Awhile ago, I wrote a post about the purported need to have a Brand for one’s blog/online presence/life if one is to Succeed. It was written mostly in agreement with YA author Maureen Johnson’s declaration of I am Not a Brand. I understood at the time that just writing about whatever was not going to get me a lot of readers immediately, but that the alternative wasn’t something I was willing to do just for an audience. It seemed like I would need to be Not Me.
It was partially for this reason I started Silverstring Media. There, I could be a Brand with a Platform of transmedia, attract the audience for that, and keep this site my own.
I’ve been thinking about it a lot more recently. Apparently I’m not the only one, because writer and hilariously vulgar advice-giver Chuck Wendig wrote a post on it just recently, which spoke to a lot of what I’ve been considering. And I’ve considered things like the fact that I just bought Maureen Johnson’s Devilish not because I’ve read anything by her and like her writing (I haven’t), and not because she’s recommended by John Green (she is), but because I think the things she says on Twitter are funny and I like her voice and I can see myself liking her writing.
And I realized that that is the writer’s brand. It’s not that I Will Focus My Blog on Narrow Topics of Interest like Home Renovation. It’s that my blog should be where I reveal who I am. My voice. even if I don’t have A Book yet. I’m not going to evangelize myself and I’m not going to restrict myself to a narrow field because that’s not what I do with my writing.
I’ll write about things I care about — writing, being gay, mythology, speculative fiction, music, etc. But I’ll also learn from my Silverstring blog — I’ll try to make the posts more thoughtful, more engaging in the community rather than just my random daily musings. The in-depth ones were always the posts here that were most popular.
I guess I’m saying I do have a Brand after all. But that brand is just me and my voice. I can work to spread my brand and grow my audience without sacrificing my integrity.
So that’s what I’ve learned. Be yourself, but develop your voice. Talk about whatever tugs at you, but do it in the context of a community, and put thought into it. Oh, and get back to posting regularly. Which will be easier now that I’m done school and don’t have a job with regular hours.