Why I will never be a successful writer

Roddy Doyle
Roddy Doyle said: I’d like to have my bio say “He divides his time between Dublin and confusion”.
  • SO’F pursued a successful career in banking, and became Ireland’s first woman Chief Dealer, before deciding to become a full-time writer. She also plays competitive badminton.
  • ST is a high-flying attorney who has served on a number of public bodies (!), including an Illinois commission to study the death penalty.
  • MH has worked in private security and for the police.  He is a 4th Dan blackbelt and coach in ju-jitsu.
  • KM and her family divide their time between their home in Chichester, West Sussex and their home in Carcassonne – in the southwest of France.
  • PB lives in Washington State with her husband, children and a small herd of horses.
  • SG started her working life as a television script writer before becoming a best-selling novelist.
  • JB is a former lawyer who lived and practiced in Hong Kong for 12 years.  He now divides his time between Vietnam and France.

Whereas I have never lived in France, Hong Kong or Washington State; never owned a herd of anything (except cats); never divided anything except chocolate cake at birthday parties; don’t have a competitive bone in my body …

I do have a black belt, but I’m not sure where it is (possibly one of the cats borrowed it).  My career choices before librarianship have been limited by preschoolers, owning a B.A. (we all know what that stands for), and being paralysed by my inability to write the perfect opening line of my as yet unstarted unfinished masterwork.

Am I being unreasonable in my bitter mockery of those infuriating book cover bio summaries? Do you think they write their own? Do you think PB really owns a small herd of horses? Should I be more forgiving?  Should I regard them as an encouragement to aim for greater things? Should I just lie?

And here’s your challenge for the week: pretend you are a bestselling novelist, and leave a comment below with your own bio – remember, you have to base it as much as possible on actual truth.

9 thoughts on “Why I will never be a successful writer

  1. Robyn 28 June 2012 / 10:47 am

    RS was born and bred in monumentally Minimalist Christchurch New Zealand, where she lives in a Summerhill stone bungalow that has thankfully escaped unsympathetic renovation, remaining untouched since it was built in 1970. Here she houses her collections of outsider art and early plastics and puts her creativity to work assembling towers of books beside her bed. She further indulges her interest in post-industrial architecture by working in an inner city ex-plumbers warehouse. Her first novel has been in progress for 30 years.

  2. Roy 28 June 2012 / 11:11 am

    RB is dull and slightly overweight. He has been trained to kill people but prefers being nice to them.

  3. ms p 28 June 2012 / 11:17 am

    LT is a former shoe saleswoman, birthing unit nurse aide, ESOL teacher and library assistant. She lives in Christchurch with a small herd of cats, none of whom like each other. She divides her times between feline mediation and writing

  4. jane 28 June 2012 / 11:26 am

    JK finds the time to write between working as an Information consultant, caring for her loved and much maligned small dogs and organising her children’s lives. She lives in a small picturesque village on the outskirts of Christchurch where she creates stunningly creative craft objects that friends and family love getting as birthday gifts. Her latest novel is based loosely on her own fascinating and exciting life, so is sure to be a bestseller.

  5. berniceccl 28 June 2012 / 11:34 am

    BG lived in a quaint cottage near the fashionable beach of Sumner for 25 years. However, having come from a long line of eccentrics, she recently abandoned this in favour of an ugly summer hill stone flat which has since developed a slight lean, in order to be near a central city which is currently being demolished. She shares her house with an almost pedigree cat which contributes to her unique collection of bird feathers. She is a devotee of yoga for the physically challenged. Her first novel consists of only one line as she struggles with anything consisting of more then 140 characters.

  6. Donna 28 June 2012 / 11:54 am

    Duchess Robertson-Fiennes writes in the moments she isn’t overcome with sexy lassitude. The Duchess can do the splits. She has a happy brood of children to her ex-husband Ralph, former love Kimi Raikonnen, and current amour former Russian gymnast Alexei Nemov. Critics compare her work to legendary lady of letters Shelley Bridgeman. Robertson-Fiennes’ small but perfectly formed tome will be gracing the homes of ingrates who will use it as a coaster.

  7. joyciescotland 28 June 2012 / 2:17 pm

    Born in the historic Kingdom of Fife, Joyce Teabag Frasiere spent her formative years mastering the fine of art of being Scottish. Later at the tender age of 21 JTF achieved a Masters in Creative and Life Writing from Bollin University of Macclesfield (BUM).
    Her impenetrable brogue, coppery locks and penchant for tweed, as well as her winning way with words has made her a literary festival phenomenon.
    Married to a breathtakingly handsome and uxorious millionaire artist, she splits her time between Sanity and Madness.

  8. lynners 29 June 2012 / 11:38 am

    Lady James was born in the peaceful port-town of Lyttelton, where as a child she indulged her sweet tooth by scraping used chewing-gum off the pavements to eat. Her Ladyship now resides in a cosy cottage in a delightful suburb of Christchurch, and spends her days gardening, reading Jane Austen and planning trips to her second home, Italy. She also spends many pleasant hours blogging, alternating useful gardening tips with vitriolic rants about the morons she is forced to share the planet with.

  9. Claudine Fraser 2 July 2012 / 10:51 am

    Claudine de Frasiere (distant relative of Joyce but higher up in the food chain) was born into would be aristocracy in the medieval city of Edinburgh to a (strange) French mother and (gruff) Scottish father. She spent her childhood commuting between the wilds of the Scottish west coast (think Timaru only colder) and the lavender fields of Provence. She is working on her first novel (in her head) and as yet cannot decide whether to aim for arty, obscure and sure to win the Booker prize or chick-lit and become a multi- millionnaire bestseller with movie contracts. She fills her time between lofty thoughts enjoying life as a busy Information Manager.

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