What do good author bios have in common? They are all different.
A fellow author was looking for inspiration for her author bio this week. It reminded me how hard it is to write a bio. The monumental task of writing books seems to pale in comparison to this dreaded one-pager!
We can create multiple characters and entire worlds. Yet our minds go blank when challenged to say something about ourselves. Probably because these few paragraphs will represent us to our readers, our critics, and anyone who ever types our names into Google. For eternity.
What Not to Write
There are plenty of articles and webinars online, offering guidance for writing an author bio. Some include a template for the author to slot their accomplishments into. These don’t seem to help much if the author doesn’t have: a writing qualification, a string of competition wins, a bunch of awards, at least one best-selling title, a funny story about how it all began, and a furry writing companion.
Given that authors are creative people, a copy and paste approach doesn’t seem like the best way to go.
Where to Find Inspiration
So what did my colleague do? She turned to other authors.
Most authors have a bio on their website. This is primarily to help their readers get to know them. But it’s also a great place for other authors to find inspiration.
One thing good author bios have in common is they are all different. Because authors are all different.
Our bios reflect how we see ourselves. They include unique perspectives and personal insights. Our interesting histories, unexpected influences, and extraordinary sources of inspiration. These are the elements that help shape our writing style – the narrative voice you imagine when you read our books.
And they’re a whole lot more interesting than templates.
Why not check out the author bio of one of your favourite writers, and find out what interesting aspects of their lives they have chosen to share?
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You can find my author bio here.