Once upon a time, writing a bio meant coming up with 4-5 pages of one’s history. But today, with the advent of social media, the bio has shrunk to as little as two lines or in some cases, a few random, unrelated words that apparently qualify a person (at least in his own eyes).
I have had to write and rewrite my bio for several years now, especially when making submissions to publishing houses and elsewhere, and I dare say that the path my bio took – from a bunch of pompous statements to a description that reeked of lack of confidence, to a meek, unimaginative paragraph of milestones, to finally a concise list of facts – has been long and hard. In one of those transformations, taking inspiration from someone else, I added the line ‘I live in Bangalore with my husband and son.’
Sometimes the bio is required to be written in the first person and sometimes in the third. (As they say, the writer has to don many hats.) As per the requirement, I end up changing the ‘she’ to ‘I’ and ‘her’ to ‘my’ – or vice versa. One such day, hoping to get a favourable response, I was about shoot an email to a publisher, when my better sense warned me to read the whole thing again.
And then I noticed my bio, partially edited from the first person to the third as follows, reduced to a whole gossip column in one line:
‘She lives in Bangalore with my husband and son.’