We need multiple length bios for different uses, but today, let’s focus on a 25-word or 50-word bio. Here are the basics: Written in the third person, it’s usually two to three sentences that tells who we are and gives our credentials, plus a plug for our book, project, or blog.
Here’s one of my 25-word bios:
“Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Visit peterdehaan.com to receive his newsletter, read his blog, or connect via social media.”
I’m still working on it, but it’s a start.
A 50-word bio contains the same elements but allows more room for development. Here’s another example:
“Jesus-follower and wordsmith Peter DeHaan, PhD (peterdehaan.com) shares his passion for life and faith through words, changing the world one word at a time. A movie buff and nature lover, Peter looks forward to the day when pizza and popcorn are reclassified as major food groups.”
I’m still working on that one, too.
Now it’s your turn. Write your bio and post it in the comment section below. It doesn’t matter if it’s polished or a first draft. Someday you’ll be glad you worked on it now.
I wrote this last week—and revised it today—in response to a writing prompt Ted Kluck gave at a writing conference. His assignment challenged us to describe a memorable photo:
It may have been the pinnacle of my high school track career. It was at the biggest meet of the year, perhaps my life, and I stood on the medal stand with my relay team. The beauty queens presiding over the ceremony presented our foursome with our awards.
The medal was tangible and the smile the queen gave me, memorable, but the quick congratulatory kiss on the cheek was epic. I stood up, brimming with emotion, accomplishment overflowing.
My teammate’s mom stood nearby, poised to capture the scene with her camera. Sensing a photo op, I thrust my fist high into the air, proclaiming to all our victory, our physical prowess, our athletic achievement.
She snapped the picture at that instant, preserving the moment – and the memory—forever.
The Reader’s Digest recently asked readers to submit their life story—in 150 words or less.
With over 6,000 submissions, Facebook followers voted and RD picked the best from the top 100. The winners are all excellent. If I had to pick my favorite, I’d go with “A Meaningless Diagnosis” or perhaps “I’ve Got Dirt: Memoirs of Your Housekeeper,” or… Okay, I can’t pick a favorite.
Although I heard about this too late to participate, it makes for a great writing exercise.
I’m still cogitating how to condense my life story down to 150 words but if I do, I’ll add it as a comment.
A logline is a brief summary of a story that is designed to hook the reader. Ideally, it is one sentence long.
I recently entered another writing contest, where the challenge was to write a logline. Not just any logline, but a really bad logline. The rules were it had to be one sentence and under 60 words long. We were allowed two submissions. Interestingly, my two entries came to me rather quickly and with minimal effort.
My two bad loglines are:
In this fast-paced action thriller, protagonist Peter Piper is shocked to realize that his thumbnail needs to be trimmed, but lacking the appropriate tool to do so, he is left in a quandary as to how to proceed, all the while suspecting that the fate of mankind must surely rest in the balance.
Ladd, half-wonder dog, half mutt, is a caped superhero at night and a lovable, albeit lazy pet during the day, but when a sudden disaster strikes in the daylight hours, Ladd must choose between revealing his true identity and… “Squirrel! Did someone say, ‘squirrel’?”