The Story as My Bio on the Webpage

The book is close to being published. The front cover is ready, just waiting for a final sign-off. The website is under construction. I am getting acutely aware that writing is only half of the work. The other half is marketing. Unless you have a well-known name.

The first thing to start with your website is the page “About”. So, bio or resume?

The resume in my file says when I was born, which school I attended, what degrees I got. And awards. Sounds dull and thinking of it, I am only one of many.

Then looking through the YouTube videos, I came across Michael Margolis’ passionate statements about why resume is out and bio is the king. His advice was to present your bio as a story, which is received much better, than a dry point by point resume. That’s the best way to connect with the reader, who can find your story elements in his life. And one of the options is to start with “imagine if…” And I liked it.

So here goes my story.

Just imagine…

Imagine yourself walking in an upscale suburban neighborhood. It’s late evening. Through the bay window, you can see a well-lit, but otherwise darkly furnished room. It looks like an old-fashioned library. There is a late middle-aged man sitting in a partially unfolded recliner with his elbows on the armrests, hands steepled and his chin resting on them. He is dressed in a green scrub suit. A surgeon? He is quiet, his eyes are open, but he doesn’t see anything. Thinking.

Now imagine you are an invisible man who, like a big boulder penetrating the ice surface of the lake, can go through the walls without making any damage and noise.

You squeeze into the room. The surgeon doesn’t hear you and he can’t see you.

It’s quiet. You look around. The room looks like a classical library from the past century. Two of the walls are covered with books. Not too many spaces on the shelves. He must read a lot. You look at the titles. Many art books, books about music, architecture and history. An eclectic mix. There are also books in another language, which you don’t understand. All you know, they don’t teach this language in a high school. There are family pictures, some in quite elaborate frames. His wife and four children. All good-looking and happy.  He must be a family man. You look around the shelves and one thing strikes you. There are not many novels, but quite many “how-to” books. He doesn’t read much fiction. Probably spent his all life on bettering himself professionally and as a business owner. On the shelves you can see small statuettes of Hippocrates and Pericles. There are also graphics buildings from ancient Rome: Coliseum, Pantheon, Forum Romanum and Trajan’s Column. The surgeon must be an ancient history lover. On the wall, you can see framed contemporary photographs of Italian cities. Still the same culture. You look around and on the shelf you see the statuettes made from small brick-like pieces of glass with inscriptions “For the Chief of Staff…”, “For the Chief of Surgery…”. He is probably active in his hospital’s medical staff functions. Next stands another plaquette “For the Physician of the Year…” His peers must respect him.

Then it hits you. You can hear the voices. But there are not your voices. You are hearing his thoughts. They are tumultuous, noisy, in contrast to the quiet scene in his library. He is tormented. Then you discover he knows that his professional career is coming to an end, and he is not sure what to do with the last trimester of his life. The kids are out of his house, his skills and the stamina are vanishing, and his future is uncertain.

So what’s next?

He thinks of what has happened in his life so far. His entire life was about change and reinventing himself. He has a music degree from a far away country. He won a national championship in his favorite sport. Twice. He came to this country despite political and cultural obstacles and made it. He got married and has a family he is proud of. He has vast interests in arts, history, music, languages and philosophy. Loves to travel. Loves going to the gym. He is proud when someone calls him a renaissance man”.

Then you hear the surgeon being struck by a thought. His face lights up, and he suddenly sits up in the recliner. He realizes that his life had left him with stories. Many stories. Actually, he is convinced, that the life, any life, is made up out of stories.

He is rich. He will tell stories of his life. One way or another. He just needs to reinvent himself once again. He will find the way. He just charted the path for the rest of his life.

While you are seamlessly leaving his library, you are convinced he will make it.

So thank you, Michael, for your ideas. Hopefully, you will like my story as bio and bio as a story.

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