Change the View to Write About Yourself - With Feeling

I'm constantly reminded of the power of words to persuade. Written words, spoken words, read words - and how 'bout those presidential debates for some word lessons. Spin!



While working on the musician bios and blurbs, I noticed a common thread. In promotional writing, people tend to focus on accomplishments and facts, and they leave out feelings. Think about it: feelings are what persuade.


To illustrate my point about putting feelings into promotional writing (and to show off just a teensy bit), I've included a couple of my re-written performer blurbs/bios.


TIP o' the Day! If you have to write about yourself, step away from yourself, ask others how they see you, and write from that perspective. Be descriptive, use adjectives, evoke feelings.


Here's the first one: with the artist's name XXXX'd out.


XXXX XXXX has performed around the Southwest for many years. Some highlights: In the 1970’s XXXX XXXX signed XXXX to a staff songwriting deal with XXXX. In the Nineties, his third album was released, along with his fourth in 2001 and his fifth in 2012. XXXX now performs solo and is regarded as one of the best of the singer-songwriters to come out of the XXXX area in recent years. For more information see w w w the artist dot com.


Revised Bio

XXXX XXXX performs solo to packed house concerts, intimate listening rooms, and even an occasional almost-rowdy bar crowd with friends from his SoCal roots. He is a sought-after guest in many singer-songwriter festivals and shows, and is regarded as one of the most delightful performers in the XXXX area. XXXX’s easy manner in front of an audience convinces you that playing his guitar and singing his songs is an effortless and second-nature activity. His brilliant lyrics invite listeners into the songs while his solid melodies carry the story from one note to the next. This natural and inviting delivery has charmed audiences for almost 40 years. XXXX’s career has run the gamut starting with a stint in the 1970s as an LA XXXX staff songwriter and artist during which time he released two albums. He then spent much of the 1980s performing as the “XXXX XXXX Band” and packing the XXXX and many other clubs throughout the greater Southern California area. In the 1990s, he released a solo album, then his fourth in 2001 and his most recent (and most acclaimed) fifth album, “XXXX XXXX,” in 2012. He is a popular guitar and songwriting teacher at festivals, retreats and camps. For more information see www the artist dot com.


Which one makes you want to listen to this artist? Makes you want to check out his website and show up at his next gig? I thought so!

* * * * * * * * * *

Here's another, this one for a duo. My goal in this re-write was to make certain that the key elements of their performing style were captured in the very first paragraph in case that was all that a show promoter chose to use.



There are certain things in this world that are great by themselves, and are even better when combined with another singularly great thing – salt and pepper, ebony and ivory, peanut butter and jelly, surf and sand. Songwriters XXXX XXXX and XXXX XXXX are a perfect pair and a natural duo.

XXXX and XXXX began performing together in 2009 when XXXX hired XXXX to play piano in her band. While working together, a romantic union blossomed and the two decided to write and perform as a duo, and to invite other artists into their creative circle.

Revised Bio

XXXX and XXXX are duo alchemy at its finest. Sweet and savory, raspy and smooth, together they create a unique vocal sound, and then they complement that blend with XXXX’s prowess on the piano and guitar. Whether they sing their own songs, or the well-chosen songs of their peers, audiences are along for the ride in an intimate and inclusive show.


Their live performances are gentle and inviting – yet powerful – due in part to solid stagecraft and a comfort level with their music and with each other. Another big factor in their shows is XXXX’s subtle phrasing and exceptional interpretation. She delivers songs as gifts to an audience. The stunning harmonies that XXXX and XXXX weave are the final secret ingredient in their performance magic.


They are not content to perform only their own songs, however. With so much talent flying under the commercial radar, XXXX and XXXX actively seek out and perform songs by lesser-known artists who they meet in their travels and collaborations. Their evocative performances of these tunes provide a springboard for connecting community – artists and audiences. Every show is different because they are not content to sit in their comfort zone. They stretch their creative boundaries, finding new music and playing with it – truly playing WITH it, having fun.


XXXX and XXXX began performing together in 2009 when XXXX hired XXXX to play piano in her band. While working together, a romantic union blossomed and the two decided to write and perform as a duo.


What's on your mind? Drop me a note and let me know what writing issues plague you. Is it grammar or spelling? punctuation? word choice? perspective?

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