The only thing that has survived from my old “About Me” bio is my name. Everything else has been dragged outside and shamefully buried behind the shed before the stink gets too bad.
Why on Earth is writing these things so damn hard? Maybe I’m overthinking the whole thing. So I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at the “About Me” pages of three of my favorite bloggers (in random order) for inspiration.
Tobias Buckell has a pretty detailed biography that’s written in a direct, no-nonsense way, that still gets across his passion for writing. He covers where he grew up (an exotic locale), when he started writing, early influences, education and professional credits. I like it. I think he’s done a bang-up job of sharing a lot about himself that’s both interesting and relevant to his web site.
I also like the brief and to-the-point intro in the upper right-hand corner of his home page under “Your Host.” It reads: “Tobias is a Carribean-born SF/F novelist who lives in Ohio.” This seems pretty simple, but for my over-wordy-nerdy little brain, it looks like magic.
If I were coming across this for the first time, I would think, “Professional working writer, on the ball, doesn’t beat around the bush.” And that’s what I’ve come to expect from him in his blog posts. Good man.
Marjorie Liu has her “About Me” bio located in the upper right-hand corner of her blog, and it reads: “Hi. I write books about women warriors covered in demonic tattoos, and men who can shape-shift into tigers. If a merman or gargoyle shows up, all the better! I also write comics for Marvel. To learn more about me, please visit www.marjoriemliu.com.”
To me, this is perfect. It gives me all the context I need to dive in and enjoy her blog’s content. And if you follow her link to her web site, which promotes her novels and graphic novels, she has another, more detailed bio, the type of author’s bio you’d read in the back of a novel. This one is mostly biographical facts, but she also writes, “I love to read, I love to write, but what I love best of all is proving to myself that dreams do come true.” This line is a wonderful example of the type of blogger she is. She really is inspiring and a great cheerleader, and just darn likable. And her picture of her with her poodle is charming and very cute.
Finally, there’s Catherynne M. Valente. She has an “About Me” page that makes me want to sink to my knees in intimidation. Wow! And she’s an amazing writer! Her language is so creamy and rich, I just want to eat it with a spoon…which makes me wonder, does one need to be studied in Ancient Greek to be able to write like this? And to top it off, she comes across as one of the sweetest, nicest people you would ever want to meet.
So there you are, three “About Me” pages from three writers I admire and enjoy. All different approaches, all awesomeness.
So I ask myself, what do I want from my “About Me” page (besides it getting up and writing itself)?
Well, for one, I really would like to not look like an idiot. Yay for aiming high! Actually, I think this is the prevailing fear that makes folks shake in their little boots. This is like writing a résumé, and résumés are judged, and no one wants to be judged and deemed unworthy.
That said, despite what my mom thinks, it helps to remember that not everyone is going to like me. It also helps a lot to remember that not everyone is going to like my writing. I’m okay with that, and remembering that eases the pressure a little.
I would also like my “About Me” page to reflect my style of writing, give readers an idea of what to expect from my blog. It would be nice if I could make it interesting, intriguing, and a little bit unique.
And while I’m making a wish list, it’d sure be nice if it caught the eye of my future amazing agent, leading to a serendipitous email exchange that eventually blossoms into an incredible working relationship, whereupon we take over the publishing world.
Don’t judge. It never hurts to ask.
But looking at the bios of bloggers I admire has been helpful. I have some ideas, a few drafts percolating. I’ll show you what I’ve come up with on Monday. Why not tomorrow, you ask? Well, because tomorrow is the Sunday Short Story Report! Yow!