Stuck on writing a bio?
byon January 16th, 2012 at 07:14 PM (247 Views)
Here's some bio-feedback on writing bios
What might help in writing a bio is making a list of things you do, like to do, love to do, and have done. This might help you incorporate your strengths into a blow-em-away bio .
Just like writing your resume, you slant it toward the job you are applying for.
When I first started writing full time, I was at a loss over what I could do to bring in a little bit of income. (I had just gotten on disability and was devastated at the huge loss in wages.) To figure this out, I sat down and made lists, like the one above, of "things I do", "things I like to do", "things I have done", and "things I want to do".
I looked at my past jobs, what were my strengths?
I started out as an electronic technician and ended up a Quality Assurance Manager. I taught classes at work in how to do particular assemblies, how to test devices, and on SPC (statistical process control) and how to apply it to our processes. I taught inspectors how to inspect and testers how to test and assemblers how to assemble, so I knew I could "teach", something, but what? I knew I could "inspect" something, but how to apply that to my new job as a full time writer? (sounds much better than a disabled person, doesn't it? LOL) I liked to travel, how could I incorporate that into being a writer? I wanted to network: meet other writers, editors, agents. I wanted to learn more, attend conferences, conventions, classes.
Then, I made a list of things a full time writer could do besides write her novel: edit, write articles, speak, take classes, teach classes, critique.
Things I can do or have done / Things I like to do / Jobs I have done / Things I want to do
Inspection / write / inspector / travel
taught / critique / Tech writer / write
pubbed a poem / Speak/teach / teacher / Network/meet people
Networked/met people /Meet people / speak / Share knowledge
Learned w/classes & selftaught / learn Learned more / Learn more
I began to see a pattern to what I had done all my life and how that could help me become a better writer, and earn a few $$ in the process.
So, I made some crossover links. You know those lines we did in school where we drew a line from one side of the page to the other to link up ideas and words. This helped me write my bio.
I keep several different bios handy.
Here's a bio I use in my letter to organizations where I want to teach a class with a group that is a chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America):
For my Dallas Speculative Fiction Examiner position, this is my bio:I’m an RWA member and past board member and newsletter editor for my local chapter, NTRWA. I’ve published in over 600 newspapers nation-wide, have over a million readers online with my online media, and am a fiction editor for a local small press. My current WIP is an Urban Fantasy and is under consideration for publication. I teach writing both live and online and have classes scheduled currently with SavvyAuthors.com and several live workshops both in Texas and in The Netherlands. I’m a member of several local writing groups including several RWA chapters, DFW Writers’ Workshop, Writers’ Guild of Texas, and North Texas Speculative Fiction Workshop.
For my Fort Worth Hockey Examiner position, this is my bio:Pat Hauldren is a freelance writer and editor. She writes speculative fiction and is the co-founder of the North Texas Speculative Fiction Workshop. She is also a copyeditor for Crystalwizard Productions and attends many local and national science fiction conventions. Contact Pat at email@example.com.
For my Dallas Women’s Sports Examiner page, this is my bio:Pat Hauldren is an avid DFW hockey fan. You can find her at any Dallas Stars game dressed in a green wig, face paint, jersey with pins, and green tennis shoes. Pat enjoys writing about hockey, sharing her love of the game with others. You can learn more about Pat and her hockey jones at Housewife Hockey or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For my SyFy Channel Examiner page, this is my bio:Pat Hauldren's articles are intended to expand and enhance the excitement of women's sports in the Dallas area. Pat currently practices Tai Chi and Qi Gong and attends her daughter's roller derby games. Her favorite sports are Ice Hockey and Martial Arts. Pat is a freelance writer and editor in Grand Prairie and lives with her husband, many four-legged friends, and a large library of books. Contact Pat with your comments and questions.
For my Fort Worth Writing Examiner page, this is my bio:Pat Hauldren crashed landed on Earth. Ship broken, she was stuck. She survived on this puny planet by feeding her size XXXL mind on the likes of Heinlien, Asimov, Serling, and Roddenbery. She recognized many of her instruments on TV. She awaits coded messages from her home planet via the SyFy Channel. Send all coded messages for Pat to Pat@pathauldren.com
There are different ways you can approach writing a bio, of course. This is how it worked for me. (I’m a list maker, obviously LOL.) Brainstorming and other methods might work for you.Pat Hauldren edits books, writes book reviews, articles, short stories and teaches writing at local writing workshops and conferences. She enjoys sharing her love of writing and local resources available in the DFW metroplex. Contact Pat here.
Don’t worry about your bio too much. Slant or focus it toward the column you are writing, or the person or company you are applying to. Always be upbeat but not too goofy or trite. If your intended publication will be on trendy subjects, be trendy. If it’s a more serious news gathering organization, then definitely, be a little more serious (sincere) but not dull.
Other bios you might find interesting:
Samantha Chang is the Celebrity Fitness and Health Examiner on the national Examiner page:
Penny Eims is the Dog News Examiner at the national Examiner:
Robert Steffenino is the Fort Worth Horror Movie Examiner:Penny Eims, a lifelong animal lover, has dedicated the past 4 years to a large, non-profit dog rescue in Washington. Her experiences include fostering, writing web content, creating dog biographies, pet memorials and contributing to rescue newsletters.
Now, while we could certainly beef up these bios, they are good, solid bios. Short and to the point .Robert Steffenino has been a horror enthusiast for a very long time. A resident of Fort Worth, Robert has a B.S. in Journalism from Texas A&M University that he keeps on his wall. He is also one of the cowriters of the horror movie "Tales From The Grave 2-Happy Holidays" that he keeps on his dvd shelf. He also has a severed hand that he keeps in a box. Contact Robert at email@example.com.
Let’s look at Robert’s bio.
• “for a very long time” is unnecessary. The reader doesn’t care about something as vague as that. Now, if he had said, since 1965 when he first saw the movie King Kong in black and white and then had delicious nightmares ever since, MIGHT be interesting LOL.
• “A resident of Fort Worth” is important because this is, after all, for the city of Fort Worth.
• That he has a degree in journalism gives him credibility, but you don’t have to have a degree to write for much of online media. “that he keeps on his wall” is amusing and telling.
• Being one of the co-writers to a movie is cool and certainly apropo.
• “that he keeps on his dvd shelf” is obviously telling how popular it is LOL and how dear it is to him. (but makes me want to capitalize DVD LOL)
• That he keeps a severed hand in a box is hilarious and so very appropriate to this particular venue. Makes me want to see it, perhaps even shake it! LOL
Good luck on your bios!
Come join me for one of my online writing classes! This week: Me & Chi. Learn how to be a healthier and therefore more creative writer with meditation and easy, gentle movements.