All Buffett All the Time

Along with a paperback drop comes a flurry of media and writing responsibilities. I've been blogging on Motley Fool, HuffPo and a few other places and doing interviews. Some of this was prompted by the BNI deal. I can blog more at some other time about the difference between  being a "media person" who who is also an author versus an "author" who appears in the media.  Right now I'd  like to explain  what it means to be a biographer. 

If you decide to, or someone asks you to write a biography, you are taking on a lifelong responsibility. You have many obligations, among them to work hard to become the most knowledgeable expert on your subject, and to convey that knowledge to your readers in a manner that is enjoyable for them to read. You will also be expected to comment publicly as the most knowledgeable expert on your subject, whenever something important happens to him/her.

This responsibility shifts over time -- when your subject's career ends you must put it in perspective; when their life ends, you are the person who can best sum up their legacy. Afterwards, you will be expected to bring forth whatever could not be said while your subject was alive. (Anyone who writes about a living subject will tell you that there are always a few things that must be left for later, sometimes at the subject's request. This doesn't mean something important was "left out" of the biography, but a lot of things are left on the cutting room floor - probably 80% of the details -- and some of these details resurface over time.) Periodically, you will be asked to provide fresh insight for the next generation of people who are interested in your subject. You will need to revisit your files to consider whether another angle appears on certain aspects of your work.

You have to stay current on your subject, because whenever somebody picks up the phone and calls you from CNBC, you are supposed to respond. It's your job. Ah, the glamorous world of television news. That's a subject for another blog post....

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