In this day and age, we’ve all come across these questions. We’ve either asked them or someone has asked them of us. This is commonplace. What isn’t commonplace is knowing what to say about ourselves. We’re afraid of bragging, of saying too much or saying too little, or of saying the wrong thing. These are all valid concerns, but they are easy to remedy.
For the longest time I had no idea how to answer people when they asked me about myself. When I became an author, it was even more difficult. Recently, though, something clicked. I realized that everyone has a predetermined set of questions they ask someone they’ve just met. The questions above are derivative of what I found.
Now, when I meet someone new, I have answers to their questions. My answers are simple, clear, and brief, while still leaving room for conversation. This came in handy when I sat down to rewrite my author bio. Here is what I came up with:
Alan V. Nelson is a writer living in North Carolina. Through the use of fiction and non-fiction, his mission is to encourage hope and healing in others. When he isn’t writing, reading, taking pictures, or on a long walk, he can be found enjoying good chai and conversation at a local coffee shop. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram @alanvnelson
The first sentence answers the questions of who I am, what I do, and where I’m from. The second sentence answers the questions of why I do what I do and how I do it. The third sentence answers the questions of interests. The final sentence answers the question of where someone can find me online.
My bio is simple, it’s clear, and it’s brief. It answers every general question in 59 words and 1 initial.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- Where are you from?
- Why do you do what you do?
- How do you accomplish this?
- What are your interests?
- Where can I find you online?
Even if you’re unemployed, this works. Watch.
John Doe is unemployed and lives in Texas. His mission is to get a job by submitting resumes, filling out applications, and getting a haircut. When he’s not looking for work he can be found in his mom’s basement playing video games, eating Doritos, and hanging with his bros. Follow him on every social app @johndoesnothing
An efficient and practical bio that works.
“That’s great, Alan, but how do I use this in conversation?”
I’m glad you asked.
Me: Hey, I’m Alan, what’s your name?
JD: I’m John. Nice to meet you.
Me: Likewise, brother. What do you do?
JD: Well, I’m currently unemployed.
Me: That’s rough, man. I’ve been there. What’s the job market like where you’re from?
JD: There’s not much work where I’m from in Texas, but I’m still looking.
Me: That’s great! Definitely don’t give up. How are you going about looking?
JD: I’ve been putting in resumes, filling out applications, and I’m on my way to get a haircut in case I get an interview.
Me: Sounds like you’re putting in the work. What do you do when you’re not looking for work?
JD: Right now you can find me in my mom’s basement playing video games and eating Doritos with my buddies.
Me: Sounds like the life! I remember those days! You have a Facebook or something? I’d like to keep up with the job hunt.
JD: I’m literally on every app @johndoesnothing
Me: Gotcha. I’ll look you up later. Good to meet you!
JD: You too, man!
Me: Good luck!
JD: Thanks! I’m going to need it!
Who. What. Where. Why. How. Interests. Online. Everything is covered.
Whether you’re a writer, unemployed, or something else, this way of creating a bio will work for you.
Give it a try but don’t take yourself too serious. Not only does this system of creating a bio tell people who you are, it also tells a lot about your personality. You might even learn something.
For more practical encouragement, pick up my Wayfaring series!