Unremarkable Me

 

unremarkable-me-sig

 

I’m exceptionally ordinary.

I realized this while struggling with my author bio.

Honestly, I already knew but it’s really in your face when you’re trying to create anything that requires you to write in third person the answer to an unanswerable question: Who am I?

I’m me. Just me.

Unremarkable.

I’m not being self-deprecating but I am wondering…

Why does everyone need to be special?

Everyone is unique. Not the same thing.

Let’s face it. We want our bios to be memorable. That’s the point, isn’t it?

I went through this last year while trying to write a social media profile and “About Me” page for my blog. I had a major WIC (Writer’s Identity Crisis) and deleted myself.

But this. It’s so…final. An author bio, many experts say, can make or break you. Break me? Eek. They’re right! I can’t just cut and paste and fix it. It’s there. In writing. Forever.

Eh. Okay. So it is.

No matter how many times I rewrite it, I’ll most likely look at it in a few months and wonder what the hell I was thinking. So I’m going to accept that and let it go. And while I’m at it, accept who I am on paper.

A unique yet ordinary woman.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

 

Do you have difficulty writing your bios? Do you change them often or write them and leave them alone? Do you try to present yourself as ‘special’ in some way? Do you even remember what your bio says anymore?

 

 

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75 thoughts on “Unremarkable Me

  1. I agree, bios are hard. I haven’t changed the version on my website since I put it up, but it’s only been there a month. I don’t go back to read it – maybe it is terrible and my friends are too polite to tell me.

    I think I’m “special”, but in little ways, the sort of ways everyone is special. I hope that comes across in my bio, but I really have no idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s funny, Sarah. The opening words of my (imaginary) autobiography are “She was an unremarkable woman”.
    I like that you have distinguished between special and unique. Although we are special because of our uniqueness, we may still be “ordinary”. There is no one else just like each one of us.
    Why don’t you ask all of your readers to suggest one thing that they think is remarkable about you? I’m sure you’ll get a lovely long list.
    I’ll start: Sarah has a generous heart that reaches out with warmth and compassion to those around her. She puts others first, often neglecting her own needs to care for others. Her writing reflects her quick mind and ability to view situations from a variety of perspectives. Her posts, like this one, are often written with tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating humour. Her modesty belies the skill of a true storyteller, able to create a picture or reveal a plot through the precision of word choice and language structures.
    I better leave something for your other readers, though I’m sure they’ll be able to list much about the wonderful, unique, awesome you!

    Liked by 4 people

    • That’s right! I remember that post, I think. It was filled with comments disagreeing with you. I think I was the only (unpopular) one who agreed with your word choice. I think we’re splitting hairs but there’s a connotation here that makes it seem like we’re full of self-pity. Not at all. I’m pleased as punch that I let go of that bio. It would have driven me mad so I spoke from the heart (into my phone) and it’s going to be in my book just the way it is.

      So. Um. I think I might print out your comment and tape it to my computer. You’ve made me out to be some sort of Wonder Woman. You are such a kind, lovely woman, Norah. You see the best in everyone. (Sometimes better than they are.) Speaking of remarkable, here is a woman who builds other people up for no other reason than to do so makes her happy. ❤ Thank you, my beautiful friend.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Firstly, though I know you weren’t looking for praise, you’ll get it, you’re far from ordinary. Unique and quite unordinary. You might not bowl overhand, but you’re far from bland. Otherwise people wouldn’t read you and you wouldn’t have one of the best comment sections I’ve ever seen in a blog. Now for the questions, rather than focus on special, I focus on what makes me weird and embrace it. I’m far from awesome and have several days a year where I actually could be a lot better, but I don’t let that stop me. In 3 years I’ve changed my bios once, and mainly to update info. I focus on my unique way of seeing life and I’m not even sure what my bio says, but I do hope it inspires people to read me more. It hasn’t broken me, yet it hasn’t made me. It is just a teaser of the randomness within, and that’s good enough for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aw… Thank you, my friend. ❤ You're an amazing guy. (Though how do you know I don't bowl overhand?)

      Yes, exactly! Focusing on the weird, odd, unique parts and embracing those. That's kind of what I did (leaving out the truly bizarre, you know). I have more than "several" days a year where I could be better. I'm working on it. Always grateful, always trying to be a better me. I've noticed you've not changed your bios much. I like them. They're uniquely JD. "a teaser of the randomness within…" I love that. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • you must document overhand bowling lol. And we can always be better and do well to strive for that. And I try to not change things much because it would show I’m not sure of who I am and although I’m not sure of many things, I know who I am and how I am and I shall always strive to be me. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Change can be good but I see your point. There’s something to be said for going to a writer’s bio and seeing (generally) the same content. Though I do feel strongly that, if the bio doesn’t suit me anymore, it goes. (Mine used to focus on parenting. Um. No.) Plus, things need to be updated even if we don’t change the content much. I’m with you, my friend, striving to be me. 💙💚💛

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Mine is about as ordinary as you can get too. I don’t know why anyone would base the strength or weaknesses of an author in their bio anyway. I’ve never read an authors bio until after I’ve read their book now that I think about it.

