Sunday, 5 October 2014

Writing - Biography



A biography, or more commonly these days a bio, is a description of a person's life. 


I can remember years ago my father's exasperation when a footballer, boxer or actor, having reached the grand old age of 25, produced a biography. His usual comment was 'they haven't lived yet'!
Writing a biography has been in the back of my mind for a while now but I have issues with the concept of the biography. In a sense there is an arrogance in a person that writes their own life story thinking that others want to read about them. 

Neymar born 1992


So when a 22 year old footballer produces, probably via a ghost writer, their 'life story' then it can only be as a marketing opportunity. For me that is not the purpose of writing a biography. If I do decide to write about myself it will be more of a social commentary on changing life styles over a significant period of time, and my response to those changes.

This discussion comes from a viewing of the BBC drama/documentary of the life of Neil Baldwin. If you haven't seen it check out BBC iplayer it's brilliant. Obviously it is based upon a real life, the subject is still alive and he is pictured below with the actor who played him.

Toby Jones and Neil Baldwin

The film is sensitively made and I believe will win lots of TV awards in the next round of awards but the story is really about relationships. I don't intend to spoil the experience of those who wish to watch it but just to say that it is well worth spending the time tuning in.

I have read various biographies and the quality of the content varies tremendously so it would seem to be something to be chanced with great care. 

Then of course is the process of how to organise - chronologically, events or significant others. Do you include photographs? There is so much to consider you can understand why ghost writers are often employed. However, it could be an interesting project.

God Bless