My the internet is a marvelous thing. I have a list of wordy people I admire and when in need of inspiration or an in yo’ face reminder that you can be a writer on your own terms and make an income, I visit their websites. One of those wordy whizzes is Alexandra Franzen. I’m currently working on my “Hire Me” page for this site (shameless plug: you can pay me for my words, si si) and as luck would have it today’s post is about whipping up a cocktail party introduction about yourself. It’s a clarifying exercise so I thought I’d take you along as I go through her micro-worksheet.
First things first. What’s the goal? A short and sweet ditty about myself that shines bright and true and doesn’t bore the listener into plotting an escape route. Sounds good to me!
Here are her mini-worksheet questions and my answers.
1 :: Write down your official job title.
Freelance writer and advocate
2 :: But who are you, really?
Choose a handful of descriptive gems that feel oh-so truly YOU.
(the ones I selected are in bold)
3 :: Who do you serve?
The mamas and the papas and their children
4 :: What do they want?
Wee hint: what do they pay you for? And what do they thank you for?
They want valuable, honest and inspiring conversation about what it means to be a parent. They want to read something and recognize themselves and the potential to be something more. They thank me for me inspiring them and making them feel warm and fuzzy about raising children. The children would thank me for the extra tight hug at the end of the night and a few more yeses instead of nos.
5 :: What do they (and hopefully, you) believe?
That there’s no more defining responsibility than being a parent. That you don’t have to lose yourself in parenting. That it’s more important than ever to parent yourself while also parenting your children. That what you focus on flourishes.
6 :: What’s on the horizon, for you? What are you creating / building / launching / plotting NEXT?
–Petit Rhody to inspire local families to fall in love with raising their families in Rhode Island.
-Self-publishing an e-book of parenting quotes to inspire parents to be the kind of parents their children need.
-Collaborating with an incredible artist to create artwork designed for families with roots and love for Latin culture to galvanize a sense of history.
7 :: What are you secretly dying to know, about everyone you meet?
Are they inspired by the work they do? What’s their passion?
Let’s piece it all together.
I’m a muse for mamas and papas who want to raise amazing people. My writing creates conversations parents can identify with and provides them with realistic ways to be the parents they want to be. I’m currently writing at All of Me Now and Petit Rhody plus freelancing with a few other publications. The next few months are going to be super exciting; I’m collaborating with an incredible artist to develop art prints to help parents create culturally inspired spaces for children. And I’m also self-publishing an e-book of parenting quotes. How about you? Are you doing work that inspires you?
Whew! I highly recommend doing exercises like this every once in awhile. Doing this exercise was instrumental in helping me figure out who I want to write for. I’m not talking about who I want signing my paycheck. I’m talking about knowing my audience. When I did these questions, I surprised myself by being so clear on who I want to reach with my writing. Knowing I’m writing to inspire parents makes seeking out writing opportunities a lot easier. If a publication aligns itself with the needs of the audience I want to reach then I know it’s work worth pursuing.
I also really, really loved the word chart she includes. What a fun little collection of ways to describe the work you do. I took it a step further for myself and took each word and looked up synonyms for them. I’m a word person so I’m always collecting words that describe me.
Give it a try. Then come back to my little cocktail party here and leave your intro in the comments. I’d love to get to know you! ps. At this lovely cocktail party, I’m sipping on red sangria with juicy apples floating around. You?