Who Do You Say that You Are?
Look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see yourself an aspiring writer? A Wanna Be? I say, it’s time to stop. You are either a writer or you’re not. You might be a beginning writer,, a writer in training rather than someone who is aspiring to be a writer. a number of other published authors agree. I have read this idea from Kristen Lamb and Jeff Goins. Stop calling yourself an aspiring writer. If you write, you’re a writer. If you don’t, you’re either a non-writer or a procrastinating writer, but aspiring or wannabe? No, lets drop that idea.
But I am just starting out, you say. I can’t call myself a real writer. Real Writers. . .( you fill in the blank.) These are goals that you want to accomplish because you want to become a real writer. Whatever you answer to what a real writer is, those are goals that you have toward becoming a real writer. Rather than calling yourself a “wannabe” or an aspiring writer, call yourself a Writer Apprentice instead. You are a writer apprentice studying under the greats. What great writing styles have you studied? Have you read Stephen King’s On Writing, A Memoir of Craft? Now read it again, take notes, learn and apply his style to yours. Do this and you will have studied under Stephen King. The other day I re-read Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography. I studied under Benjamin Franklin. What other authors have you studied under? What authors have you studied the work of greats in your genre? Gresham? Lawrence? Don’t know who they are? Go to amazon and search under your chosen genre. Whose names are at the front page? Apprentice under those writers, learn what makes their writing great or at least popular. How good is your grammar and spelling? Do you need to study those? Include those in your apprenticeship program. Do you write every day. Do you write at least in a journal? Do you do writing prompts? Do you have works in progress? Do you at least have ideas for works in progress. Finally, do what you consider a real writer does. Fulfill what you believe a real writer does and consider yourself graduated from apprentice to real writer.
Your Brand Mirrors Your Goals
I am a real writer and I brand myself as such. Real writers write. Real writers convince others that they are real writers. Not the other way around. I am a real writer because i do what I believe real writers do. I brand myself as a real writer. I dress as I perceive a real writer and author. dresses. I have the confidence of a real writer, and most important, I have the goals that I believe a real writer and author has. I have done my apprenticeship time, I am doing what I believe a real writer like King, Gresham and Lawrence, therefore, I am a real writer and I write fantastic books. So far I have written six books, three fiction, three nonfiction. I am working on two more and brewing several more.
This is the end of the first whole week in April and the end of the first week in the second quarter of the year. I figured that now was a good time to look at my goals anyway, so it makes sense at this point to determine if who I present myself to be lines up with those goals.I found that yes, i have been very productive as a writer, but my marketing has not been what I would like it to be, yet. My problem isn’t hat I don’t think that I am a fantastic writer. No, my problem is that I have not convinced others that I am a fantastic writer.
Become Your Own Character
When writing my novels, I can’t really say that I create them as much as I discover who they are. In a sense, it is the same with branding myself as an author. I am discovering who I am and in the process creating my persona as an author.
Marketing my brand as a real author of great books begins not with the reader, but with me the writer. As stated several times, I know that I am a real writer because I do what real writers do. I writer great books. I am convinced that I am a real writer and marketing involves convincing others that I am an author of great books. How do I do that? To begin, I look like what others expect the persona of a good author to look like. I need to have the confidence of a genuine author of great books. Developing this personas must be in line with my future goals. It’s not the fake it till you make it. Its more like convincing others about what I already know about myself. Developing my brand as an author involves looking at how I want to perceive myself and emulate who I am.
Last night I went to a meeting and at the meeting I was introduced as the President of the Oregon County Writer’s Group as well as the author of six books. I was proudly able to add that my seven book was to be published soon. That was a place where someone else recognized who I was and my accomplishments. I didn’t have to beg others to “read my book”. I was recognized for my accomplishments. I am developing my persona on a local level. I am developing my persona on the internet as well.
Branding is Focus
There are so many different avenues that I could take in my writing, but I have decided to focus on two areas. One is natural, sustainable living and the other is my fiction series: The Locket Saga. I have written numerous online articles about gardening, written two booklets about natural substances that enhance sustainable living (on the cheap, I might add). My fiction series is historical Christian romance, heavy on the history with clean romance and light Christian content. Since I am also a pastor, this plays into my focus as well. What I write under my pseudonym and under my real name are all part of who I perceive myself as an author and the message that I want to share. Anything outside of that and I would have to develop a totally different brand. Something that at this time, I am not ready to do. I prefer to be true to my beliefs.
Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church 1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm. As Author Cygnet Brown, she has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga