Being One Dimensional

Purple Horns


Hello.  I have no idea who you are, and I’m not who you think I am.  Have a nice day.

I spent much of today working on an extended bio.  Because I need one.  Because I’ve written everything else, the abbreviated synopsis, two page synopsis, query letter, and, oh yeah, the novel, but I haven’t written an extended bio.  It’s hard.  No joke.

I have no idea what to put in there.  What best represents me?  It’s like speed dating…with agents.

“Hi, I’m Mercedes, I love dark blue, moonlight, and I hate crudity.  I’m frightened by clowns, ladders, the emotionally fragile and I’m allergic to…” DING!! “Okay, gotta go!  Next!”

We’ve lightly hit on the subject of profile pics, and how they visually convey something about you.  You’d think that, being writers, using words would be easy.  It isn’t.

We’re too multi-faceted.  Do I write strictly about being a writer?  That isn’t all that I am.  Do I write that if I could do anything in the world, I’d curl up on a sunny piece of carpet and snooze?  I used to collect carousel horses.  Then I collected gargoyles.  Now I collect dust bunnies, but only inadvertently.

The thing about presenting yourself to somebody is that you’re most likely going to do it wrong.  That’s not you.  This isn’t what you think.  Somebody interprets your work and they were so far from what you were going for that it isn’t even funny.  As authors, we’re in the business of pimping ourselves out.  If we’re lucky, we find somebody else to pimp us out.  Some of us work hard at crafting “the image” and some of us don’t care.  We take pains to not sound like complete idiots, or we scatter ourselves across the Internet willy-nilly, dignity be darned.

I don’t remember it being this way before.  An author wrote a book, you wondered what that author was like, and if you were truly a fan, you’d write a letter, painstakingly print the address to their fanclub, and send it careening off into the universe.  Now you just hop over to their blog and find out that their puppies have food poisoning.

In a way, I like it.  (The blogs, not poisoned puppies.  Focus, people!) I like the accessibility.  I like that you can email people that you’ve secretly been admiring, and they’ll even answer back sometimes.  But on the other hand, they’ve lost their mystery.  It’s the proverbial two-edged sword, I suppose.  I want to know you and I want you to be mysterious. 

Yeah.  Good luck with that.

0 Comments on “Being One Dimensional”

  1. I’ll be honest. When I write bios I usually make stuff up. Not publishing credits but stuff like “Mr. Kelly lives somewhere underground in the Southern United States. Before that, he served as military advisor to President Grant for many years after the War Between The States.”

  2. When I was working as a technical writer, I had to write resumes. And the hardest one I ever had to write was my own..not because I was super talented, but because it was ME. So yeah, I feel your pain.

  3. I’m really a wax dummy stuffed with the fingernail clippings of lost children. Hyper-intelligent dust mites control my fingers with a series of cables and pulleys, allowing me to write.

    There’s the truth. Sorry.

  4. Really thought-provoking post. Do you know, I was just talking about something like this with my husband. I really like people to be a mystery– with rock stars and writers and artists whose work I really enjoy, I’m always reluctant to find out more. Usually my idea is better than a real person, right?

    Oh the things sacrificed for pimpage. It’s so dirty. And not in a good way.

    Aaron, seconded. That was awesome.

  5. Natalie,quite honestly, that would be one of the sexiest things ever! I wonder if I could get everybody to take a picture of themselves with masks? Hmmm…

    Jeremy- that rocks! Love the underground thing. Perhaps you’ve run into a few of my victims?

    Barry, so were you pleased with yours when you managed to do it? Mine just feels…ugh. I finished it, and that’s all I can say.

    Cate, you have great bios! How is your extended? That was my hair about a year and a half ago. It can be obtained by a magic little bottle called Herbal Essence’s “Paint The Town Deep Red”. It faded in this picture…I’ll have to show you what a fresh hair color looked like. Probably my favorite hair, but my husband hated it. HATED it. So bummed.

    Dude, Aaron, that was just awesome! 😀

    Katey and Alan, I’ve decided that you can inform or spew or whatever until you’re blue in the face, but nobody will every really know you. There is always that mystery. Everybody you see has secrets in their eyes.

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