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How to Introduce Yourself in a Creative Way

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and write a book. Or write a screenplay. Or start a business. Or become a DJ. Et cetera. Et cetera. But how do you go about introducing yourself in a creative way?

What can you say about yourself that will make your potential readers – or audience – want to hear more?

Your publisher, agent, or business partner may have suggested that you include a short bio in your novel or screenplay. Or a longer one if it’s a non-fiction book. Either way, a bio is a great place to start. Why? Because writers and creators often need inspiration and a creative boost. And a quick glance at your bio may just do the trick.

A bio can also serve as a handy reference point if someone is curious about your work. In other words, your bio can help them learn more about you and your work – which may mean more opportunities for you in the future. Finally, a bio can establish your creative authority by noting your previous accomplishments (e.g., “the author of X and Y” or “the creator of the award-winning TV series Z”).

A Short Bio

For a short bio, you need only include a few paragraphs about your life up to this point. You can leave out the boring parts (e.g., school, job description, etc.) and focus on the highlights. Here’s an example of a short bio for a fiction writer:

“Jade has written several novels for readers of all ages. She is the winner of the prestigious Maxine Rosenfeld Award for Literary Merit and is a contributing author to the anthology, 25 Short-Short Story Writers You Should Be Reading. Originally from the UK, she now lives in Canada where she continues to write and explore the country with her boyfriend, Will.”

You should learn from the masters. And you can start with the classics – William Shakespeare, Alexandre Dumas, and James Joyce. What is important is the way these three literary giants introduced themselves. Take a look.

“These wicked kids, these rebellious children — What will their father say? What will the teacher say? They are hurling accusations, threatening me. Gentle God, what am I to do? What will the neighbour say? My sweet bird, be brave – There is no danger near.”

Even if you’re not the world’s greatest writer, you can lay claim to some impressive accomplishments. Perhaps you’ve written an award-winning blog post or an article for a prestigious publication. Or edited a book that was a best-seller. Whatever the case, you can use these platforms to introduce yourself to the world. And why should you limit your bio to just these three paragraphs? Why not go for the gusto and write a full-length novel? Because even then, you should keep it short. A few well-chosen words can create a lasting impression. In this way, a short bio is ideal.

A Medium Bio

For a medium bio, you need to include a few more paragraphs, detailing your life up to the present time. You can start by sharing some interesting tidbits about your past. For instance, a lot of budding young writers come from creative family backgrounds. And many have a strong desire to write. How about you?

“Born and raised in Ireland, Colin grew up reading classic Irish authors like James Joyce and J.K. Rowling. When he was 12 years old, he wrote and directed a short film based on his favourite book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. As if that wasn’t enough creative spark, at age 14 he founded Random Acts, an organization that provides support and opportunities for creative young people. In 2015, at age 16, Colin published his first book, The Opposite of Popular, through Bloomsbury Publishing. He is also the founder and editor of the literary journal, The Niner. When he’s not busy being a creative genius, you can usually find Colin playing music in his band, Colin McGuigan and the Vagabonds. He also spends a lot of his time volunteering for various literary and artistic causes.”

You can also include details about a significant milestone in your life. Maybe you’ve just graduated from high school or university. Or just finished a grueling apprenticeship. You might choose to write about how overwhelmed you were by the responsibilities that came with being a grown-up. Or how you finally understood what your parents meant when they said, “Children are a gift, but they can also be a lot of work”.

“I finally figured it out. You can’t just grow up and automatically assume that being an adult means having all the answers. Sometimes you need to ask for help, even if you don’t want to. It’s actually really liberating.”

The above bio for an aspiring novelist is fairly standard. You would only change the names and locations to fit your own story. What if you don’t want to reveal your age or identity? You can make it your mission to find the “inner child” within you and let her shine through. In her book, The Creative Circle, psychotherapist Michele McDonald, Ph.D. suggests that you should “[s]trive to put yourself in your work as you would in a creative writing class. If you’re not used to writing in that voice, seek out a mentor or an experienced writer who can guide you toward fresh possibilities.” This is what you should do. Writing is a process and it can be challenging. But that’s what makes it so wonderful. Finally, make sure you have all your bases covered. This means including a short bio, as well as a longer one in the event that your book is accepted for publication. Remember, you can always add or subtract from your bio as needed. But keep it consistent. Else, you’ll put your publisher (and editor) off-side. And no one likes an upset publisher or editor.

A Full Bio

A full bio is simply a longer version of the medium bio. After you’ve written a book (or screenplay, etc.) you can include all the juicy details in the bio. What if your book was rejected by several publishers? Or you got mixed reviews? Did you experience personal tragedy? All these details can go in the bio. This is particularly useful if you’re not sure what to write about in your bio. Or you’re afraid that your publisher will think you’re being humble when you boast about your accomplishments. Remember: you’re writing your bio for a literary audience. And that means they want to read about your life – not what publishers think are the “best” parts. So, pour out your heart and write about the things that matter to you. Including your struggles and your triumphs. Even if you don’t think that they will relate – they might! And that’s exactly what you want. You want your readers to feel that they can relate to you. And maybe even see themselves in the pages of your story. This is why a bio for a writer is often so full of praise. Because these are the parts that they relate to. And if you want to make your readers (and potential employers) truly believe that you’re the right man or woman for the job, start by including a full bio.

“When I was a kid, my dad would read books to me and my brother every night. One of the books was The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. My dad loved that book, and – especially after hearing Gandalf the Grey’s story – he would often quote it. “What do you intend to do, Bilbo?” he would ask me. “Do you mean to sit there until your eyelids are too heavy to lift? Or will you go down into the valley and hunt for food, as I did myself not long ago?” These are the questions that haunted me. I wanted to do something that would make my dad proud. Something that would allow him to ask questions about my life. Something that would make the dwarves and Bilbo wonder whether I was up to the task. Something that would make me a keeper of lore. It was then that I decided to write down my own adventures. It took me almost ten years to complete, and during that time I faced many challenges. But I am glad that I did it. Because I have gained much through this experience, and I hope that those who read my book will feel the same. And I hope that my efforts will not be in vain – that my dad will one day sit down with my brother and me and tell us that this was indeed a good choice. A choice that brought great rewards and that we should never regret.