What have you done with your life?

Did your heart rate just increase as you read that question? I know mine always does whenever I am asked to assess my body of work, and as an actor, I have to do that all the time! It's particularly important in the entertainment industry, where the product being marketed is often yourself, but all jobs require some sort of bio writing, and I think I speak for many when I say all of us hate it. 

Last post, we talked about taking stock of your goals, failures, and progress from the last year. In this post, I'm asking you to list all your life's accomplishments! 

Before you click away, hear me out: 


Expanding upon the work of assessing your last year to encompass the whole of your life in commercial copy form can help you get a broader, outside-of-yourself sense of what you have done, and what you still want to do.

Here's why:

1. You keep track of your accomplishments. Be prepared to be amazed by all you've done! It can be so easy to forget all the great things you've accomplished in your pursuit of the next goal. However, having a frequently updated track record of your accomplishments lays a subliminal foundation as you move forward. And the boost of confidence you get when you see everything you've done right there in print is a huge motivator! 

2. Having a documented track record is useful for planning your next goals. When you can assess what you've already done, it's easy to see how to apply experience and interest in crafting new goals. Consider which experiences make you the most proud. Which do you wish you'd done a little differently? Are there any you'd like to repeat, build upon, or modify? Energy flows where our attention goes, so it's important to assess and then focus on the things you've accomplished to expand your new goals in that direction.

3. Patterns emerge. Years ago, when my agent started submitting me for comedy roles, I initially thought, why are they sending me out for this? I'm not a comedian. But looking at the things I've performed or written, a strong comedy streak is readily obvious. I've never considered myself a comedian, but clearly, I'm suited to comedy, something I wouldn't have known had I not assessed my whole body of work! 

4. It forces you to see yourself objectively. This is a super useful technique to master as a writer because being able to see your story from a marketing perspective is also an essential part of the writing process. Often, whether writing a bio or our story, it's easy to get wrapped up in emotion and ego. To be bogged down by the fear that people will judge you. However, viewing your body of work as though you were promoting a product you are selling makes it easy to clarify your assets, as well as where those assets fit into the marketplace. And of course, if you hope to be a published author, you'll need your bio and pitch materials at the ready as well

As I've said many times, more and more an author's book's success depends on their own marketing/branding efforts, rather than those of a publisher. In this age of social media and Artificial Intelligence, it simply isn't enough to make the art. You have to sell the brand of yourself as well.  So the sooner you can get comfortable with that, the better!

Looking for a fast and easy way to craft a broad story structure?

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