinking about whether or not something will sell, i start getting clogged up too. i’ve even reached the stage where i don’t get feedback on my work until the whole first draft is done, because if i do i start worrying about whether i’m writing things ‘properly’ or not! finishing is an important thing, because it’s all a learning process even if it’s a ‘bad’ novel.


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