LA at Waking Up on the Wrong Side of 50 wrote a post the other day that caught my attention. It was called “What’s Your Brand?” Like a lot of LA’s posts, she got me thinking about this. And, because I had already been thinking about it
which makes me quite the narcissist I took it as a nudge from God that it’s something I need to pay attention to.
And, so, I did.
I had a good conversation with myself. Some might call this being psychotic. I call it having a rational conversation with my brain and my soul.
Brain: Andrea, why are you writing this blog?
Soul: It makes me happy. It helps me figure stuff out.
Brain: No one wants to hear your whining. Use a journal for that. (My brain can be a real bitch. If you’ve read my book, I once referred to her as Rhonda – named for a blacktop bully from my Catholic grade school days.)
Soul: People can connect with my
Brain: But what is your brand? Are you a book writer? A script writer? A poem collection writer? An influencer? A faith writer? A “whatever you feel like writing/how many cups of coffee did you drink to influence your manic thought process” type of writer?
Soul: I am all of those things. How can I pick?
The conversation in my noggin took a different turn when I realized that LA was not really talking about her brand for writing so much as her life. (Or at least that’s the idea I took away.)
Brain: Pay attention more!
Shut the beeexxxp up. Nice observation! I will! But right now, I don’t want to talk about fitting into perfect molds.
LesleyKluchin, a blogger I found through LA, wrote a pretty decent response to LA’s branding question. She basically said it’s IMPOSSIBLE to choose just a few things about oneself. We are all many things at once. This made sense to me on a personal level so I decided to play along.
Who Am I?
- A lover of books
- An avid thrift store shopper
- A lover of coffee (I took myself to lunch at a beautiful restaurant Friday called LadyFace. This coffee, along with the veggie burger, fries and beautiful breeze with a view of the canyon almost made working as a substitute teacher worth it. Okay, it did. I’m grateful to this small act of self care which started me off on a great weekend. It also leads me to my next branding point. I am…)
- Someone who demands to live in gratitude
- A lover of faith (Oh my God, my new church. I just love it. Today someone gave me an outfit just because she thought I’d look nice in it. I am getting involved in a Mom’s Against Gun Violence group there. There are all sorts of people from all walks of life who are open, kind and willing to share their stories. It’s like AA for Jesus. I’m beyond grateful for the ability to lean into God like a pair of comfy shoes – in my own way, with ease and gentleness.)
- Someone who digs a good conversation about, well, pretty much anything (“Oh, you’re a lesbian wood cutter in Germany? I love women, I love trees and I’m learning German on DuoLingo. Hooray for the fraus!”)
- A fan of snacks at Costco and samples of coffee at Trader Joes
- Obsessed with musicals (Yes, I did take my kids to see Les Miserables on Saturday. And no, it was not life changing for them. But I don’t care. Yes, I did “Hear the People Sing” and I was overjoyed, even though 80% of the cast was dead by the end of Act 2.)
- A giddy Christmas caroler/tree trimmer/cookie making have everyone over and celebrate kind of person
- A lover of Taco Tuesday
- Someone who writes every day because it makes my heart happy
- A good friend
- A lover of animals with very good boundaries. Ahem.
- A huge believer in education
- A fan of creativity, poems and the obscure
- Someone who is writing a musical about camels
- Passionate about transforming from one way of living to another by staying humble, open to change and willing to lay down my guns – such as my marriage to this guy
- Hard working
- Someone who loves progress over perfection – like this office! Look how pretty it looks!
- …and someone who can rap off the top of my head to pretty much any subject
While all those things above are true, I did use LA’s branding question to think about my blog here. I thought about how I was writing every day for a while, and that served me to get my writing started, but it became clear that the time spent on this site could be spent finishing up my pilot. So, for the past two weeks, that’s what I did and… it’s done! I turned in! And I’m so proud of the way it turned out! (Lots of exclamations! If you’re a praying type, please pray that the producer thinks so, also, and can sell it.)
And that last bit – the tv writing and my dream to get back into that field – it was just one more reason to think about what direction I want to take with this blog. I’ve read enough of Cristian Mihai to know that what we focus on we grow. Why shouldn’t that be my true passion? I mean, what am I waiting for?
So this gentle nudging, along with Saint Anne Lamott, forced me to dig a bit deeper and think about “Do I want to make a living writing or do I not?” And since the answer is an emphatic “I Do” (yup, I’m committed for life) then I need to make a commitment. Like a marriage, it works out better when you date, and so here’s my game plan for summer.
- Write this blog 2 days/week (Sundays will be like this one – more open ended and whimsical – and Wednesdays will be guest posts)
- 5 days/week: Tweet/Facebook my blog in case I decide to write a book. You know, be smart! Get an audience! (God, that sounds so clinical and premeditated. Not very organic. But it’s a good business move and unless I want to substitute teach forever, it’s just smart. I’m worth it and so is any writer who wants to sell a book.)
- 5 days/week: Read other people’s blogs and get new perspectives on life! Keep reading books.
- Summer: Finish my writing portfolio site http://www.andreafrazerwrites.com. I have written over 3000 articles in my past. Why not start freelance writing again while I wait for my scripts to sell? (Unless I want to substitute teach forever which, as said before, I DO NOT)
- 5 days/week: Take one hour and pitch article ideas to magazines
- 5 days/week: Take one hour and finish up new writing projects
- Take one whole day each month to work on your camel musical (more to come on this. I’m not normal.)
The above disciplines will take me about 3 hours/day. This is perfect work in between hauling both kids back and forth to their respective summer schools. It will take follow through and discipline, but anything work having does. But worse than that is wishing I could have written and did not.
This Time Next Year
If nothing, and I mean nothing, goes my way writing (and I think that will be impossible if I do as I say) then I will get my Masters and teach, writing books during the summer.
So that’s my plan.
What is your plan? What scares you the most but is something you want so bad you can spit? Are you willing to set aside time to make it happen? And what’s your brand – personally and with your blogs?
Let me know in a comment!
(Meanwhile, I can’t wait to catch up on your blogs. Talk at ya Wednesday!)
Happily Ticked Off Tip #54: Decide what your brand is for your life and your blog and make a promise to yourself that you will get ‘er done. (No one will do it for you. Which is a good thing. You know, that whole pride of ownership thing. Think about how proud you will be of yourself in one year when you DID IT!)
(Note: It’s a special ed journey… your kid doesn’t need to have Tourettes to relate!) Follow me on Twitter@AndreaFrazerWrites or on Facebook.