How Writing Bios Can Help Build Your Platform.

During my studies last trimester I undertook my final writing subject.  My first assignment was to write a non-fiction book proposal.

It didn’t take me long to type up the idea for my book, but what was stopping me in my tracks was writing up the biographical details.  I had to meet certain word limits for my overall assignment, so I had to make sure what I wrote in my bio was not only tight but relevant to my proposal.  What really stumped me was what I had to write within the first paragraph – show why I was well equipped to write this particular book.  Trouble was, I had the knowledge, but I didn’t have the experience to help back it up.

I was stunned by my inexperience and felt like a complete amateur.  Writing my bio helped me assess where I was currently with my writing platform and what needed to be done to make it better.  I had to lift my game, not only within my topic but my writing credits as well.  Writing the bio helped me dig a little deeper within my chosen genres, discovering my angle and therefore my ‘brand’.

By making my bio tighter I managed to discover more about myself, as well as my current strengths and weaknesses within my platform.  There’s plenty of work still to be done!

Have you written a short bio?  Has writing a bio helped you discover your strengths and weaknesses within your platform?  What have you done to help make your platform and bio better?

Free image by Simon Howden courtesy of

On Writing & Making Sacrifices.

It’s sad but true; I seem to have a bit of an obsession with time.  Time needed to spend with my family, time needed to write in order to be published and build my writers platform.  We all have the same hours in the day, yet I’m finding that maintaining a balance with everything required to become a writer these days can be quite daunting.  Here are the top five on my list of sacrifices:-

  • Housework.  Now let’s face it, we could all do without this one!  I read recently in a magazine an author let her housework pile up for a year to concentrate on writing her novel.  After leaving her housework for so long, I can just imagine it would have taken months to clean it all up; imagine the amount of antique dust!  Personally, I don’t think I could let the housework go for that long.  Maybe just not obsess about it so much; housework is after all a thankless task.
  • Watching television.  Okay, guilty once again, yet I don’t watch as much as a lot of other people, which is a good thing.  I probably wouldn’t watch more than about five shows in an entire week, though I can sometimes be guilty of watching what I own on DVD.  So watching less DVDs ought to do the trick – they’re not going anywhere.
  • Sleep.  This is a tricky one.  I could certainly do with less sleep in order to keep up with other things, yet sleep is required to re-charge the batteries.  I don’t know about you, but unfortunately, the older I seem to be getting, the more beauty sleep I need!  Whilst doing my studies, after the kids have gone to bed, I generally hop onto the computer to do more work.  Believe me, at the end of the day, all I want to do is crash, and there are times when I really have to force myself, yet before I know it, when I look at the clock, it can usually be between 11pm and midnight.  Applying this rule to writing forces you to keep going (just make sure you have the internet turned off!)
  • Internet/Social Networks.  Here’s another catch-22.  Writers need to connect with other writers and make sure they are building their platform.  The way I go around this one, I wrote about in an earlier post.  Go on to social networks after you’ve finished your writing for the day to reward yourself; you’ll feel better for doing so and be willing to talk to others of your achievements.
  • Reading.  Yes, you probably think I’ve gone mad and I probably have because this is the hardest sacrifice I have to make!  It’s not that I could give reading up altogether – that’s impossible! – it’s just that I need to read less.  Reading inspires me to keep writing and I find pleasure in creating my own stories more.  Read in moderation, yet write in excess!

What sacrifices are you prepared to make for your writing career?