Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Creating a Self-Brand

Yesterday was all tied up in research. I was considering about four different self-publishing sites, and reading over thrilling articles about marketing and the like. I've never been good at selling myself. Perhaps it has something to do with my rather pessimistic low-selfesteem outlook on my own life. Sure, I've been all over the world, but the best job I can manage to get is in retail. I can write a letter nicely promoting a friend or family member, but ask me to write a resume and I cringe internally.

The thought of having to go out and drum up support for my own writing is daunting. I've been writing since I first learned how to form letters. Stories have always been in my blood. I've lived life all over the place and gained insights and experiences in different cultures both locally and internationally to shape my character and my writing abilities. I don't have a list of published titles to my name...yet.

But once I do get things written, I have to figure out how to get them out there to the public and get them to actually pick them up and read them. Something that I keep coming across in this research is the idea of "branding." No, not submitting yourself to some rancher and asking them to set your flesh a-sizzling, but creating some sort of symbol that people will identify you with.

As I looked at some of these things, I realized that my writing doesn't typically stick to one trend. I just wrote a fantasy style/ potentially YA novel about dragons. But my writing goes in so many other directions as well. I don't want to base some future website solely on dragons. It wouldn't be true to the other writing styles that are encapsulated in my collection.

There was talk about how your brand is basically yourself. Who you are influences the way your work is identified. Some people might come up with an alter ego identity for a brand style, but then have trouble living up to what they have created. For example, if a mousy wall flower type finds self fufillment in writing books about the flashy life of Hollywood stars, and portrays herself in that light to her fans, then is afraid to ever actually go out in public and live the life she has created for herself, it could pose a serious problem.

As I have thought about my writing, and about my life in general, I realize I have already created two very separate brands. On the one side, I have my darker writing. The fantasy books would come under this category, even if they aren't quite as dark as, say "Daughters of the Pond." These go along with the side of me that enjoys wandering through cemeteries, and remembers the good old days when I liked to wear a lot of black and had shocking blue hair. It's all still a part of me, even if it varies a bit from the more daily aspects of my life.

Then there is the Transient Drifter side. This is the part of my lifestyle dedicated to travel and self development. It would cover more personal, thoughtful writings, as well as my ideas for future travel style novels. Also, very much a part of who I am.

I guess there is something to be said about being pure and singleminded, but I'm just not that type. I'm all over the place. Both literally as well as figuratively. So I'm not going to box myself into one distinct style or brand. Who says I can't have more than one, and still be equally true to myself, my nature, and my writing?

All part of the process...

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