To all you self-employed artists and small business people—please don’t make the same mistakes I did.
Last night I had a startling revelation. I don’t have a page that tells people about me. I tell you about my book. But there’s nothing about me, the author. I need an author about page (also, I saw on an online course about writing books that you’re supposed to have an author bio. Which is weird because my book is a bio. If you want to read my “bio,” just read my book for crying out loud. If I give you a bio ahead of time, isn’t that kind of like a spoiler?)
Anyway, so I write the damn thing and then I read it and realized “This is the worst frakking “about page” I’ve ever seen. Am I out of my Vulcan mind publishing this piece of sh*t to the internet?”
So, I wanted to share with you the three reasons that make this a god-awful “about page” so that you don’t make the same mistakes I made.
#1. I’m too honest
say said things on the page like I’m an “award-winning filmmaker,” but then I proceeded to tell you that the awards I won are awards you’ve probably never heard about. Whenever anyone tells you they’re an award-winning anything, but don’t say what the award are, don’t trust them.
No one says Meryl Streep is an “award-winning” actress; or that Serena Williams is an “award-winning” tennis player; or that Beyonce is an “award-winning” singer. My awards were in the realm of filmmaking. But they weren’t Oscars, or Emmys, or even Tellys! They were for local videographer associations I belonged to; and two years in a row I was voted one of the top 25 wedding videographers in the world by the readers of a magazine that, while well-respected at the time, is sadly, and regrettably, no longer in print.
Are you planning a wedding? Do you need a videographer? No? You probably wanna read a f-ing book. So why in the world would you care about me being an award-winning wedding videographer? Should I also tell you I’m an award-winning swing dancer? (That’s not a joke. I really am. Back in 1997, after 5 weeks of always making it to the finals but never quite pulling out the stops to win, my dance partner and I won the Hollywood Coconut Grove weekly swing dance competition. Prize was $500. Each! And we won just in the nick of time. The following week they dropped the prize money to $100! Shortly after that, the club closed. I’m seeing a pattern here. Anyway. I digress.)
#2. It’s insulting
Some of you may find some of my choice of language insulting. Honestly, I don’t know why I do this. Actually, I do. It’s most likely related to my ADHD combined with a low E.Q. But still, it’s no excuse to treat you like that. (I’ve learned in my various ADHD training courses, videos, and podcasts that even though the effects of the disorder are real, they’re no excuse to shirk responsibilities or treat people poorly. Oh, and by “training,” I don’t mean they train you to have ADHD. That would be silly. They train you on how to deal with it. You must be an idiot if you thought the former. Frak! Sorry. There I go again.)
Anyway. Some of the stuff I say may insult you. I don’t mean to though.
#3. It’s in the first person
Everyone knows that a good “about page” is written in the third person. It makes you seem important—like somebody else is writing about you.
But honestly, whenever I read a 3rd person “about page” on what is clearly a 1st person website or blog, all I can think to myself is “Is this person schizophrenic? They do know we know it’s them writing this thing? Right?” And I just didn’t want you thinking that about me.
The flaw in my argument
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Um, Ron, this is a blog. Just update the page if it’s so bad.” First, do you think I’M an idiot? (Now who’s being insulting?) Do you think I didn’t already think of that? I’m sorry, I’m sure you just have loads and loads of time on your hands, but I don’t. MY time is extremely limited. I have a full-time job, a family, marketing this book and blog, catching up on Cobra Kai (that show kicks ass), and I still have to get to Season 3 of Stranger Things.
So I made a choice: do I update my about page, or warn the world about the errors of my ways? I chose the latter because I care more about you than I do about my myself. That’s called empathy. Sorry if my desire to help you from making a mistake hurts your precious, selfish, capitalistic, self-indulging, narcissistic sensibilities. I’m sure Y0U would have taken the time to change the page vs. help your fellow man/woman/non-binary person. What, are you some kind of Trump supporter that you don’t get that?
Oh, snap. Sorry. See. I’m pretty sure that was my ADHD again. I know you meant well when you thought “Ron, why don’t you just update the page.” I had no business insinuating you were a Trump supporter. That was a low blow. I hope this little misstep doesn’t discourage you from reading the book. I really think you’ll like it. (Unless you really are a Trump supporter, in which case, you might not like it. But still go ahead and get it. I promise you won’t be sorry. Much.)
Okay. What was this blog post about again?
Ron Dawson (aka “Ronald”) is a satirical writer, filmmaker, self-admitted blerd, managing editor of a major filmmaking blog, and author of the pending satirical memoir “Dungeons ‘n’ Durags: One black nerd’s epic quest of self-discovery, racial identity, and woking up in Trump’s America.” Sign up for the email list to get access to a sample chapter and be notified of the book’s release.
That’s the other thing. All of my blog posts have these little mini bio paragraphs. Why the hell do I need a whole page? Dagnabbit. So I pretty much wasted my time. Twice. Writing the damn thing in the first place, then warning you about it.
I gotta go to work.
The header image is a screenshot from John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club. Universal Pictures. All rights reserved. I’ll email you a second sample chapter to my book if you can guess the scene and tell me the relevance to this blog post. Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can get your first sample chapter here.
Notice that this is a post, post script. NOT a post script script. Get it? STOP writing P.S.S. at the end of your emails after your P.S. when you mean P.P.S. It’s annoying and it’s gotta stop. Now!
And that’s how you do an ADHD-induced non-sequitur!
Also published on Medium.