Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Writing Prompt - Your Author's Bio

Here we are, it's Friday again and time for the Friday Writing  Prompt. Today we are going to write your Author's Biography. Use the following "Author's Bio" prompt to stimulate those writing juices and maybe even come up with a variation for a 140-character Twitter bio or a short 50-word bio for articles or blogs.

Every author who has their own website, blog, or published a book, article or blog post or anything else, will have to write an author's bio.

Most writers do not like writing their own bios, however it's something that every author must endure the rite of passage into becoming an author.  For published authors, a bio is especially essential, as it is used as part of the press kit.

Whenever someone reads your writing, reviews your work, interviews you, or more importantly, thinks about buying your book, they're going to look at your bio to get some basic information.

So, why do authors find the process of writing an author bio so cumbersome?  Basically, authors have lived full and complex lives. To ask a writer to distill that into a page or less is a monumental task! If you have tons of writing credits, you might be forced to squeeze some of them out, only picking the "cream of the crop", so to speak, to highlight your career. If you don't have any credits, you'll be hard pressed to fill in your bio adequately.

One of the best ways to get great ideas for creating author bios is to visit websites of other writers and check how they've composed their own bios. For this purpose, make sure you visit successful writers' websites. Many bios will briefly mention the writer's other hobbies or interests, but these should be kept to a minimum. A bio should focus on who you are as a writer. However, the last paragraph or sentence of a bio often states where the author lives and whom he or shed lives with (spouse, children, or pets).

So, for your exercise today, I'd like you to spend some time looking at professional authors' bios, and write your own. It should be approximately 250-350 words, written in third person, and it should focus on who you are as a writer. Take your tine and go over your bio several times, editing and polishing it.

TIP: Try to make your bio as clear and concise as possible. Would you send this to a newspaper or magazine? If not, keep working on it.

VARIATIONS: Write a 140-character bio for Twitter (this should be in first person). Try writing a short 50-word bio (about the length that appears in article bylines and "about the author" boxes on blogs and in newspapers.)

APPLICATIONS: You can use your bio on your blog or website. You'll also find that you can extract excerpts from your bio to fill out profiles on various social media websites, especially once you get active with marketing and promoting yourself as a writer.


Did this prompt help you? Why or why not? Were you able come up with a response for the prompt? Did you use something from your own life as inspiration for your author bio? Did you remember to include past writing credits and a bit of personal information for the end of your author bio? Did you find this exercise easy or hard? Why or why not?

Please let me know in the comments below.

Happy Writing!