am writing, awards, bio, byline, ethos, first impression, Flagstaff, NAU, personal reflection, publications, rooftop, Sechrist, shouting from rooftops, submission, Sunday thoughts, writing, writing a bio, writing chops, Writing Life
At the end of most pieces of writing, you’ll find a few lines about the author. In less than 50 words, the writer establishes their ethos. Bios are frequently witty and include an impressive list of accomplishments. They rattle off their awards, their top-tier creative educations, their previous publication credits. This week, I sat down to write a new bio…and got stuck after typing my name. What was I supposed to say?
I’m not sure how people manage to make themselves sound so good. Maybe they really have done more with their lives and maybe they do have these thriving careers. That’s great for them. But what am I supposed to say about me?
I’m probably the world’s worst salesman. I couldn’t sell you a solid gold bar even if it was free. So, when it comes to selling myself, I don’t know how to do it convincingly. I’ve never been published. I don’t attend a prestigious writing program. What do I put in my bio?
Maybe all I need to do is write something passable. Something that sounds like me. I’ll stick to the facts — that I live in a small mountain town, graduated from college and have rather modest writing chops at this point in my life. The awards and publications will come later.
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Jonny Eberle is a writer in Flagstaff, AZ. A graduate of Northern Arizona University, he was the Opinion Editor of his campus newspaper, where a disgruntled reader once threatened to throw him off a roof. You can read his blog or follow him on Twitter: @jonnyeberle.