Since they’re completely self-generated, these bios are actually autobios. Drafting them is an image-conscious exercise. Who am I/what have I done vs. how do I want this particular set of people to perceive me/which of the things I’ve done do I want them to know about?
What I won’t do is mislead or drift into the short fiction-writing realm. I’ve read so many subtly shady bios of people I know that toss in exaggerations or the names of titles and awards that mean nothing, but sound like they could mean something to those who have no way of knowing any better.
Awhile back, Ani DiFranco took issue with a magazine’s characterization of her as a self-made mogul. Technically, she is one. But she avoids thinking of herself in those terms, and doesn’t want to encourage others to view her in that light either. She said that instead of “ani d., CEO,” she’d prefer to be known/remembered as a “songwriter, musicmaker, storyteller, freak.”
Here’s my real, substance-conscious, “short bio”: I’m resilient, I’m not afraid of hard work, and I won’t flake out on my loved ones. I don’t take the days of my life for granted, I’ve owned up to and accepted the consequences of every mistake I’ve made, and I laugh at