Books, Branding & Writer Blogs

Check out the cool surprise box of books I bought this week! They’re all old, antique books, which I love, and I can’t wait to see what’s in there. The green book on top, The Hand in the Dark by Arthur J. Rees was included as a teaser for the types of books in this particular box, and I am greatly intrigued.

I’ll be doing a video unboxing later this week (or on the weekend, depending on my schedule). I’ll do that on YouTube, but I’ll include it here as well next week.

General Discussion – Branding

I’ve been thinking a lot about branding lately…business brands, personal brands, defining phrases, and all that jazz people either wholeheartedly embrace (anyone my age not know the tune that spells “b-o-l-o-g-n-a”?), or love to hate.

I’ve had my marketing hat on a lot lately, as I brainstorm ways to build my writing business into something self-sustaining over the next decade or so, and my two pen names have pretty clear brands (in fact, I’m rebranding one soon that will make it even more clear…and a lot of fun, IMO).

My own name as a writer? Not so much. It’s for a few different reasons – the first being, I always felt weird about fully embracing my “writerly side” online when I do have another full-time job that isn’t an insignificant part of my life.

The second is, when I started this blog/site, it wasn’t a “writer’s site”. It was my personal blog, where I could connect with people on different topics that I find interesting. Unfortunately, people tend to prefer “niche” blogs to personal blogs and have for awhile…I’ve just held out with this because…I’m rebellious that way.

And the third is that I don’t have a strong sense of my own “voice” when it comes to writing romantic suspense, romantic adventure…whatever you want to call it that I write under my “main” name (see? I don’t even fit neatly into a specific genre!), because I’m largely still trying to find it. I had this problem with one of my other pen names as well until just this week, when I was writing some bits of copy for rebooting that newsletter. I slipped into a particular voice, went with it, and liked it so much I’m co-opting it for the entire web site/blog redesign I need to do over there.

I gave my own name & writing some good thought this week, and I’m still confused. And I don’t want to be confused, but more importantly, I don’t want readers to be confused. And this site and blog now exist largely to serve my name as a writer, more than anything else.

So, I’m thinking. Trying to figure out what it is about my writing (under this name) that makes it uniquely mine, and what element(s) would be best to associate closely with my name as an author. It might be that I just have to keep writing to figure it out…and I’m okay with that. I figure lots of things out while writing – which is one of the main reasons I love doing it.

And honestly, I kind of think this is a good general personal exercise too, as it’s helping me clarify my goals for each writing name and each style of writing I pursue. It’s not easy, nor is it particularly comfortable, but I am glad I’m thinking about it, and distilling my goals and vision forward in my own mind, if nowhere else.

All this to say…I’m going to be making some changes to this blog and the site as a whole. But I think they’ll be for the better, and I hope they’ll make things more entertaining and more of a “writer’s site”.

Change isn’t always bad. I’m actually kind of looking forward to a new way of doing things.

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