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Prophecy Six Blog

Sharing My Unedited Writing Experiences & Life Experiences.

Date

May 6, 2016

Writer’s Brand

A catch phrase, a certain item, a favourite hat, or a piece of clothing.

What do all these have in common?

They are a part of a brand.

When you walk into a bookstore you don’t ask for books by a publishing company, usually you have a certain author in mind. It’s something about that author that helps you determine your interest in them. It’s what helps you connect to them on a personal level.

Brands are important to a writer just as much as writing. It is how we connect to our readers and what connects our readers to us.

I didn’t realize how important this was until I sat in on a publishing round-table during my first writing conference (OWC). Your writing brand builds your readership, connects with your audience, and can help make your writing fun.

The biggest question and most important question to ask yourself as a writer is:

What do you want your brand to say about you?

Now, I struggled a lot with this question. I kept thinking about how I wanted my brand to show me… like the real me… not this blogging behind the scenes type of person but the person my friends get to see. This is what led me to asking myself:

Who is really me?

Deep I know, but it was this question that led me to the answer I was looking for.

I started to think about those defining moments in my life where I felt like me – the real me. I started to make a list at this point:

  • whimsical
  • funny
  • blunt
  • friendly
  • helpful
  • quiet
  • gamer
  • multicultural
  • thrives on creativity
  • ambitious
  • likes to work (if anyone is hiring? :P)
  • old soul
  • loves nature
  • photography

This is a list of what I am or what people have said I am from passing. I’m happy with that and so, my next question was:

How do I turn this into a brand?

I knew I wanted whimsical, blunt, gamer, creative as my main points. I mean, in university my professors believed I was absent from class when I wasn’t wearing my cat hat. I had started my brand back then with wearing that funny cat eared hat to class everyday to the point no one recognized me without it.

I had to think back to how I could do that with my writing and how I could take this awkward, whimsical side of me online. I could change my blog to appear more whimsical and creative. The same could go with my website. Blunt and gamer could be done through blog posts and twitter (-.-). Most of that list actually could be done through blog posts.

So… it seemed I figured everything out… which leads me to the next point that was made during this round-table:

Choose the social media you’re passionate about and focus on it.

This was the reason I was MIA for the last week.

I wanted to spend a week reviewing my posts on all my social media platforms: Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, WordPress, Facebook – to see what one I was passionate about and where I wanted to cut. I wanted to think which platforms were work and which platforms were fun. This was easier than I originally thought.

WordPress, Pinterest, and Instagram – these were the ones I have the most fun with using. I have met so many amazing people through these three platforms and there is no way I would give that up. My blog will be focused towards things I find interesting and about funny things in my life. I’m going to try to move away from writing and just use this place to share things I’m passionate/ interested in outside of my love for the written word. Pinterest will have writing quotes and prompts like always, along with writing resources I’ve read and approve. Instagram is still going to be random until I find something I want to stick with.

Twitter and Facebook – I will not be regular on. I can’t stand writing 145 characters and Facebook is just… Facebook… I’m on it because that’s the only way people my generation communicate. I would delete my account tomorrow if everyone went back to calling each other or sending letters. So, yeah… these two are dead to me.

In regards of my website – it s a professional site for my book and for my author identity. I will be keeping it strictly P6 in the sense of the world building and history of Gaitan, which the book series is based in. There will be book snippets and fun character facts found on that site.

I think this change will help me be able to post a lot more things for all of you and get to meet others within the wordpress community that share similar interests with me. I’m always working to improve and hopefully this will be a good change for all of us. 🙂

 

 

 

5 People I Discovered at a Writers’ Conferences

Last weekend I spent my time in Ajax, Ontario at the last OWC (Ontario Writers Conference). It was my first conference and won’t be my last. I met a lot of people, and it was wonderful getting to talk with those equally passionate about the written word as I am. I took workshops and networked. I even won something – which I will talk about in a later post.

What I wanted to share with all of you is what I learned from this short two day conference and how it has changed the way I approach my blogging/ writing.

Firstly, there are four types of people who you will run into at this sort of conference. You will have the fledgling, the braggers, the supporters, the downers, and the chosen.

The fledgling is the very young writer who is likely in high school. They are bright eyed and bushy tailed with little to no knowledge about what the writing world is like. They have fantasized on becoming the next J.K Rowling and have written in their journals about what they are going to do when they become famous. They are the quiet conference goers that hang out by the wall or nervously bring up how they are in high school when people ask what they do for a living.

Everyone as one time – no matter who you are in this list – has been a fledgling. You’re passion is driven by something inside you that makes you want to improve. You want to learn all you can from people more experienced or skilled that you are. You want to become better and be better from learning what you can from the conference you saved up for from your min wage job and birthday cash.

This conference is where you realize there are others like you and that you aren’t alone in your drive or desire to share your ideas/ world/ writing with anyone who will listen.

They – of course- aren’t to be confused with the braggers.

The braggers are those that will not shut up about their book/ writing project. They are the ones that aren’t asked about what they are writing but choose to talk about it anyway. They are either recently published and excited to share what they have accomplished or they are just wanting to tell you how great they are.

I admit – there were a couple of times I caught myself being a bragger. The difference though, I didn’t bring up my book. People asked what I wrote and if I’ve published anything, which opened the flood gates for me and I have a hard time stopping myself. I can’t help it… I want the whole world to know about P6. I’m sorry if you were one of my victims… and most of those were the people who supported me that weekend.

The supporters are those that will listen and support you. The majority of the people at the OWC were supporters. They would share their contacts and direct you to useful information regarding certain subjects. There were graphic designers and literary agents. There were other writers looking for other writers to compare notes with.

These are the people you want to surround yourself with and with luck I did. I met many people of all ages that were supportive in all sorts of ways. I’ve made contacts that will help improve my writing and networking too.

I hope I was a supporter throughout the OWC. I know I shared my self-publishing experience with people and gave them tips on how to approach different online formats. I also helped them understand the uses of blogging and how it could help their brand. I’m even sharing my notes I took through my classes in hopes of spreading more helpful knowledge to my writing group. The last thing I want to be is a downer after all…

The downers… ugh… as much as I don’t want to say these people exist – they do.

Now I don’t want to talk about these people much but they were there and it sucked when I ran into them. They are the types that will treat you like you aren’t worthy of their time. They will judge you by age, gender, genre, and consider what you’re working on not worthy of the written word.

I ran into one woman that didn’t consider YA fantasy a real form of writing. She believed that anyone could write YA fantasy because ‘it is just made up’. I’m sure she isn’t wrong but it is one of the more popular genres for a reason… so we YA writers must be doing something right.

Her choice was non-fiction and I’ll admit she is skilled but she had no right in pulling others down. The writing business is already cut throat, we writers shouldn’t be attacking one another or bring each other down.

Downers are those that consider your accomplishments worthless and your style juvenile. They will say nice things to your face and when your back is turned talk about how terrible they think your writing/ project ideas are.

I found this more to be aligned with age rather than anything else. I was the minority at the OWC. Most who were there were older or retired individuals while I am – well – not. Many older individuals changed quickly from supporters to downers when they discovered I had published something. They changed their tune from speaking to me to speaking down at me, which made me focus my attention to those supporters that still treated me as an equal.

Now, the chosen – these are the people we want to be. They are the best-sellers or world renowned authors that grace the event with their guru knowledge. They are talented and their words are like honey when we listen to them read pieces from their latest work.

Yes, these chosen are people just like us, but they are our celebrities. They are those that made it and those we want to become. They are the people we work to be and want to learn from. They are the names whispered in the hallway or the classes stuffed to the brim to learn their secrets.

There are only a few of them at each event but their presence makes a big impact.

 

 

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