Saturday, September 5, 2015

Never Write Your Bio While You're Intoxicated

by Victoria M. Johnson

Have you ever attended a party, enjoyed the food, beverages, and company of others, only to get home late and remember you have a bio due that night?  This happened to me after attending a festive bachelorette party.  My bio had to be updated and it had to be sent that night.  I had no choice.  I ran the obvious risks of typos and writing nonsensical gibberish.  And you know what they say about loose lips and Freudian slips.  So I was extra careful.  And I was glad I had turned down one more glass of "extra fruity" punch.  Yet, as I read and rewrote some lines it occurred to me what a bio could become and what trouble a writer could get into with it.

author bio by Victoria M. Johnson

Take a look at seven perils of writing your bio while inebriated:

You might curse:
Not exactly a flattering item to have in your bio, unless of course your books feature characters that curse and your readers clamor for more.

You might reveal a secret:
This is the final book in the series because I'm moving to a new publisher.  Or, this imprint is being phased out and I'm one of the lucky authors who'll write for the new line.  (Not when the editors discover you spilled the beans).

Self doubts might slip out:
I don't have any ideas left.  I'll never be able to sell another book.  Those troll reviewers are right. Why would anyone want to buy my books?

In looking at your bio you might decide you aren't where you thought you'd be in your career:
I would have won that award if Suzy R. hadn't won with her lame book about Vikings that only ten people read.

If you have a day job you don't like, and stare at it in your bio, you might quit right then and there--in your bio.

You might embellish, you are a creative writer after all:  
I'm like Stephen King, Nora Roberts, and J.K. Rowling all rolled into one!

You might be too honest:
I hate my agent.

Instead of your usual well-crafted, professional and impressive bio, you send this:

My book was a finalist for Best Romance of the Year, but Suzy R. won.  My stupid publisher refused to take out ads for my book, but they did for Suzy!  And my cowardly agent didn't have the gahunas to speak up.  It's no wonder his wife is having an affair with his colleague.  For five years I am was a receptionist for the stingiest software company in all of Silicon Valley.  I've had it with their low pay and flimsy benefits.  I quit!  I am better at public speaking anyway.  If you haven't taken one of my writing workshops you have s**t for brains.  My classes are always full and students say I am the best instructor.  Visit my website for details!

A public bio like this would surely change your career.  But that's not the worst that could happen. Instead of sending it to the one requester of your bio, you could unintentionally send it to everyone in your email contact list (including your press release contacts).  And that's not even the worst that could happen.  The worst possible thing for a writer to do is to write the most brilliant, unique, modest bio on the planet, and accidentally hit the delete button before saving.

As you can see, writing your bio while intoxicated is hazardous to your well-being.  Don't let this happen to you.  Write it before you need it, before you go to the party.  Give it some thought.  Remember, it will be findable online forever.  

Victoria M. Johnson knew by the time she was ten that she wanted to be a writer.  She loves telling stories and she's happiest when creating new characters and new plots.  Avalon Books and Montlake Romance published Victoria's fiction debut, The Doctor’s Dilemma, (A 2012 Bookseller’s Best double finalist).  Her other fiction book is a collection of romance short stories titled, The Substitute Bride, and a novella, Hot Hawaiian Christmas. She is also the writer and director of four short films and two micro documentaries.   Visit Victoria at http://VictoriaMJohnson.com for inspiration and tips and find her Amazon author page or connect with her on Pinterest and Twitter.

16 comments:

  1. LOL! Great post, Victoria! Hmm...what was it Ernest Hemingway said? "Write drunk, edit sober"? Yeah, it's that edit part that needs to be done in a room with no windows, no distractions, and absolutely no alcohol.

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  2. Hi Gina--
    Ha! You are right! You are so right :-)
    Victoria--

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  3. All great advice. Thanks for the Saturday smile

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    1. Hi Kathye--
      Thanks for stopping by :-)
      Victoria--

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  4. Replies
    1. Hi Beate--
      Happy to instigate the giggles.
      Victoria--

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  5. Thanks for helping start off my morning with a big smile

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    1. Hi Sydell--
      Pleased to get your morning off to a good start!
      Victoria--

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    1. Hi Carol--
      So happy to cause you some laughter :-)
      Victoria--

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  7. Excellent advice, Victoria. I'll keep it in mind. I'm off now to a Labor Day Cookout. Luckily, no one is waiting for a bio from me. (laughing as I type)

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    1. Hi Sandy--
      Have fun at the cookout!
      Victoria--

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  8. Funny idea--and it could get worse! Assume you avoided all the pitfalls and impending disasters that you name.

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    1. Hi Deborah--
      Yes, it could get worse :-) Thanks for stopping by.
      Victoria--

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  9. That was hilarious! Thanks for the warning. My problem is I revise the bio every other week or so and I can never seem to get it just right. Everyone else's bio always sounds so much better than mine.

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    1. Hi Karen--
      I'm always updating my bio, too! I agree, everyone's else's bio always sounds better :-)
      Victoria--

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