Fish In The Field

It's pronounced "ghoti"

Writing a Conference Bio, Things That Are Not Helpful

One of the things that I hear often as a soon-to-be finishing grad student, soon-to-be applying for post-docs and jobs, going to conferences, “networking”, etc., is that I have to be able to talk myself up. You know, really sell myself (ignoring for now the implications of telling any woman that she has to sell herself). I know this is a thing I need to do and improve upon. Currently, I am writing to write a short bio for myself because I am helping organize a new conference and they would like to display/recognize/sell/whatever their organizers and speakers.

this is absolutely how I look when writing. all poised and studious and Victorian.

this is absolutely how I look when writing. all poised and studious and Victorian.

Sure. Great. But this would be much better if someone else would just write it for me. I can’t even think of where to start. I feel like everything I have done is fairly unimpressive, comparatively – and that really cuts down on what I want to put in as the bulk of this bio. And to end it: 30 and not holding a real job. Awesome.

Which is weird and a little cognitively dissonant for me because there are regular intervals throughout the day that I think “fuck yeah, I’m awesome!” And that is true.

There are all manner of articles and studies that tell me that women are naturally bad at talking themselves up and putting their assets on display (again with the terrible wording). Men can boast, women are modest. I call bullshit. I know plenty of women that can play and win the More-Awesome-Than-You-And-Let-Me-Tell-You-Why game. I just happen not to be one of them. I blame societal norms and a moderately Christian upbringing in my early years. Other kids don’t like a smarty-pants and nobody likes a braggart. I hate it and generally rail against such notions now, but man is that kind of stuff ingrained. I am awesome when alone, but make me say so to another human being and I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Maybe I’ll just start writing lists of things and figure out how to make those lists into sentences and those sentences into paragraphs (gah, it’s like those stupid inspirational writing images people post to FBook are starting to get to me). Maybe I’ll just pour myself a cocktail and see where the night takes me. A good friend of mine (who has already finished her dissertation and come through the other side) told me this when it comes to writing: Write drunk; edit sober. It’s gotten me through some serious mental writer’s block before – why not this one now.

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This entry was posted on February 21, 2014 by in Conferences, Futures, In my head, Vicious Cycle, Writing.
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