If you haven’t caught on to the theme of this blog, I don’t really like defining things in concrete ways. Our world is beautifully fluid and complex, which isn’t something to avoid simply because it isn’t easy to pin down.
Unfortunately, we live in a world that likes easy, catchy taglines. For writers, we get caught in this trap as soon as we submit an article or book and the source requires what is called “a short bio.”
As I venture into freelance writing, I know I must construct this dreadful definition of who I am. It would be easier if I could say my official job title (but I don’t have one) or if I could say I am from one specific place (but I’ve lived in four different states in the last year). At least I can say that if we are trying to define “hard to pin down” I am a perfect fit.
So far all I have been able to come up is something resembling a Match.com profile. I like the outdoors, dogs, reading, writing, and spending time with friends. Bleh.
While cringing over how mundane it all sounded I realized the real problem was not me or the things I like. It is actually a crisis of identity which we are all subjected to by living in an increasingly individualized culture–the need to be unique.
Whether it be a byline, a dating profile, or a resume, we are all striving to define ourselves in any way that will help us stand out. The message we’ve been told for all of those things is the same: if it sounds like everyone else’s then no one will care.
The desperation to be unique is closely connected to a need for others to affirm our worth. As Christians we should know better. God knows us each intimately, and to our Creator we are nothing less than spectacularly unique in our own individual ways.
I will write a bio for myself eventually, but in the end it won’t really matter what it says (as long as it is somewhat professional and concise). In God’s book all our bios start with one simple thing: Beloved child of God. Though I suppose I can give God some editorial flexibility for tweaking it ;)
What does your bio say?
How do you define yourself?