Month One, Day One - Sudden Write Turn Freelance Writing

Month One, Day One

Hi, 2012!

This post was going to be about “Resolve,” but it turns out that the definition runs against much of my current thinking.

Resolve [a: To break up, separate, also, to change by disintegration; b: to reduce by analysis; c: to distinguish between or make independently visible adjacent parts of; d: to separate into two components]

People cannot be broken up, reduced by analysis and separated into two components. Perhaps this is why I am struggling with writing a writer’s resume/bio.

If in a resume I include only my writing experience and achievements, there’s a giant hole in the middle sized about 15 years. And I don’t have a teenaged mini-me as the obvious explanation. If I include only my work/professional experience, there’s a giant hovering question-mark…where’s all the writing? Either version presents an incomplete person.

History was my college major, but while minoring in English I found it necessary to know the “global context” of the books I read. What was happening in the author’s world at the time the work was written and to the author personally, the politics of the world, social customs; knowing The Big Picture became the foundation on which I understood the whole story.

Without my work experiences of the last fifteen years, I’m a writer in a vacuum. Without my recent and college-era writing experiences, I’m a clerk.

Why not tell my whole story?

Both make up the “marketable me.” Following resume rules feels like trying to cram a round peg through a square hole.

I am beginning to see the value of a timeline! (With apologies to Facebook.)

Would I get points for creativity if I handed out a personal timeline instead of the conventional resume?

Until I can seamlessly introduce myself as “Terra Osterling – freelance writer,” I’ll just have to lay out the big picture of who I am, where I’ve been and where I’m going. I don’t like the idea of portraying anything but the whole story. I don’t like the idea of playing down one set of experiences over another.

But I do like the idea of a clean slate. Hello, 2012.

Next week: Blog Make-over


Reader Interactions


  1. I have come to adjusting my resume -slightly- for each job i apply for. But in addition to the many attachments required I have a list of all my jobs I’ve ever had. I don’t know if it ever gets looked at but at least I know I’ve included it. Even though I have generally applied for teaching type jobs, I find my experience working in a t-shirt factory and natural fo
    ods store also part of who I have become. Also Of course you can say many things in a cover letter that just don’t seem to fit in a resume. Good luck, being the good writer that you are I am sure you will be able to express yourself.

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