KISS Your Bios

Months ago I offered this question:
Do you enjoy reading about other writers, their bios and writing processes?

Once again, my fellow bloggers here added a fresh element that I did not foresee, in as much as most addressed ‘biographies’ in general, so I will also quickly address them: I do not generally enjoy biographies.

However, I have been surprised. If the person is interesting enough and their ego is kept in check, I can enjoy a biography very much, and I do believe that we, (or at least I), have addressed this in the past.

The same holds for my intended topic, author’s bios and writing processes as for the ‘interesting’ part.

(I really did not foresee this as anything other than a simple question, but with the Foxes and Hounds disliking biographies in general, I shot from the hip.)

I honestly don’t really care about other people’s writing processes. If there is one thing that I know it is that what works for one person, or ten thousand, is not going to work for another forty thousand, (or the next person), when writing.

Many writers who have found their niche, especially the newly published, will tell you that you absolutely must do your writing exactly as they do, because it works well for them.

Well, good for them, is all I can say is, but do we all sleep the same way? No, lying flat on one’s back may work for some, and it did for me for many years, but now I stop breathing if I do. So, should I have told someone that they absolutely had to sleep on their backs, or now, that they absolutely have to sleep on their sides?

No, nor will I tell them that they must just sit themselves in front of their keyboard and go for it.

That works for me, but I used to make copious notes, which doesn’t also work for me anymore, just like sleeping on my back no longer works for me now.

Some of these writers go literally into pages and pagesof ‘must-dos’ and ‘must-not-dos’, and some do it angrily.
They make quite a chore out of writing, (not that editing isn’t one), but where is the enjoyment? Where is the inspiration? How do they just tell people when and how to turn on their imaginations?

And I may add,
Why aren’t they flexible when it comes to characters and plots?

I have received that anger when some other writers ask me how I got done what I have gotten done and published what I have had published, or, conversely, why I have slacked off.
Well, some of why I slacked off getting published or writing every day is none of their business, but what I tell them about my writing process I often gets slammed.

I am glad for you, Fella, that you can “treat writing like a job”, and you can hire people or have a partner who takes care of everything else for you, (including your ego).
Good for you, Sweetheart, that you can go to your morning room with your fresh flowers on the table and demand that no one disturbs you while you write.
So wonderful for you to have your monthly writers’ retreats, where you write in bungalows overlooking the ocean or woodlands and you read your pieces aloud to each other at the fireside.

Yeah, well, that isn’t going to happen here, nor do I believe that any of this is would work for me.
I sometimes wonder just how honest they are, or how well they actually do write, when they go one and on about how wonderful their lives are.

But I digress; we were talking about reading writer’s bios and writing processes.
Everyone knows that I got a lot out of Stephen King’s “On Writing”. But ol’ Steve is the first to tell you to do it your own way, (but do actually do it).

A quick bio is sometimes interesting. Something about how a person writes is fine, maybe, but when they get up, what they eat, how they walk the dog, look over their garden, commune with nature, etc., etc., etc., as a prelude to their sitting down and writing is downright boring.

I want to say to those writers:

Short and sweet, People; keep the bios short. We all love our pets. You can mention them but not all of their names, how they got their names, nor their favorite foods, toys, and how they want to be petted.

Then, if you are asked about your writing process, and only if you are asked, KISS, (keep it simple, Stupid). What works for you is not an absolute for anyone else, and may not be for you in the future, and won’t you feel like a fool when you read how important your chamomile tea with almond honey and rose petals floating in it at your elbow as you write will seem ten years from now when you get truly busy with publishers pressing you or  you have a financial reversals, your partner fails you, your daughter and grandkids, or your elderly mother-in-law, moves in?

We all have lives. I think that we can all agree that writing something is a great accomplishment, and being published is something to be quite proud of; I certainly am. To be paid for something you wrote is joy beyond many peoples’ comprehension, but let’s face it, everyone who writes, no matter how well, no matter how famous they may be, no matter how praised they are, is still an ‘everyone’. We are all people who managed to do something that other people have enjoyed, which is nice, I admit, but so many can’t keep their egos from running amuck, and then having to tell you how special they are and how special their lives are is just really annoying.

As it has been said,

We are all unique and special,

Just like everyone else.


About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
This entry was posted in advice, author interview, autobiographies, biographies, careers, creativity, editing, experiences, helping others, how to write, imagination, inspiration, Life, lifestyles, Miscellaneous, Preparing for writing, Random thoughts, short biographies, The Author Life, Tonette Joyce, writers. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to KISS Your Bios

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    I definitely agree that it’s generally UN-helpful (to me) to learn the intricate specifics of a successful author’s writing process, or their office, or their schedule. I’m interested only in the sense of, “hmm… that’s unique.” I recall reading that one of the advice columnists of an earlier era [either Dear Abby or her sister, can’t recall which] would do her reading of letters and writing of responses while in a bubble bath. First of all, I didn’t believe it. Secondly, I was sure she had someone actually HANDLING those pages and writing implements (since it’s nearly impossible to read soggy pages or write with damp hands). Finally, I thought it was simply way too “precious” of an image for that columnist to conceive and perpetuate. And what shall we aspiring columnists take-away from her much-publicized habit? Should we grab a pen and pad and slide into a bubble bath? Ha.
    I also read a bio sketch of a hugely best-selling female author who’d written hundreds (?) of novels and was much beloved. When she admitted that she’d basically lock herself away from all distractions and her family wouldn’t see her for lengthy periods, I had two distinct reactions: (1) how nice that some others — perhaps many others — picked up the slack to run that household, and (2) how her children must have felt at having no access to their mother and realizing her books were “more important” than her own kids. To add a third note: how did she even have time to conceive children, much less nurture them?
    Don’t get me started.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly. When was at a famous author’s book signing, someone asked her about time, since she said the first things that she wrote that had been published were written at night, after work and the kids were cared for. She said, “I have to admit that the upstairs bathroom’s toilet didn’t see a brush for three years.” That’s honesty, but, well, mine get brushed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    The KISS method is great for most things. The busier people are, the less inclined we are to want details.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I find myself skipping through more and more,I will admit, even with podcasts as I do other work.
      But golly, how bored could you be to try to cover ever author’s cats and what they do all day? I love mine to death but can’t tell you where they are for many hours at a time, and they stay in my house!
      The FB pages have constant author’s cats, (and dogs), some of the same ones several times a day. Golly, people! Kids and grandkids are welcome, (except for 10 a day for two months from new grandmothers, or 40 shots or more two days in a row from moms of a Tball game!)


  3. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I’m totally with you on this post. I have to do it my way. I think it’s sad that so many people make heavy work out of writing. When I start feeling that way, I’ll quit. I agree with you on the biographies too.

    Liked by 1 person

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