I had been tasked with the job of writing a small 1-2 paragraph bio in the third person. I am horrible when it comes to writing about myself in a bio setting, and to make things worse, it brings out my inner crazy to write in the third person. Apparently the former is fairly common. I am also having a very hard time taking it seriously, because each time I attempted it, I either got Otis Redding singing “Iiiiiiii was booooorrrn by a river, in this little ol’ tent….” (Change is Gonna Come, a fav of mine. Go listen to it if you’ve never experienced the true sounds of Otis) or good ol’ Steve Martin starting his bio out with, “I was born a poor black child…” (The Jerk).
I googled “Writing an author bio” and it only made things worse. I got tips like: Brag! (about what?), or Be Clever!. –– “wait, I can do that, I think.” “Clever is my middle name!” I say to myself. No sooner do I absorb that tip and get ready to write, then I come across this.
“Be clever only if you’re certain it’s actually clever”
Well that certainly deflates me. Furthermore they have made-up stats of the percentage of people who think they are clever (64%) vs the percentage of people who are actually clever (7%). My balloon of clever thinking immediately deflated into a silent puddle at my feet.
This puts me back to square one, with only my full name on the page, and me thinking, thinking, thinking. I’m great at putting a spin on things, I remind myself. Just write the facts!
The problem is I don’t have any of those regular down-home facts lying about. I have not led the a-typical life. In fact if you were to make a linear comparison of what the stereotypical life of a woman my age is, and compare it to what I have actually lived, it would be drastically heavy on each end, with very little common ground to meet in the middle. It’s as if at a very young age I decided my life must be full of dramatic quirks and side events that take me off the main road, to meld me into the human being I am today. I am in fact, somewhat fascinated by people who have lived stereotypical lives.
This means it is impossible for me to follow the examples that sites have given. “Author of this, or graduate of that. Successful citizen of this area, with these accomplished endeavors…” as it simply does not fit who I am.
So finally in desperation of time breathing down my neck (I was almost a day late in my deadline) I said “Fuck it.” I flippantly touched on the biggest arenas of my current life which are so far from what a bio should read, slopped some frosted sarcasm on top and submitted it. It was supposed to be short, and short they got.
“Gina Xxxx is the author of a small blog about rediscovering her single self in her middle aged years. Having moved to South Orange County 15 years ago with her youngest daughter in tow, she has adjusted to the Stockholm Syndrome of living behind Southern California’s infamous Orange Curtain. Since then she has survived raising a teen-ager, learned she is incapable of raising a dog, and is in the ongoing process of learning how to raise herself. Her passions include photography, Renaissance faires, anything with bacon and ice cold martini’s.”
I apparently think that I am pretty damn clever, but you know what? It worked. And that is ALL that matters.