It’s All About Me…

Or rather it’s all about you… well mine’s about me, yours will be about you. What am I flailing about you might ask? Biographies, your writers Bio more specifically. Most every written work has a short snippet about the author either in the front or at the back or even on the fancy dust cover of a hardback.

Now, I consider myself to be a fairly confident, gregarious fellow and I can talk about myself and my work pretty comfortably with almost anyone but! Ask me to write about myself and it becomes a singularly uncomfortable process. Many of you might share that feeling whether it’s for a C.V. or a Personal Statement. Writing something about ourselves has a permanence about it, the impressions we make in a conversation can be moulded, reshaped over time, and let’s not forget that, in terms of actual communication, words on a page or screen only hold a fraction of the message we can convey with our tone, inflection, body language and facial expression. Words written down are subject to interpretation so, what one person reads might prompt a different reaction in someone else.

That said a bio is not the deepest, innermost thoughts and feelings of the author. It is simply a quick handshake with the readers, a snippet about your experience as a writer and a brief expression of yourself so that the reader can get a feeling that they know a little more about you so that you’re not simply a faceless name on the spine of the book.

So, between carefully crafting a series of words that limits interpretation and sharing a little of yourself to engage with the reader, creating a bio can be somewhat frustrating. Try to avoid seeming self-important but you also don’t want your piece to be flat. Of course you don’t want the tone of your bio to clash overmuch with the tone of your novel. A gritty thriller written by an author who makes jokes about losing socks (not a real example) is likely to call some question to your credibility so balance the tone of your bio against the content of your novel and, as with everything, edit and review. Get someone else to pass over your bio for your own piece of mind and, again, as with anything else, weight the value of their advice.

Your manuscript is yours, any editorial advice you get from the industry is suggested to help you and you should give it due consideration. Your bio is about you and an outside view of what someone else see’s can be a benefit to that too.

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