When asked to create a piece for a website, newspaper, magazine, literary journal, or any other source, I jump right in. Ideas flow freely and with great creative insight. Inspiration is endless.
But in the face of producing a Personal Bio, I freeze up or run, or both. Who am I? What makes me noteworthy? Who’s really gonna care?!
A Universal Curse
You might be surprised to find that numerous other writers have described the same experience. From freelancers to literary scribes, this is a challenge for many. How do we move from sketching out an extraordinary world, created in the mind, to honestly and accurately portraying our skills and experience?
I say, “Briefly.”
As a writer, I look at the bios of my colleagues and classify them thusly:
- Bold and grandiose
- Meek and boring
- Written by a publishing company
I hate them all. But I do read them. Honest.
I might want to know where they live or what else they’ve written, but I don’t want to hear about how much better their credentials are or how many awards they’ve earned. My insecurity about such things can be profound.
Besides, once you have my bio, can the request for a head shot be far behind? Don’t get me started on how the camera loves me…not!
Will You Like Me?
The thing is, once my bio is in print, I’m there for the whole world to see…and criticize. It is the equivalent of standing on a stage in your underwear. Vulnerable. No more chances to explain or add comments. That’s it, that’s all you know about me. Yikes.
I just submitted my recently revised bio. This one will introduce me at The Midwest Writer’s Institute, in a panel where I will be presenting on the topic, The Benefits of Critique.
If nothing else, the damn thing is short. I can promise the attendees a well thought out, informative presentation and a lively discussion. Plus I think I am moderately entertaining, essential for a nighttime panel where the choice is me or a night out at Madison’s finest brew house. I’m sure you’ll hear about it if I’m not.
Now that the bio is turned in, I wonder: can I get a Lifestyle Lift before next Thursday?
I sure don’t want to scare anybody.