BLOG OVERHAUL, DAY 2: THE “ABOUT ME” PAGE — TODAY WE KILLS IT

So I discovered the Writing Show the other day, and I downloaded Andy Hayes’ excellent presentation, “Presenting Yourself on the Web.”

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 ridiculousness 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.

Advertisements
Gallery | This entry was posted in Blogs, Crazy People, Getting Things Done, Marketing, Technology, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to BLOG OVERHAUL, DAY 2: THE “ABOUT ME” PAGE — TODAY WE KILLS IT

  1. Mona Madry says:

    Love it. It already sounds more intriguing.

    • mybluescreen says:

      Thanks, Mona! It’s so difficult to look at stuff about myself. The editing, that was the easy part. Now I have to put it all back together and cover up the scars. I’m gonna need lots of concealer…and a trowel to apply it. 🙂

  2. This is funny. I found your blog on Freshly Pressed and started browsing. I like this post best. It’s kind of like making sausage, really seeing what goes into writing. BTW, since I read backwards, I saw your new, revised About Me page and I think the finished product is great. It kind of inspires me to re-work mine. Good luck with the sausage making–I mean writing.

    • mybluescreen says:

      LOL! I have assisted in sausage-making (I say assisted because I didn’t really want to get my hands all gucky), and it is a messy process… A perfect metaphor for writing… Thank you. I’m glad you like new About Me page. That darn thing was hard. But I think yours is wonderful as it is!

  3. purrfectlee says:

    I LOVE THIS POST. Seriously, LOVE it. It may have something to do with the fact that I just took a perfectly good About Me page and began the journey to re-do it and what I’m coming up with sounds like the ramblings of a mad woman. You cut the fat and I just spent hours adding to it. LOL. Oy vay. I found you through Freshly Pressed. LOVE you, love your blog. I’ll be back. Consider yourself warned.

    • mybluescreen says:

      Yay! Thank you! You’re so sweet… And thanks for the fair warning. 😉 If you happen to see a girl with long brown hair peeking in the window of your blog…well, it wasn’t me! But if it were me, leaving Nutter Butters on the window sill might be a good thing…erm, maybe not now though. 🙂

  4. Pingback: BLOG OVERHAUL, DAY 7: AND NOW WE REST | My Blue Screen

  5. Beau Gamble says:

    I guess the fact that I just gobbled up this excellent, three-week-old post proves the point you made here.

    I.e. “But by linking past relevant posts, not only do you give your content a second chance at life, so to speak, but it gives you an opportunity to catch a new reader up to speed in an easy way and give a sense of continuity.”

    🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s