    Happy to know you, Unique Lady! #mast 💛

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Yes, I agree that not everyone has to be special because everyone is already unique.

    As for unremarkable, I think the jury’s out on that one. You generate the most remarkable comments section on your blog posts, and you have remarkable wit and insight.

    Just sayin’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Is the jury back? 😉
      Thank you, Ruth. You’re a sweet, supportive friend. Who thinks I’m witty and insightful. (Is this because of the Princess Bride post? Because I’m okay with that.) You’re made of awesome. I’m glad I know you, George Bailey. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. This. Exactly! I got so fed up, I typed it out on my phone and pretty much left it at that. I could have really worked and worked but I know I would’ve cringed anyway. So, now, at least I can cringe and shrug. Eh. Typed it in a few minutes. Of course it’s bad. 😉 Moving on!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, it’s highly unlikely to be bad! You know that so much work has gone into it already. I think we/artists are just terrible at looking at our work /ourselves positively and very good at self-deprecating.Its a constant battle but we all need to be kinder to ourselves and I think that means being firm with keeping out the negatives. Sending my best wishes!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m fairly sure that, no matter how much time/effort I put into writing a bio, I’d think it was bad (sooner or later). So I figured I’d put less time and more “me” into it. I do agree we tend to hardest on ourselves. That’s always the way. We do need to be kinder to ourselves. Thanks! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  6. What’s so special about special? Really? We all have a mix of stuff going for us but what makes one special? My mum was special to me; her mix of qualities worked for me. She’s special to my brother but no doubt he’d list a different set of qualities as the reason. Maybe Leonard Cohen, or the Pope or some bloke who makes great carrot cake at your local deli are special to you but others. who hold them special do so for other reasons I suspect. All you can do is list stuff about you that helps you define your self image; each is probably unremarkable and shared with loads of others but trying to distinguish between ordinary and special is like trying to catch a fart with a pin: not worth the effort even if possible. Love ya’ anyway whatever it is that makes you write stuff: you make me smile, you make me think: now that’s special.

    Liked by 1 person

    • True. We are special to others. And for different reasons. I love that point. There are a lot of people I can think of (ordinary, everyday people) who are special to me for some reason or another.
      I would very much not like to try to catch a fart with a pin. I’m getting too nit-picky here with words? I’m a word nerd! There is a difference. But I’ll leave it be. And I’m embracing all my odd, quirky, ordinary traits and putting them next to a photo and moving on with my writing. I’m happy to hear that I make you smile and think about stuff. Thank you for that, Geoff. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I thought I was a run of the mill bloke until I returned to school! I’m not saying you need schooling also, but there I’ve gained back a curiosity to see the little good things that make one unique. I’ve been raising kids for 19+ years now and am damn good at it. Also when I write I realise my worldviews and so question them, do research, and write again eventually coming out with strong positions I can defend. What I’m saying is that certain super parenting skills and certain worldviews are real bio-worthy qualities you can be proud of. I know I am 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know about more school for me, but I do love learning. I’ll never stop looking for opportunities to learn.
      I love this! “I’ve gained back a curiosity to see the little good things that make one unique.” You’re so right. Realizing different views of the world and parenting (the most difficult job) are things to be proud of for sure. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My blog is small. Not many people read it. Yet out of the whole world, you are one of those who not only read, but comment. This always lifts my spirit.
    So under your bio, you may include that through writing you uplift people you have never met. (Pretty darn cool in my book.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Geez. I’m starting to get teary. You never know how your actions affect others, do you? I love the thought of your spirit being lifted. You’re a talented writer and artist with a great sense of humor (and an awesome goldfish…or two…three now?) and I love visiting your blog. (Don’t want Snail to feel left out so I’ll mention him as well.) Thank you for letting me know this. ❤ You've now made me feel wonderful. And I'll pay it forward. We've started a thing here. I like it.

      Like

  9. They are hard! My bios are in first person. It was an easier way to interject personality and speak directly to the reader. The one on my blog is ten times lengthier than the one at the back of the books, which is much more “ordinary.”
    Side note – I love being ordinary – the expectations are so much lower! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ooh! First person. You go! That’s the big RULE about bios. Must be written third person. I love that you broke that rule. I’ll bet yours is fantastic and agree it’s easier to connect with the reader and show personality in first person. Yes, the blog/social media ones are, by design, different from books bios.

      Haha! The expectations are so much lower! That’s awesome. 😄 Here’s to being ordinary.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I originally had a third-person bio at the back of my books and then came across a first-person bio at the back of a read. It was so personal, a thank you for reading, a bit of humor, and a humble request for a review. I loved it, wrote a review, and immediately changed my bios.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. It took me some time to get my bio to a point where I felt comfortable with it. I tend to downplay my accomplishments, think of them as no big deal. I think because so many people accomplished so much more, I feel like my accomplishments are nothing to brag about. But the truth is that they are worthy. And I should celebrate what I’ve done.

