Monday, May 23, 2011

Flash Collaboration: Tips on Writing Your Bio Blurb

Today I realized two things. 1) I miss collaborative art. 2) I hate writing my own biography blurb. So I sought input, and this is the result. Thanks to Tina C., Carol R., Dean S., Wendy S., Karen R., Betty M., Matt F., and Rene S. 

Writing Your Own Biography Blurb

You are a rock star soccer mom and kitchen ninja, and it's time to let the world know it. It's time to write your biography blurb.

Not just any biography blurb: the greatest bio in the history of the internet, the one that's going to revolutionize the art and practice of blurbing, the one that's going to catapult you into the rare air of internet darling and employed author. After all, you are a housewife with three kids living outside the most insulted city in the country, faking a basic understanding of SEO and nursing an anemic freelance career. The only thing holding you back is a quality bio.

Don't be shy. Tell your story, the way you'd tell it at some cocktail party you imagine going to in some city you've never visited with people who are really just on their way somewhere else.

This list is going to evolve your personal landscape, and is sure to drive traffic straight to your blog. It will give off a scent, and people who want to give you loads of money will turn Google into their personal bloodhound, clicking your link like hunters after a raccoon. That's right, these tips are going to make you reek like a wild animal, and you will eventually be treed ... in a tree full of PROFIT. You'll be shot ... shot full of RESPECT.

Keep reading for the kind of tips you can't find on any other blogs written by writers who give tips.

Blurb Do List

  • DO make awkward self-references that most people will not find funny. For example, "Laura Tokie hates to write about herself in the third person."
  • DO reference moments when you were inspired by bad teachers/writers to not be like them after some serious therapy. In fact, mention therapy whenever possible.
  • DO remember that author bios work best if they bear a vague resemblance to the contestant intros on The Dating Game. "In her spare time, [author/contestant #3] enjoys spear fishing and topiary . . ."
  • DO mention your pets. Everyone wants to know about them. 
  • DO include details concerning your multiple failed attempts at trying to develop and market a successful ice show entitled "Cops on Ice."
  • DO mention all sorts of hard accomplishments achieved and your daily tasks in such a way as to make everyone recognize they could never be you...and shouldn't even try... e.g. "[Author] loves running 30 miles daily and has run the Boston Marathon 3 times. In her spare time she sews mosquito nets for children in third world countries."

Blurb Don'ts

  • DON'T forget to mention the 1. substance abuse 2. multiple personalities 3. embezzlement from the girl scouts 4. an Uncle Earl...who ever that is. 5. any mob affiliation 6. "accidental" killings and dismemberment. You've already mentioned your pet, so that will soften any implied hard edges. 
  • DON'T publish your first draft. Do the work. Craft, polish, correct grammatical errors, lie. 
  • DON'T hesitate to claim you love sunsets, need your morning coffee, and are working on a novel. Some people fear cliché, but I believe potential readers enjoy connecting to your common side.

A Final Word

Be sure and wrap up your blurb. Find a way to end it. Land the plane. Circle the runway, put the landing gear down, bring her home.

Now go back to your biography and add 'pilot', my little raccoon. You've earned your wings.

Laura Tokie is a housewife, soccer mom, and kitchen ninja. She lives 45 minutes outside Detroit Rock City with her family and Dano, a yellow lab. She loves coffee and sunsets, and is working on a novel. In her spare time, Laura mocks herself and saves her pennies for her children's future therapy bills. She thinks "Cops on Ice" would be fun for the whole family, and often pictures Kurt Browning throwing a salchow in the space between the repeated phrase,"Bad boys, bad boys". Follow Laura on Twitter


  1. Oh, how I love this, Laura! I hate writing my bio, it always sounds so boring but this will certainly inject it with fun. A recent Twitter follower referred to me as a "Taoist foodie language geek" and I am determined to work that in somehow!

  2. @Lisa, what a great description of you! Thanks for reading the post.

  3. brilliant. i wish you would write mine for me.

  4. Thanks for stopping by, f.k.