How Do I Talk About…ME?!
(Insight on how to write a biography)
Writing doesn’t come easy for many. In fact, it’s a challenge for a lot of people, and oftentimes even more difficult when people are having to write about themselves.
Don’t be discouraged… there is hope!
A biography is defined by Dictionary.com as, “the written account of another person’s life.” Obviously, this is a very broad definition, so how does this apply to an athlete, a filmmaker, an entrepreneur, a musician, or any other professional? Simple. The focus needs to be on the written accounts of your accomplishments within your sport or field of expertise.
You’re not placing information about the times your grandfather fed you pancakes on Saturday mornings in kindergarten within your biography. Your focus needs to be on your skills, talents, and abilities, and ensuring that even when you discuss other aspects of your life, those other aspects still center around and tie into your skills, talents, and abilities.
Before writing your biography, complete the following FOUNDATION LIST:
(1) Pull out a piece of paper or open the notepad app on your phone or iPad.
(2) Write a list of EVERY single acknowledged accomplishment specific to your field that you’ve received. This would include awards, certificates, trophies, and any other EARNED recognition in YOUR FIELD ONLY.
(3) Write out a list of things that you’re really proud of in your personal life. This can include volunteer work, helping a sick parent/grandparent over an extended period of time, being honest in a situation when it wasn’t easy to be, making the honor roll, etc.
(4) If it applies, write out instances of and HOW the skills that you learned from your sport or field of expertise helped you in your personal life, or vice versa.
Once you complete the above list, you have a foundation that you can build upon to create a solid biography.
It’s extremely important to articulate yourself effectively, both verbally and in writing. You are a constant walking resume and biography by what you do with your talent and by how you conduct yourself in the world.
When writing a biography you need to consider a few factors to keep in mind in order to write the most effective one. What is an effective biography? One that makes your phone ring or keeps your email inbox full of people who are interested in you.
How do you pique someone’s interest? You need to get them excited about you, your talent, and how both you and your talent can benefit them.
TIPS ON WRITING THE ACTUAL BIOGRAPHY:
(1) Write in complete, grammatically correct sentences. How you write will say a lot about who you are. Are you sloppy and careless because you have a lot of typos? Or are you professional and precise because your biography is engaging and well written?
(2) Be sure to use spell check AND have at least two other people who are solid writers read your work. Spell check does NOT catch every mistake.
(3) Be honest. Don’t create lies about what you’ve done. Instead, focus on the great things that you have accomplished and speak honestly about them.
(4) Keep each paragraph limited to 3-4 sentences. Please make sure there is a double space between paragraphs. This makes it easier and more inviting to read.
(5) Avoid run-on sentences. Putting too many ideas into one sentence is annoying for the reader. Separate your ideas with the proper punctuation.
(6) Choose positive adjectives/wording that’s between a 7th – 12th grade level of understanding. You don’t want the words to be too complicated because the reader won’t enjoy the experience of learning about who you are. Furthermore, you don’t want to write below a 5th grade level because your writing will be less enticing and way too simple.
(7) Use the Foundation List (above) as a starting point for your biography.
(8) Write your bio using the 3rd person point of view. This means that you should be referring to yourself in this biography by your name and the pronoun “he” or “she,” depending on your gender. DO NOT USE the words “I,” “me,” “we,” or “you” in your biography. So, you’re basically talking about yourself, but it seems like “someone else” is talking about you.
(9) Create a strong and powerful opening sentence, and conclude with an equally strong and powerful sentence. Quotes by famous athletes within your sport or field of expertise are great for these lines, as long as you use quotes (” “) around their words and give them full credit for their words. This is where you can apply all of that wonderful information you learned in High School English. However, you can create anything that you would like. Original material is always welcomed here.
I hope you found this information to be helpful in moving forward with your goals and dreams!
Examples of well written Biographies
–Nitara Lee Osbourne
Nitara is an award winning film producer and well respected teacher. She holds a Bachelors degree in Mass Communications from Loyola University, and a Masters in Education from American Intercontinental University. She devotes her time working with passion-driven individuals on the path to seeing their dreams come true. Not only is she a college professor teaching Screenwriting, she has sat on the judging panel of the Phoenix Film Festival. She values any platform that assists those with the desire, passion, and hunger for seeing their vision through to the end. Nitara believes that everyone wins when an individual sees their creation come to life.