    At some point, I’ll redo my bios on my blog and social media sites. Until then, I take comfort in the fact that I did something worthwhile, even if no one notices.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I downplay accomplishments, too. It’s so difficult. But, yes, they are worthy. No need to compare yourself with others. Yup. I’m with you on that… Being proud of the things I’ve done even if it’s only noticed by a few people. Or one. 😉

      Like

  11. Well, I flat out disagree with your assessment 🙂 Especially considering how difficult it is to write the bio. A less remarkable person’s bio might simply be: “she enjoys vanilla ice cream,” and not she has a wicked sense of humor and can twist a phrase as easily as a story line. She is a person who is so multifaceted you almost hope she has a multiple personality disorder just so one interest might get some sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I was asked recently to write an author bio for the website I’m developing, but also asked by my publishers for one. I can’t remember where, but as I was working out what to do about it, I read that it’s a good idea to have more than one anyway – essentially, a long one, a short one, and something in the middle. Initially, that was a horrifying prospect, but then I realised it opened up an opportunity. I could ramble for ages for the long one, then pick out the highlights from it for the shorter ones.
    That aside, my friend, when I rambled, I used it as an excuse to write about why I wrote – my inspirations, from a schoolteacher to what I watched on TV. Then I talked about my failure to write seriously when I was younger, before mentioning what I’d written and published, what I write about. I finished off with a short paragraph about where I live and what I do for fun other than writing. From that, I was able to cut down to smaller bios that were borderline interesting.
    I’m not saying that’s your template, but you don’t have to regale your readers with tales of tightrope walking and fire-eating. Unless you really feel the need to.
    Alternatively, as a writer of fiction, you could just make it all up. We’ll back you up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’ve always heard that you should have a short, medium, and long bio. Though pretty much every place wants something specific to what you’re writing (if you write in more than one genre). If you’re working on a nutrition article, they probably don’t want your fantasy or horror bio.
      Agreed. I don’t feel the need to entertain readers with my bio, only with my book. I’m quite uninteresting but quirky and that’s what the bio is. Me. Although… Now I’m thinking about the fire-eating. That’s a fab little fact to have in a bio. And, since you’ll back me up, I might just go with that one. 😉 Nice to know y’all have my back. You’re awesome.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I suspect a bio is unimportant and it’s what you write that matters. If you populate your bio with assertions that you might find in a poorly written CV e.g. I am a people person who is warm and considerate etc., the effect on the reader is obvious. I don’t think many people are seduced by the bio’s contents. If they are then I’m in trouble.
    If it is the first thing others read, then it is likely they are nudging towards a judgement about you before they have read a word.
    So, I reckon that time spent worrying about a bio could be better spent worrying about your blog/writing. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • True it’s what you write that’s the most important part. I know a lot of people place extreme importance on author photos and bios but, in the end, I’m not sure how crucial it is. And I agree that, if it’s the first thing people read, they are probably going to judge a book by its bio. 😉 I’m focused on my writing. There are no worries here about a bio.

      Like

  14. Bios are hard. My supervisor once told me that you have to write a new bio for each article you submit for publication focusing on what the particular magazine focus is about to persuade them that you are a good fit for their product. I guess you do the same when you are trying to persuade readers that they want to read you and you know why people enjoy reading you – it is written in all the comments above if you aren’t sure – so let that show in your bio – your humour, your depth of thought, your provocative nature. Let your bio tell people that Hey! I want to read more of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Don’t sweat it. I’ve rewritten my bio at least 10 times over the past few years, and probably will 10 more times. You’re allowed. It’s just that you have to remember to update across all your pages and channels. That’s a whole ‘nother job, lol. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. That is the inevitable fate of publishing, eh? Being forever represented a certain way. It’s easy to get gun shy. It’s easy to hide in the shadows and live off “what if”s, but it’s exceptional to stand up and step into the light. Be all out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, you’re right. It really is something to put yourself out there when it would be easier to hide. Especially knowing you’re going to be judged (and possibly cringing at your writing/bio). Thanks, Crystal. 💖

      Like

  17. I have had lots of drama writing my author bio, haha. It’s been as hard as the back cover copy! I keep going back and forth between ideas, what to add and what not to…I’m still not sure if I’ve written the right one yet. Hang in there, Sarah, and keep practicing different versions of your bio!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I know. Serious drama. Mine was definitely NOT as difficult as the back cover. But it could have been had I let it. I just couldn’t. I’m sure I didn’t write the best one and that is what helped me move on. The “right one” will always have a problem…I’ll always find an issue with it so I’d rather dislike one I spend a day on then a month. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m coming in way late because I’ve been away from the bloggosphere, but I think you’re an inspiring, deep, thoughtful, interesting, funny, talented woman. I like you. ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

  19. how does one begin to sum up an entity a lifetime in the making…currently I am reading some books regarding “affect theory” – and to jump to the chase: the ordinary (or the non-extra-ordinary) can move us more than the spectacularly tragic or traumatic. All of this aligns with my own aesthetic that privileges the mundane and commonplace. don’t know where i’m going with this…but there you have it.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pingback: Rejected Book Intros | Lemon Shark

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