this incarnation of Carla possessed an entirely different bio
Nothing strikes frazzle into the heart of a freelancer like the words:
Send a bio and we’re ready to publish!
- Challenging story assignment? We rise to the occasion.
- Full rewrite of what we’d thought was already amazing? No worries. Whatever it takes!
- New bio required in order to git paid? Complete and utter paralysis by over-analysis.
Whether we struggle with impostor syndrome or agonize over distilling accomplishments into terse sentences everyone agrees bios are hard.
The last time I received the ‘send along a bio‘ request I was stymied.
As a result, I
begged a friend to write my bio and decided, more pressing than penning an up-to-date bio, was writing a FUTURE-O for myself.
A clear and succinct identification of who I aspired to be and precisely what FutureCarla would l
ook read like.
My 5 Steps to creating a FUTURE-O.
I became a Carla-biographer.
Before I started it was crucial I shifted my mindset. I needed to distance myself from…myself. It was crucial I reframed and viewed myself as a biographer or reporter. I was writing about the life of my wildest dreams. I needed to not be mired in reality. Lofty goals were identified/written about as though they’d already actually happened. To borrow a phrase from Coleridge, writing my FUTURE-O required a willing suspension of disbelief.
Bios feel challenging because we need different ones depending on the occasion. My FUTURE-O, I decided, would contain everything. I listed all important categories (relationships, work achievements, financial gains, volunteering, charitable donations, new/old hobbies, fitness) and arranged them in order of what was required to “happen” first. That way, when I was ready to start FUTURE-O writing, everything was aligned the way it needed to be. For example, I’d need to first make millions from my ‘tween fiction before I could create a foundation for at-risk youth.
This may be easier than a bio, but I still needed to shed my focus on cold, hard reality and take time to daydream for a while.
In order to create FutureCarla it was crucial I let my mind run free.
Sadly, this isn’t as exciting as it sounds. Because a FUTURE-O is a form of a bio (not a mission statement ) I assigned dates to absolutely everything I wrote. Not only did these dates lend a sense of reality to my “suspension of disbelief” they helped organize my thoughts and made me excited about the potential of my future.
In addition, to give myself distance (which increased my creativity), I wrote the entire thing in the 3rd person:
In February 2018, Birnberg launched her successful______
A huge gift to this FUTURE-O exercise was the fact no one was really waiting for it. As a result there was also no need to trim/make terse to fit publication space. My FUTURE-O is jampacked with details. I gave myself the freedom to get all kinds of verbose.
I felt the words as I typed them.
I experienced the sense of pride I knew I’d have when I accomplished these achievements.
I furrowed my brow as I wrote sentences, realized I didn’t long for the achievement/experience as Id surmised, and tapped the delete button more than a few times.
And with all that I was done.
I printed my FUTURE-O, taped it to my office wall, and it remains there as a reminder of who I aspire to be.
If I’d had a FUTURE-O–this would’ve been on it!
Did I still need to write a bio for my editor?
No, my friend did that for me Sure.
Did I now possess a clear vision of the
bio future I aspired to achieve? For sure.
And, through the process of defining FutureMe, I’d simultaneously shed any urges to compare my accomplishments to other writers’ sparked by scrutinizing their bio sentences.
I wasn’t yet FutureCarla, but I felt inspired to do the work and morph my FUTURE-O into reality.
- Do you struggle with writing a bios? Have you ever considered creating a FUTURE-O?