I’ve been stalling writing a bio for the Carrot Ranch Congress of Rough Writers for weeks and weeks – a couple of posts on what makes me a writer were very useful – a diversion crawling up a label before getting down to the substance of who or what I am. This week  Charli has posted her 99th prompt for another 99 words out of us so I thought it apt that I give myself 99 kicks up the backside and get on with it.

What to include?

Having decided I am a Writer there was still the difficulty of what else to include in a bio. Being a perfectionist I decided to research it. I won’t bore you with the stuff that comes up on google but it was mostly leadership-yadda for LinkedIn. How-Big-A-Cheese-In-The-Cheese-Shop you were and all that is work achievement and status based.

Then there are indeed more artsy bios for people like actors – again a list of successes, what they’ve appeared in, career awards, who’s directed them (but only if they’re a big stinky cheese in the directing world)

Writers then seem to fall into a couple of categories – those who have published enough to warrant a LIST! In fact these are no longer Writers but Authors.. (The blue veined Stiltons of the Writing World) And then there’s the rest of us normal or not-so-normal wannabes. (Perhaps an occasional whiff of soured milk but not much else.)

The wannabes are further subdivided into bios with trumped up and grandiose covering up of not much and finally a bunch who declare warts and all. I think I’m falling into the latter category. Love me, love my dog, love my writing.

And I don’t have a list of achievements – well, actually I do but I’m confused about which are relevant to my writing..

Should I throw in my MSc and my kick-arse career up to the point of cancer? Should I play the cancer card at all? It’s a weakness surely – a biological deficit or lifestyle error. No one selling themselves usually lays out their negatives..

Do I care for now? Probably not – I’m writing a memoir that may well be blown out of the water for even purporting to survive a terminal diagnosis. There’ll be plenty who will dismiss me as an hysteric who must be either deluded, mis-informed or misdiagnosed or somehow not of sufficient IQ to wrap my cortex around the preposterous break from the norm.

But in a way this is a digression. Let’s get back to the few words Charli wants and what I hope it achieves. It needs to say enough that anyone reading it on her blog is curious enough to pop over to mine. And the answer to that is..

I have no idea!

So, I decided to turn it around and think what inspires me to pop over to new blogs (even when I don’t really have time..)

What Inspires Me?

My attention is caught if you..

Show your human side
Tell me something unexpected
Give me a sense of your values
Tell me what you like
Perhaps what you don’t
Mention your love of cats and chocolate
Be a bit clever and a bit funny.
Be well crafted.

If I achieved all that, I’d be so smug you’d want to poke a stick in my eye.
And it would be way too long.


The “I am” Task..

I also I tried an exercise used in Psychology when researching individual’s sense of self. It simply requires that you complete 20 statements of “I am..” I cheated a bit – there’s some analysis that should follow. Instead I kept going to see what matters to me. If I wanted you to know me and words were enough, here’s today’s sense of who I am..

I am a novelty seeker and recovering perfectionist. I am slightly crazy.
I am a yoyo dieter and life-long learner. I am an oxymoron.
I am someone who reads widely but never autobiography or erotica.
I am someone who thinks in metaphors – If I was a stick of rock you would read Integrity running through my core.
I am the friend who turns up late most of the time because I was ‘just fitting something else in’ before I left. BUT I will always show up, I hope even when others wouldn’t. I am the friend who can sit with your pain.
I am someone who needs to be needed.
I am never seen in black – more often purple, red or chocolate brown.
I am not visually observant but notice sound and emotion. I am sorry there can be a delay if I am preoccupied for I am often preoccupied with something!
I am irritated by the sound of humans eating – but not any other creature.
I am gullible and have been trained by a cat to turn on taps for fresh water and latterly add a little hot when the water is too cold.
I am mindful with crackling logs fires, hooting owls, cat purrs and birdsong but suffocate thinking about my breath.
I am the person who can be relied upon to cry, laugh or applaud first.
I am clean but not tidy.
I am an eater of home cooked food but have cooked too much to enjoy cooking.
I am the infrequent drinker of organic gin with a specific, reduced-sugar, non-chemical tonic.
I am someone who hates assumptions about people and I am gutted when I make one.
I am poor at choosing gifts and maybe better at giving hope.
I am a prankster in sleep mode. Beware.
I am sorry when I am wrong. I am occasionally wrong.
I am someone who claims to hate routine but realise it’s usually other’s, not my own. (I am now taking Earl Grey teabags, soya milk and dark chocolate everywhere with me.)
I am an intense parent and a difficult wife but I am loved nevertheless.
I am onto the next thing before I am finished. I am never finished.
I am a daydreamer. If I could put one thing back in Pandora’s box it would be cruelty.
I am an animal lover but I am able to kill with my bare hands if it ends suffering.
I am moved to tears and joy by music – A favourite is Tchaikovsky’s “Theme on a Paganini.” Another is Supertramp’s “It’s Raining Again” for reasons I’ll tell another time.
I am a scaler of mountains natural and homemade. Favourites include Cadair Idris, The Shard and Mount Lafayette.
I am an over-thinker but not a worrier. I am calm in a crisis although you will hear me shout loudly to get things done.
I am a believer in digging deep. Understanding is the greatest company to keep.
I am a questioner of the status quo not least of all because you’re blind to humanity if you don’t.
I am like a cat with nine lives. I have come close with rock climbing, canoeing and cancer.
I am a fighter but only when I have to be.
I am a writer and I am realising my words should reflect more of the above.
I am intolerant of long posts but occasionally break my own rules. I can today – it’s my 100th post.
I am alive.


Finally – A Bio

So back to the head honcho (Madam Gorgonzola) over at the Carrot Ranch who’s wanted about 150 words to sum up forty something years of me. If you want to read what I eventually came up with, do pop over to the Ranch and have a look at me and the rest of us Rough Writers.


And tell me please, what tempts you to check out someone new? What sort of things grab your attention?