One of the first things he says to ask yourself about your web site is whether it’s clear at first glance what it’s about. It seems like a no-brainer, but — cough — I had to answer no. In order to know what my blog is about, someone either has to read it or read my About Page to get a clue.
And after rereading my About Page — blarg. I need a new one. My plan? Today we kills it, and tomorrow we makes a new one. Someone hold it down while I get the red pen.
About Angela McConnell
“These things are always tough. How does one encapsulate a human soul into a one-paragraph caption entitled “About”? I don’t know. It’s like the tired, depressing writing exercise, “What would you want your obituary to say?” Nothing. Who wants to die? Off with its head! Nobody really wants to hear what a pain it is for me to write this. “Usually, these things are boiled down to basic facts: gender, age, profession/vocation, aspirations, hobbies, marital status, number and species of pets, et cetera. Ha-sahn, chop! This isn’t everyone’s first trip around the block, ya know. No need to explain the obvious. “If I were to write that kind of bio, then I would say (After 78 words, I finally get to relevant content.) I’m I am a 37-year-old married woman who is actively obsessively working to become a professional speculative fiction writer (all things fantasy, science fiction, horror, and what-ifs) (Again, no need to explain — my readers are smart.); whose professional vocation is court reporting; who is recently a former bar owner; whose current gig is as a stay-at-home mom; who enjoys bellydancing and reading comics, among other things; and lives with her husband (Fat Cat) and baby girl (Puppy), two dogs, and three cats. (Okay information, but I don’t like the sentence structure…the list of phrases starting with “who.” Not sure bellydancing is relevant to the business at hand.) “I hate those kinds of bios, but they contain the necessary facts that make up the social framework that people need in order to understand what kind of person you are. Shoryuken! Just…blech. Out you go! “I’d rather say I run the rainbow spectrum from the dark to the fruity, just like everyone else — maybe more towards the fruity side, in a non-sexual, still-laugh-at-potty-humor sort of way. (Meh.) I like to see love the ridiculous ness aspect that can be found in most all human endeavors. Blue is my favorite color, but green is my favorite mindset. (Half the readers are going, “Does she mean…?” and the other half are shaking their heads going, “What a fruitcake.”) Words make me excited. Metaphors make me cackle with glee. (Two sentences in a row there with the same structure and the same lame verb make me argh.) I love, love, love a great story. I love to lose a day lost in a great book. I love it when I scare myself while writing a scary story. I love it when I cry for my characters. I am a new mom, which makes me more aware of just how much I still believe in magic. I love my dear, sweet, frustrating husband. I still hear my mom calling me (even though she lives 40 miles away), thinking I’m somehow in trouble. I love cheering on people who are pursuing their dreams. (Feeling pretty lukewarm on all of this.) “This may not explain who I am, but whaddaya expect in an “About” page? All the other stuff will come out in good time. I banish you, evil, pointless paragraph! Begone with you!
Now, if I do a quick edit based on the above — no overthinking! — this is what I’m left with:
“I am a 37-year-old married woman who is passionately working to become a professional speculative fiction writer. I’m a licensed stenographer and a former bar owner. I live in Southern California with my husband, daughter, and too many animals.
“I love the ridiculous
aspect that can be found in all human endeavors. Words excite me. Metaphors make me cackle with glee. I love, love, love a great story. I love to lose a day lost in a great book. I love it when I scare myself while writing a scary story. I love it when I cry for my characters. I am a new mom, which makes me more aware of just how much I still believe in magic. I love my dear, sweet, frustrating husband. I still hear my mom calling me (even though she lives 40 miles away), thinking I’m somehow in trouble. I love cheering on people who are pursuing their dreams.”
With a merciless sweep of my red font, I have reduced my previous bio from 359 words to 155, six paragraphs to two. Already it’s looking better, eh? And I already see two more sentences I could lose.
You look worried. Don’t be. I know it’s bleh and…well, kind of weird now, but carcasses tend to look that way. Have ye a little faith.
Tomorrow Monday we makes a new one.