Saturday, March 26, 2011

Writing about Yourself in Third Person

I've been told it's professional for your writing bio to be presented in third person. This is a common discussion among internet writers. Some websites require a third person bio. Demand Studios requires it so I did it for them. It felt awkward but I did it. Then, I updated my other website bios to follow suit, including this blog bio. Being a stickler for consistency, I felt compelled to then write every tab (above) in the third person. That felt worse than awkward, it really felt weird and disconnected. And unfriendly.

I've known people that refer to themselves in third person during conversation, as in "Johnny doesn't like cornflakes" or "Betty isn't interested in disc golf." That's always sounded odd to me. And now I'm writing about myself in third person.

 Maybe a blog bio should be friendlier? Less formal? I'm not sure.

What do you think? Would you relate to a blog writer better (more intimately) if their bio was in first person? As in "I am passionate about..." instead of "Langley is passionate about...."

Things that make you go hmmmm.


  1. Elaborating on my tweet...*smile* Third-person feels unnatural because it is, but for a professional bio it is acceptable and as you mentioned expected, but not universally.

    While I like the actionable tabs..."Hire" "Find" etc. when followed by your name it may be most I'd have one, "Hire Langley," renaming the others as appropriate.

    Donna thinks the dilemma lies in trying to "talk" to writers but "present" [at] potential clients. I wouldn't mix the two -- other than to have a page dedicated to potential clients that is linked to a formal portfolio.

    Writing style guideline are just that, guidelines, rather than rules -- and are continually subject to change and revision.

    Glad to see your new blog.

  2. Tamara thinks Langley should do whichever style suits her best. ;)

    I use the third person for bios, because I don't like saying "I" too much. (That sentence made me cringe.) Don't want to sound too self-centered. Oddly enough, that thought doesn't occur to me when other writers use first person.

    Oh - your twitter link didn't work for me. Had to type the full url in. Seems like it worked for Donna, so don't know why.

  3. You people are cracking me up.

    Langley thanks you for your informed comments on her blog and agrees that it may be overkill on the tabs.

  4. Third person bio on a blog would strike me as odd because a blog is a very personal, informal format. Looking forward to more from you on the A to Z Challenge :)


  5. "Langley thanks you for your informed comments on her blog " *laugh*

    I just finished my first draft of my bio page. I'll be honest though, it was a bit odd to write in first person after being "conditioned," -- not realizing the extent I had been -- but I'm happy with the results.

  6. I agree that third person does make it seem unnatural, but just imagine that you are someone else describing you.

    I changed over my YCN profile a while ago, and now use the same content on many sites. Most of the time it reads ok.

  7. Because people are used to reading 3rd person bios in books, it doesn't seem weird to them. They assume the bio was written by the publisher or editor.

    So ... having said that, I would suggest using 3rd person only in your bio, and use whatever you want elsewhere, as long as it's on a different page from your bio.


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