I finally finished that ‘About Me’ Page. Woo! It wasn’t easy, though. I sat with it for a week, at least, and that’s not counting the week I pointedly ignored it and pretended I didn’t have to think about it. What’s the hurry? But once I put down a goal to get it done, I started talking myself through it. In my journal and in my blog post editor, like I was already talking to you–one step closer to published, but still safe in a draft. And now that it’s done I thought, hey, maybe this could be useful to someone else? We all have methods, tried and true, that work for us. There is also a ton of advice floating around out there, and WordPress has its own gig with really good advice. But sometimes we just get stuck and then a little repetition won’t hurt (which you might notice, if you read on). So, without further ado, I give you my process (with a few added extras, like photos, because I love sharing photos).
It’s not an ‘About Me’ page. It’s a ‘What I Do’ page. Okay.
Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Blogging. In one way or another we use social media to express ourselves and open our doors to the world. We talk about our day, our joys, disappointments, achievements–we pass commentaries on whatever we are reacting to in that particular moment. And show people what we had for lunch–perfectly arranged and filtered or an explosive health smoothie.
Basically it comes down to sharing something about ourselves. I do it, we all do it. So why is it so difficult to write an ‘About Me’ page? It’s not like I am afraid of telling people about myself. Hey, I am blogging. About my life. About myself. And I have been using social media on and off for years (although I used to freak out about what I wrote and then obsess over it for days. Fun times. Not.).
But. Creating this ‘About Me’ page, then. So bloody difficult. I get all squirmy and come up with all the things that are more important–which, granted, they may very well be.
So when I told my partner about it the other night and he replied, “You’re not talking about who you are but what you are doing and showing photos of your pale self on a mountain top–perhaps get a tan this summer?” (Okay, he didn’t say all that. Not in those exact terms. And not all in one go.) Anyway. I’m not talking about who I am but what I am doing… Duh. Which, you know, is what reflects who we are. Additionally, it sure is the general gist of the advice they give on writing those ‘About Me’ pages.
Who we are, then, is no simple case of line up a few traits and that’s it. But it’s not difficult, either, since I have published a couple of posts now in which I have already started giving little glimpes into who I am and what I do. No. This may be a case of not knowing which parts characterise me as a whole but mostly it’s about not knowing how to tell it.
Let’s get to the bottom of this by asking some questions and making a list! (I do this all the time in my journal but repetition doesn’t hurt.)
- Why am I even creating this ‘About me’ page to begin with?
- What do I focus on to accomplish that?
- Where do I start?
- And how do I structure it?
So why am I doing it? Because we are curious beings and those ‘About Me’ pages are one of the first things I look at after reading a blog post that left me wanting to know more about the person behind it.
What, then, is it that I want to find out when I go to read about someone? All the things. Well–tricky. What are some of those all the things? To get somewhere, I have to limit myself. So, let’s say five things.
- Where are they from?
- Why did they create a blog?
- What will I find if I start rummaging around their archives? (Unless, of course, it’s obviously about showcasing their photography because, hello, photographs all in my face, so in this case I might want to know what kind of photographs, how long have they been at it, and what inspired them to pick up a camera?)
- Common ground or wildly different philosophies?
- Honesty. Opinions. We all have them but not all of us (myself included) dare to always give them a voice. But if I have read an article that lead me to the author, I am not much concerned with if I agree or not, I’m not there to judge; I am intrigued, I became curious, and I just want to know more about how this person perceives the world.
Great! So now I have managed to break it down a little. I have some pointers. But where do I start? I begin by answering those questions I myself have when I search out someone’s ‘About Me’ page. And the way I do that best is in my journal. Or with a mindmap, which is still a very new concept to me but could stand practice. (Edit: In this case, however, I kept peeking at the blog post draft you are reading right now and started writing. In another blog post draft. Confused yet? I saved it without publishing and kept writing a little every day, then edited and finally asked my partner to read it. It always helps having someone else read the stuff we write to catch things–like flow, whereas I am concerned. I tend to get a little carried away with words and overly complicated sentences.)
Lastly, structure. Is there really a right or wrong way of doing it? Maybe the structure should be tied into my first point in the list: Why am I doing it? As I write I get clarity; it should be personal and reflect the content, just like the blog should reflect why I am writing it. Once again, I remember seeing these similar words when I read about advice and pointers. But, once again, it doesn’t hurt with a little bit of repetition. All for the sake of clarity.
So there you have it. If any of this helps you out when you’re stuck with writing then that’s great! If it has left you terribly confused–I apologise. This is one of the many reasons why I keep a journal. I confuse me all the time. But thank you for reading anyway. And if you have any tips and tricks up your sleeve, I’d love to hear! In any case, happy blogging!