Years ago when I still like this guy, we talked about promoting yourself as an artist. He was a music director at the time and now has a solo career.
“Well, how do you introduce yourself?” he asked.
“I saw I’m a writer.” He laughed.
“That’s like like me saying I’m a musician.” But he was. I asked how he introduced himself. He didn’t have an answer, but he went on to write a nationally touring show. Must’ve said something right.
I say “writer” to get the point across. I am someone who writes something with the intent of sharing it. I understand how generic it sounds. What do you write will be the first question to come up. There’s something weak about the statement, like you’re saying I’m just there. Leaves room for people to doubt or assume this is a hobby instead of your career.
I have trouble creating a one line description on who I am because I’m working on a novel, screenplay, sketches, essays, lyrics, and freelance articles. Lack of focus? Yes. Why focus on one thing when you can do 9?
A piece of advice I was given was to find a through line or theme in all my work. What is something that shows up in all my work, fiction and nonfiction? How would you describe my voice? (awesome). You identify your through line and use it to answer the question “I’m a writer who…”
I’m a writer who writes the change she wants to see in the world using comedy.
I’m a comedy writer who specializes in strong women lead characters.
I’m a freelance writer specializing in unique stories about loose leaf tea.
YOu may end up with more than one statement and that’s okay. At a screenwriting event, the producer you’re talking to may not care that you’re a freelance writer (unless the script you just pitched is about adventures in freelance writing). You can play with it and tweak it for the occasion. It’s a lot more graceful at a networking event or a party to say a one line bio declaring who you are than say “I’m a writer. You know.” Maybe they don’t. Maybe they hate writers and think they’re lazy and wasting their time. Control what you can, set the tone, and introduce yourself with confidence.
How do you introduce yourself as a writer? Leave a comment below.