Do I have to update that bio? You make the call

Today, we are often asked to write a little something about ourselves, a bio for our various social media accounts or a job opportunity or that dating site. Constructing a short statement that encapsulates who we are is sometimes difficult. What do we put in? What do we leave out? What information can we relay that shows the world who we are, what we care about, and what we’re capable of doing.

Am I still I reporter? I certainly feel like one.

I’ve had many different bios over the years because I’ve had lots of different jobs. I served in a restaurant for five years. Then I became a reporter, working at five TV stations, three newspapers, and three magazines in my role as a sports reporter and feature writer. I spent 20 years teaching journalism and communications in a Title I high school classroom. For four decades I officiated amateur sports, an avocation that had me calling plays in football, baseball, ice hockey, soccer, and basketball. And, I’ve been an author for 28 years, a time during which I’ve had five novels published.

I mention all this because now I sense I should rewrite my resume once again. But I find I’m stumped. The problem is I’ve retired from reporting and teaching and officiating. Does that mean these parts of my life no longer apply? When I see the short blurb under my Facebook picture I wonder if I’m being disingenuous. “Novelist, teacher, referee, foster mom, lover of scuba diving, rock collecting, and playing my guitar.”

I hung up my white hat and whistle in 2019, but I still feel like a ref.

Hummm? Clearly some of that is no longer technically true. I locked my classroom for the final time last year. While my white football referee hat and whistle hang in my office, I’m no longer throwing flags. (At 66, I struggle to get out of the way and don’t feel the need to get run over by stampeding players ever again.) My foster mom license has lapsed since my boys—former students who had nowhere to go—are now in their 20s, and though they still call me Mom, according to the state of Arizona my days as a mother have technically passed.

There are no issues with my being a novelist. My fifth book, The Castle, was released by TouchPoint Press on September 13, 2021. And I have another currently in the pipeline. And, of course, I will always love rock collecting and scuba diving and playing my guitar.

I suppose the question is am I still a reporter? An official? A teacher? In my heart I will always be these things. These jobs shaped who I am. My experiences in those careers color my choices every day.

So, I’m taking a poll. Must we remove jobs we had in the past just because we are now retired? Or can we hold onto those things that have made us who we are?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-castle_front-cover-1.jpg

Ancient ruins, haunted memories, and a ruthless criminal combine with a touch of mystic presence in this taut mystery about a crime we all must address.


Anne Montgomery

Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Suspense

TouchPoint Press

September 13, 2021

Maggie, a National Park Ranger of Native American descent, is back at The Castle—a six-hundred-year-old pueblo carved into a limestone cliff in Arizona’s Verde Valley. Maggie, who suffers from depression, has been through several traumas: the gang rape she suffered while in the Coast Guard, the sudden death of her ten-year-old son, and a suicide attempt.

One evening, she chases a young Native American boy through the park and gasps as he climbs the face of The Castle cliff and disappears into the pueblo. When searchers find no child, Maggie’s friends believe she’s suffering from depression-induced hallucinations.

Maggie has several men in her life. The baker, newcomer Jim Casey, who always greets her with a warm smile and pink boxes filled with sweet delicacies. Brett Collins, a scuba diver who is doing scientific studies in Montezuma Well, a dangerous cylindrical depression that houses strange creatures found nowhere else on Earth. Dave, an amiable waiter with whom she’s had a one-night stand, and her new boss Glen.

One of these men is a serial rapist and Maggie is his next target.

In a thrilling and terrifying denouement, Maggie faces her rapist and conquers her worst fears once and for all.


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18 thoughts on “Do I have to update that bio? You make the call

  1. sloanetaylor1 says:

    Tough call on letting go of the past. My take is that the important jobs, those that helped mold us, should be touched on, not elaborated but mentioned. You were a sports reporter/announcer, a ref, an ump, and a school teacher. Those are important and should be included in your bio.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jeffrey Leaf says:

    The past is a roadmap to who we are today. Teaching tells the world about your ability to work with people, communicate orally. Officiating screams about your ability to take pressure, make decisions and generally not put up with bullies. So, yes, you should keep the experiences that have defined who you are.


  3. sharonledwith says:

    You’re here because of the sum of your experience, Anne. Go with all of it, girl! Great post! Hope you’re feeling better too. Cheers!


  4. Kathleen "KC" Parrish says:

    No, no, no, don’t remove the roles in your life that shaped who you are today. I usually note that I’m a wife, mother, and gleefully retired nuclear engineer. I updated it to a wife, grandmother, and gleefully retired nuclear engineer. The “mother” now goes without saying. “Gleefully retired nuclear engineer” encompasses the many roles I fulfilled during my engineering career, which spans 44 years. It’s enough, but not too much,


    • annemontgomeryauthor2013 says:

      Thank you, Kathleen! Seems you’ve got it right. I just sometimes get the feeling that as soon as we utter the word retired, people immediately look past us. Makes me crazy. 😉


  5. Vonnie Hughes says:

    I’m in the same quandary, Anne. Who cares that I was a legal executive and a headhunter. Who cares that I consistently ran ultras and marathons? Does that now apply? Once that word ‘retired’ comes into play, all bets are off.


    • Jeffrey Leaf says:

      Why are you writing a resume? Usually, we write them to make someone interested in us for a specific position. Put in what’s appropriate for the end result. Whether you’re retired or not, you’re impressive. Your professional experience speaks volumes about your people skills. Even for volunteer positions, those skills are desirable. Ultras and marathons speaks to focus, work ethic and dedication. And, oh, yea, crazy. Having refereed sports for 55 years, I know about crazy. You don’t stop having all of those qualities just because you define yourself as retired.

      Liked by 1 person

    • annemontgomeryauthor2013 says:

      It’s almost like when we retire we become nothing. Or at least a paler version of what we once were, Vonnie. So I agree with Sharon. We are the sum of our experience. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Michelle Famula says:

    I don’t believe you will ever stop being a journalist, teacher, or official…these skills and area of expertise will always influence your opinions, writings and perspectives even after you stop being employed to share them. As for mom….once a mom, always a mom! You can retire from all of the other “professions” but you will never retire from, and always remain, mom to those boys. How great is that!


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