Writing a bio

You wouldn't think it would be so hard to write a biography for a publisher. They asked for two versions, one of 150 words for the website and one of 300 words for the book itself. No problem, right? Anybody that follows me on Twitter knows I can natter on about myself for hundreds, even thousands of words.

So why did it take me so long to write?

I had to think about this for a while. The answer I came up with is that writing a biography isn't hard at all. Updating a biography is what's tedious. At this stage of my career, I want to use those 150 or 300 words to tell people who I am, what I've written and where they can find me and my writing. The issue gets tricky when I start to make decisions about what to highlight and what to leave out.

If I have 50 words, you get my name, my Twitter handle, a link to my website and a funny line about the kind of things I write.

If I have 100 words, you all that plus a few book titles and maybe a recitation of what other people have said about my writing.

If I have 300 words, you start to get all kinds of stuff. In addition to the above, you also get lots of titles of e.zines, websites and anthologies with my fiction. You get titles and links to the projects I've edited or co-edited, the reactions to my poems and where you can find them. You get all kinds of stuff.

But is that really useful info, or is it just clutter? Anne McCaffrey limited her bio to "My hair is silver, my eyes are green and I still freckle: the rest is subject to change without notice!". Her website, of course gave much more than that, but it makes me wonder if people read author bios looking for information about the author and his/her works, or just to get a quick sense of them.

By the way, my hair is brown (going gray) and my eyes used to be brown but have turned to green in recent decades.

===== Feel free to comment on this or any other post.


  1. Heh, it's hard to talk about oneself in a formal sense. Only thing harder is writing a blurb!

    Mason's & The Boy's eyes are natural barometers, they go grey when rain is coming.

  2. I find it really hard to write about myself, I just had to do one in 50 words, sounds easy yes, no it wasn't but I managed it......

    My eyes have always been brown, my hair is now silver, but my eyes haven't changed I think ^__^

  3. I know! It is so much harder than it sounds.

    And I wish my eyes could change color.


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