"Seven bums and fourteen legs,
a brazen ecstasy which begs
the question some of us are asking -
is Peter Goulding multi-tasking?"

Martin Parker, Editor, Lighten Up Online

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The 4 line biog

I once heard it said that the difference between American people going for an interview and English and Irish people going for an interview is that Americans know how to sell themselves. They push their strengths and achievements, whereas on this side of the pond, we are almost apologetic, as though we'll be thought less of for blowing our own trumpets.
This may be changing. Programmes like the Apprentice show there is nothing wrong with self-promotion and listing of one's achievements is now more a thing to be admired than a flaw.
I suppose, as in many other things, I'm firmly rooted in the past. I recently had to write a 4 line biog for the Poetry on the Lake anthology and it sat very badly with me to say I'd been published here or won such a competition. Yet everybody does it. Its just not for me, that's all. I'll add it to my lengthy list of flaws.
Of course people think you're being falsely modest. One person even described my self-deprecatory remarks on the back of 'The Six Gifts of Womanhood' as 'a good marketing strategy.'
So you can't win.
Of course, if you want to get published, you need to sell yourself, which I can't do.


  1. I find it's better to be matter-of-fact. I don't put down where anything I've published has been or anything. Just what I work as, really. Too little info is always a bit shite though. You never want to turn to the back of a book to see the bio of a writer of a story you loved to find that they live in Dublin, the end.

  2. As you know, we are self-deprecatory siblings, but I think that the bio on a book should include other places you've been published in the unlikely event that the reader wants to read MORE. Just an idea.

  3. i know exactly what you mean - i am no good at self-publicity either

  4. i guess one of the best interviews i had was when i was asked about my intentions withon the company, and i told the general manager who was interviewing me i wanted his job. got the job on the spot and had his job within 4 months.
    i'm a teacher but don't do capitals...

  5. Pete, employ me as your agent!
    I can sell you. Very cheaply too.
    Shit, I'm excited. Started using capitals...