How important are your writing credentials? When your bio is like b.o.

I like to think that I’m like dark chocolate.  A little bitter, but with too much cocoa, the bitterness is so overpowering you decide to stop eating it. So my bitterness level is like cocoa. Sometimes, I’m a 70% cocoa, sometimes I push the 90% boundary, and other times, I’m straight dark chocolate.

Today I’m straight dark chocolate. Maybe, 50% cocoa instead of your usual 45%; I do like to push the boundaries. But either way, in Lorelle terms, I’m standard dark chocolate.

I’ve been dissecting the query letter. After all my post-submission options, I’m hunting agents, which means I’m dissecting queries. Which takes months. So they deserve their own post. Not this one. Today I can say, and only today,  ‘Begone, Agents.’ – but don’t go too far. I will need you in about 345 days when I finish my blurb.

So I get to the Bio. And it hits me. What the fudge ( dark chocolate fudge of course) ! All this time, I’ve been glossing over the bio because it sits at the bottom and has none of me in it – no ‘ I ‘ in it – so my bio may as well be called a b.o. And yes, it stinks.

Credentials. How important are they? If I have none, should I pack up my little keyboard and let my cats use it as a bridge between two chairs? It becomes their new chair?

When you apply for a job, you take note of the work experience required and you only apply if you have the necessary credentials. Why would it be any different in the literary world?

In a job interview, when you are asked about your weaknesses, you know that you have to say something to the effect of: I’m too dedicated; I spend too much time perfecting my work; I have trouble delegating.  A weakness with that positive spin. You just know that you should answer in that way. There’s a technique, an understanding.

Publishers and agents can spot amateurs; there are red flags, apparently. If I’m entrenched in the industry, considered one of them, I would know not to apply without such credentials? And being entrenched as such, I would have been racking up such achievements without it being a box that needs to be ticked?

Should they say, you shouldn’t apply if you haven’t won or placed in a writing competition, or had some piece, however small, published? Or the fact that I need to ask, means that I shouldn’t apply?