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Write From Home
Kim Wilson
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610

E-mail: kim @ writefromhome.com

Off the Page...

The Career Mirror
by Tama Westman

Now is the perfect time to review your writing career. A good look in the career mirror may reveal focus areas you can work on to fine tune your activities for a more fulfilling, satisfying, lucrative year.

I put my work in front of the career mirror and realized that while I was writing and editing, submitting and marketing, there were crucial areas that I had let fall from my radar. Though a valuable tool for continued work, I had ignored my Web site for too long.

Reboot a new you
How is your Web presence? Have you taken the time to build your writer's Web site? I think it's essential for editors to be able to view your writing samples and get a feel for who you are, and a Web site allows them that opportunity instantly. You don't have to spend a fortune or be familiar with html; many companies offer low cost or free point-and-click Web sites that work wonderfully.

When you do create a site, or put your current site before the career mirror, ask yourself: "Does this site accurately represent me today?" Recently, I got up the courage and hit the delete button. My former Web site pages disappeared completely and forevermore. How exhilarating! Move over lavender and teacups, time for new colors, new clips, a new feel and a new me.

Calculate the results
Take a look at your results from the last year and give an honest assessment. Are there areas of your writing that you should give more focus to? Areas that bring you more satisfaction, more money, or both? Is it time to give that book-in-progress a rest and start shopping the idea around to a few publishers in a well-drafted book proposal?

My look into the career mirror revealed that I was spinning my wheels on activities that were not benefiting the bottom line at all, and while some charitable work is a given, we all like to see a profit. So, I took the time to develop a few relationships with companies needing a freelance editor. Continuing with this change in direction, my new Web site now highlights my editing and teaching services, something my old Web site had not done.

Take the time
I'm glad I took the time to put my career in front of a mirror. Doing so may have saved me another year of waiting for something to happen, instead of making something happen. I've created a new Web site, relinquished unprofitable ventures, refined my writing goals and have cracked open the new 2007 Writer's Market with anticipation for the year.

How about you? Are you ready to stand before the career mirror? An honest assessment now, followed by a plan and action, will ensure your career stays on track. All any of us want is to fulfill our destinies, but we are often distracted from our ultimate goal. Sometimes, we just need to stop, look and readjust. Come on, be bold and take a good look at your work with an honest eyeanything that needs adjustment?

Tama Westman writes the Off the Page column for Write From Home. An award-winning journalist, she teaches creative writing and poetry with the AHEAD program (Achieving Higher Education and Dreams) at Metropolitan State University, mentors high school journalism students, and speaks at writers conferences throughout the country. Married twenty-four years, and mother of two grown children, she lives in Minnesota. She loves to hear from other writers. Feel free to contact her at tama@tamawestman.com. For more, please visit http://www.tamawestman.com










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