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It’s Called a Bio, not an Autobio

I recently rewrote the bio and artist statement for a friend’s website.  She had all of the info there, but she knew that the delivery could be better.  That’s when I entered the picture.  I rearranged, simplified and solidified her statement and message.  I had fun with it and she LOVED the final product.  This was easy for me.  It was easy and it was fun.  So why can’t I do the same for my own bio?

I’ve been meaning to rewrite my bio for, oh, four months now.  Pretty much ever since my website went live.  I wrote something quick, dirty and to the point fully intending to re-do it ASAP.  That definitely hasn’t happened.  Since then I have written thousands of words, yet I can’t quite bring myself to re-do my bio.  In fact, I am choosing to write a blog post about rewriting my bio right now, instead of just rewriting the damn thing.  If that isn’t some stellar procrastination in action, I don’t know what is!

Truth be told, I would rather write anything else.  I would choose to rewrite the menu of a dollar-a-scoop Chinese restaurant over rewriting my bio.  I hate writing about myself – I don’t mean about my thoughts or feelings.  I think you have all figured out that I have no issues with that whatsoever!  What I hate is summing up who I am in a couple of paragraphs and, in some regards, selling myself to the reader.

What do I include, what do I leave out?  Do I make it fun and witty, or “Just the facts ma’am?”  Since I’m a writer, there’s that added pressure that it has to be really good, to drive home the fact that I’m a writer.  Now mind you, I can look at someone else and tell you what is relevant and apropos for the given situation.  I have a monthly article where I do just that, and I love that project.  But I can’t do it for myself, and I don’t think I’m alone in this.  I feel that as a culture we don’t like talking about ourselves.  If you tout all of your skills and strengths, you’re a braggart.  If you downplay those things, you’re self-effacing.  In reality, you might be a totally kick-ass person, but it’s awkward to say that about yourself.

This is why I think that all bios should be written by someone else.  After all, they are called bios, not autobios.  In all seriousness though, I don’t think you should write your own bio.  You’re too close to the matter at hand to be objective.  You will get a much truer representation, if the description is coming from someone else.  Or this whole random blog post has been a stream-of-consciousness bit of sophistry so that I can justify not rewriting my bio for another couple of months . . .