For the last month and a half...
I've been going through the intermediate growing pains of running my own little business. It's not easy, but it is infinitely rewarding.
I'm trying to set up my home office. I'd already had a setup, but then I realized sitting in a plastic chair set in front of a too-high desk was extremely uncomfortable. More on that later.
I'm also working on what is probably one of the most dreaded projects a writer can work on; their own bio. I'll admit it, I was embarrassed to even mention that I was struggling with it on my professional website. I thought that by publicly stating writing my own bio presented a uniquely difficult challenge, it would be like openly admitting I'm a bad writer. Not so.
Apparently, writing one's own bio is probably one of the toughest projects most writers will ever have to do. Of course, this doesn't go for all writers; some of my peers seem to have had a much easier time about it than others. Still, the shame of not having produced my bio gnawed at me. That is, until I saw a discussion and "how to" pointers crop up on one of the writer forums I belong to.
Learning that other writers have the same problem definitely eased the stress (of how I'd be judged by my peers). Now, I was able to talk about it openly. When I searched online for "bio" and "how to," I stumbled onto a plethora of other writer web pages where they explaining they'd gone through the same thing.
What's stumping me? Well, first of all, try to speak of yourself in an objective manner without sounding like a pompous ass. Personally, I feel guilty heaping praise on myself. It feels like cheating somehow, even though it's not (in this case, as applies to my career).
The second and more important roadblock, is figuring out how to word one's own bio. Do I write it in the first person or third person? I spoke with my peers about this; their responses confused me even more. One friend (whose professional opinion I highly respect) told me that under no circumstances should I even think of writing in the first person. That was tantamount to a cardinal sin in the publishing industry. Well, guess what I came across when I looked around on the internet at other writer's bios? All the best bios (in my opinion) were written in the first person. I also enjoyed reading first-person bios a heck of a lot more.
Finally, a (very successful) journalist friend of mine gave me the best advice. He said he'd written his bio both in the first and third person. In the long run, that didn't matter so much as writing a GOOD bio. The rest was a matter of personal preference.
Which brings me to the conclusion of this post. My foray into becoming a writer was out of personal preference. My continuing on to start my own business was out of personal preference. So, it stands to reason that my bio should reflect my personal tastes, and not an industry standard (which as I saw, it actually wasn't).
Now all I need to do is stop procrastinating and get. to. writing. my. bio.
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