Written by Mary Anne Hahn

Have you ever heard aboutrepparttar "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 duringrepparttar 129656 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 inrepparttar 129657 long run.

Along similar--but less morbid--lines, I believe that we writers might find it helpful if we tookrepparttar 129658 time to write our own writing job descriptions. If we could leadrepparttar 129659 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 identifyrepparttar 129660 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 intorepparttar 129661 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 doesrepparttar 129662 interviewee's home or office tell us about him?

Thawing Your Writer's Block

Written by Mary Anne Hahn

When I go through bouts of writer's block, my fingers stiffen, and my brain goes as blank asrepparttar snowy screen of a television onrepparttar 129654 fritz.

I don't know about you, but I picture writer's block as something cold--likerepparttar 129655 frozen engine of a car inrepparttar 129656 dead of winter, orrepparttar 129657 way your PC sometimes "freezes up" on you when your system gets too busy.

Looking at it that way actually helps to overcome it. Rather than feeling like you are grasping at fog, visualizing writer's block as something three-dimensional can provide you with bothrepparttar 129658 strength to confront it, andrepparttar 129659 weapons to conquer it.

How can you thaw your writer's block of ice? Try any or all ofrepparttar 129660 following:

1. Chip away at it. No need to write "War and Peace" in one sitting; Tolstoy certainly didn't. Fifteen minutes a day are all you need to give your writing dream some life and structure. Use them to write anything, anything at all--as many article ideas as you can think of, a synopsis of a story idea, a climactic scene in your novel, a limerick, a character sketch, step by step instructions for makingrepparttar 129661 perfect omelet or what you would do if you wonrepparttar 129662 lottery.

Have some fun with these 15-minute exercises, and you'll probably rediscoverrepparttar 129663 truth inrepparttar 129664 adage that "time flies" when you do.

2. Light a match to it. By this I mean, don't think aboutrepparttar 129665 fact that you are not currently writing; rather, think about why you ever wanted to be a writer inrepparttar 129666 first place. Better yet, *write* about why you want to be a writer. Do you have stories burning inside you that need to be told? Or do you see writing as your key to personal fulfillment or freedom? Melt away writer's block by reigniting your passion for writing--the old daydreams,repparttar 129667 past feelings of triumph or accomplishment when you finished a piece of work.

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