It occurred to me today that I need to write another author bio. I recently bit the bullet and finally rewrote my bio for 2014. I have it here on The Craft of Writing Fiction, and on The Flight of Torque website. But, as I was looking at that “author bio” page in the back of my manuscript, it occurred to me that I need to write another one.
You see, there are author bios, and then there are author bios. The bios I’ve used on the Web are changeable. I can update them as time passes. So using dated material doesn’t really matter. Every year or two I tweak the bio or, like I did recently, rewrite it completely to reflect the changing directions of my interests and my career. Having it malleable like that is fantastic because I can keep it updated to reflect who I am today.
But that little bio, the one paragraph one for the back of my book? That’s going to be in print. Immortalised. And yes, while I can ultimately update the book if I feel I need to, the author bio in printed copies will remain exactly same as when it went to print. The author bio inside the covers of the book needs to have more longevity than Web content. It needs to reflect, not just who I am today, but who I’ll be tomorrow.
So, yes. It seems I need to write another bio. And bios aren’t an easy thing to write. It can be difficult to give yourself permission to wax lyrical about yourself. When I write bios for others it is easy. I can objectively observe their traits and virtues, their accomplishments, achievements, and their successes. When I’ve written resumes for other people it’s been a simple thing to power-play their skills sets. When I’m writing about myself it is much harder.
I find the only way I can do it is to think from outside of myself. Look at my accomplishments as if they were those of a client. When I do that I actually get a pretty good buzz because I can pinpoint the aspects that sell me as an author and experienced writer/editor. From outside of myself and my own insecurities and lack of self-confidence I can put a pretty good spin on everything and not feel like I’m tooting my own horn. Of course, I feel like I’m tooting my own horn right now, but the thing is, that’s what you’ve got to do when you’re writing your own bio. You’ve got to step out of yourself, and let yourself write it as if you were tooting your horn about the virtues and experience of your idols.
Now, I have to try to sum up who I am today, who I’ll be tomorrow, in a single paragraph that will be immortalised in print. I’ll share it in the comments when I’m done.
Have you considered writing your bio? Why don’t you join me and write yours now? I’d love to read it, so please post it in the comments and remember, step outside of yourself and truly acknowledge all the awesome experiences and achievements in your life. Play up your skills and sell yourself. Pretend you’re writing the bio of a favourite author, one you love and whose work and accomplishments you admire, because truly, you should be very proud of yourself for all you’ve already done.