Writer's Statements & Why YOU Need One Right Now



Happy January, everyone! You know it and love it: I'm revamping All the Writerly Things, which is a series dedicated to examining literature, movies, and all aspects which contribute to honing in one's creative writing craft. I’m currently sitting down, sipping some apple cider, reading, and writing down some notes for some pieces before submitting them to various publications across the country.

Every year, I tell myself this is the year I will dedicate myself completely to writing, where my long-term writing projects shall become an actual living breathing organism outside of the mind space. Only, this doesn’t happen at the extent I’d like it to. There’s so much going on with life that by the end of the year, the potential is bogged down by so much and the self-loathing in my mind begins to build. No apparent way of change presented itself—that is, until I began to create a writer’s statement. Here’s how and why this one snippet of writing is so important.

WHAT IS A WRITER’S STATEMENT & WHY SHOULD I WRITE ONE?

A writer’s statement is somewhat self-explanatory in hindsight but requires more digging to see the intrinsic value lying underneath. This statement, created by the writer helps concentrate back towards the core of the journey. What do you write? Why do you enjoy writing? How do you hope your writing will change the world? These questions are answered in the statement, touching all three realms of time: past, present, and future. It’s the guiding core of your writing helping you stand up again after succumbing to an existential crisis and feel like you aren’t good enough.

Here are several tips to help you on your crafting process:


1) Think about your origin story! Many heroes and notable world-changers always start off with humble beginnings—not everyone has attended an arts’ school or camp to hone their writing voice. As I’ve mentioned several times, I have friends who are incredibly advanced in the writing world to the point of receiving national awards and giving TED Talks under the age of seventeen, but they didn’t start there. In fact, many of them started through writing NaNoWriMo novels, perusing through the Young Writers’ forums, and battling out which Hogwarts House is the best.

Sometimes, writing starts from reading stories while waiting for the washing machine to finish its rinse cycle or a doodle made from going to a fast-food restaurant in the middle of the night on a napkin with bits of ketchup smudged on the edge. It may not seem significant to others, but this is your life with your perspective and narrative. Draw from it! I won’t say much about my personal origin story, but my blog’s URL practically says it all.



2) Be sincere. This statement is mostly for you to draw on. Don’t hesitate to be vulnerable or candid. The statement doesn’t have to be published publicly for the world to see. It can simply sit on your wall, right in front of your desk where you plot your novels. You know yourself and your writing goals better than anyone else.

3) Plan out the game plan and the goals. Do you aspire to become published traditionally under one of the five big houses, or are you wanting to explore more of the literary press route and present chapbooks? Do you aspire to become a National Poet Laureate, a Pushcart nominee, or earn an MFA in Creative Writing? Make sure to keep note of this—and have a general outline of how you want to get there. Motivate yourself by for every ten twenty-five words, you treat yourself to a box of doughnuts to munch on at home.

The statement doesn’t have to have hard dates, but soft dates can help keep you right on track! Write something, such as devoting yourself to writing a poem every week. Even something such as finishing a second draft of a novel of a series you initiated early on can help push you forwards towards your dreams becoming a reality.


4) Name out the common themes you hope your readers will take from your writing. I remember stumbling onto the right words of what I hoped my writing would transpire to from a comment I left on dear Audrey Caylin’s blog, which says, “… For me, writing…. made me realize gray areas, how life isn't merely black and white and how amidst of all the unruly horror that tries to inject itself into the world, there is good that arises, and the watching the clash between those two things is a tragedy and beauty. And the fact we have the power to shape that world view and bring it to a greater audience… it just stuns me so much.”

For some time, I forgot about this quote until I rewrote my about page last August and thought these words hit stone cold. It’s a common theme and compliment resurging from writing critiques, how I never shy away from the hard truth and how there is beauty and tragedy. This is something I want to highlight on, while also writing from various perspectives, particularly those contrasting to mine. Maybe you write hoping to just inoculate readers with a wonderful sense of bliss and calm or hope to transpire them to another realm where dragons exist because dragons. Don't hesitate to write those down!

Have you ever written a writer's statement before? Write out what you think will be in your writer's statement below!

17 comments:

  1. This is such an interesting idea, and one I hadn't thought of before. I feel like you should write a mission statement, or have one in mind, for anything you do in life. It important to clarify your goals for yourself, as well as professionally, so that you don't lose sight of them, and so that you can always look back at what you're working for.
    Great post!

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    1. It's so important to be able to know where a person has been and where a person wants to go. It's sad to see people fall astray from what their dreams are and while it's normal for people to change and grow, for people to take a complete 180 around what their original dreams and morals are... that's not right, at all!! Thank you!!

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  2. I love this idea, and this post is so helpful! Thank you, amazing post, Abigail. <3

    -Gray Marie | graymariewrites.blogspot.com

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    1. As always, Gray!!! <3

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  3. I've written something similar to this when I started The Rebelling Muse. I think my first two posts were devoted to that effect...

    I agree, it really is helpful to write this stuff down.

    Excellent post, Abby!

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

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    1. My first post was actually to the same effect too, Catherine!!! Are we twinning, or what??? xD I've grown a lot as a person from when I wrote that first blog post, that "mission statement"-- some things better, some things maybe still need to be worked on, but I'd like to hope that the changes are on for the better and that my younger self would still be happy to know the words she wrote are a reality. I'm sure your younger self on The Rebelling Muse thinks the same!

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  4. I'm definitely going to write a Writer's Statement now. I especially like the common theme that I want to communicate because that's really been at the front of my mind recently.

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  5. I LOVE THIS, ABBY! I never thought of having a writer's statement until now. Thank you for that- all your words are truly inspiring. <3

    xx Kenzie

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    1. p.s. I do, in fact, read while waiting for the wash to finish its cycles. XD

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    2. Of course, Mackenzie! You should go write one! I think I may write a new one and just post in on my blog in honor of my five year anniversary (a new page???). Thanks for always being the sweetest, m'dear.

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

      P.S. HANDS UP that is dedication right there. xD

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  6. I've never heard of this before! It's a really good idea (although I don't write XD) and I really do think writing a purpose down is so so important to keep from losing focus.

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    1. WHAT YOU DON'T WRITE??? *insert Spongebob meme* Just kidding!!! xD It's okay if you don't write frequently, but yes. You should also write a statement, even if it's for your musical goals!

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  7. Nooo, I've never written one of these before, but I guess I'd better start now.

    And if you don't mind me asking... who are those friends who did the TedTalks? If they're on YouTube?

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    1. You should try and write one, Grace! I’d love to see it. >.<

      As for my friends who did TedTalks— they did their talks, but there’s sadly no video recording because there wasn’t an option for them to do so (I’ve tried hard to find it only, but all I found were social media posts about them speaking at the event instead).

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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  8. Haha... I've only done writer's statements for essays in school :) never thought of doing it for a blog. Amazing idea!!!

    Also, You can check out my blog if you want at randomalley707.blogspot.com

    Thanks! Also, I love your blog :)

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    1. It’s pretty common to do them in schools! xD

      Ooh, I’ll check out your blog soon! Welcome to the blog, Saige, and thank you!!!

      xoxo Abigail Lennah

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Hi, friend! Just remember to keep comments clean and kind, or I will have to delete them. Thank you so much for commenting on my blog-- I cherish every kind word sent my way.

Stay strong and wonderful!
xoxo Abigail Lennah