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Have you ever heard about the "motivational" concept of writing your
own obituary?

The idea is, you write what you would like your obit to say, by
summarizing all those accomplishments that you most want to achieve
during the course of your life. Motivation gurus suggest that this
enables us to focus on what's most important to us, while discarding
those activities that truly don't matter in the long run.

Along similar--but less morbid--lines, I believe that we writers
might find it helpful if we took the time to write our own writing
job descriptions. If we could lead the writing lives of our dreams,
what types of writing would we be doing? Who would our customers
and/or readers be? In what niches would we specialize? What would
we consider to be our strongest skills, our areas of expertise?

Or let's say that you want to diversify your writing goals. You
could develop a job description for each niche. In this way, you
could identify the experience and skills you already possess, and
which ones you still need to work on.

Here's an example: suppose one of your writing career goals involves
writing profile articles--of celebrities, politicians, business
leaders, scientists, or just ordinary people who do extraordinary
things. What attributes would such a writer need to possess?
Excellent interviewing skills, obviously. Research skills would help
as well; you certainly wouldn't want to walk into the interview with
absolutely no background knowledge of your interviewee or his/her
subject matter. Attention to detail would come in handy, too. What
is your interviewee wearing? What can you say about his smile, or
her vocal qualities? What does the interviewee's home or office tell
us about him?

So your profile writing job description might look like this:

Job Title: Profile Article Writer

Job Description: Interview famous, influential and or interesting
people, and write article profiles on them for publication in local
and national magazines.

Skills/Experience Needed: Excellent writing skills and attention to
detail required. Experience in conducting interviews with people in a
wide variety of occupations. Proven online and library research
skills. Knowledge of publications with a track record of running
article profiles.

Do you see how creating a writing job description for yourself might
help direct you towards the kinds of writing assignments that you
want to land? If so, spend some time today developing your own.

About the Author

Mary Anne Hahn is editor and publisher of WriteSuccess, the free
biweekly ezine of ideas, information and inspiration for people who
want to launch and maintain successful writing careers. To
subscribe, mailto:

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