Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Being Yourself as a Writer Pt.1

Thank you for all the fabulous comments yesterday! If anyone didn't get the chance to answer my questions yesterday, I'd love to hear more of your thoughts, so I won't go too far off topic today...

Let's add a twist for writers. Many industry people believe that it's important to create a brand as a writer: sure, once you're sufficiently well-known for good writing you can start to branch out and write anything you want, but as a beginner it is often recommended that writers (and, I think, bloggers) find a genre or a style or a subject matter for which they can be known, to help build an audience. Let's use retail as an example -- if you have a local store that sells clothes that you like, that flatter you and fit you well and match your style, you would keep going back for more... and you'd probably shop there LESS OFTEN if you couldn't count on seeing those items for sale every day. It would be very disconcerting if one week they sold bicycle tires, another week they sold kids' toys, another week they sold those nice clothes, and then back to tires again, or maybe landscaping equipment... the odds are higher that you will find an appreciative audience for ONE THING than for dozens.

So, how do you "be yourself" as a writer? Writers, are you dying to bust out something that your current audience might not appreciate? Bloggers, do you ever find yourself holding back about something you'd like to discuss, because you know that your blog is a "writing" blog, or a "travel" blog, or a "political" blog, or some other niche? Or perhaps, like me, you just try to find some kind of angle to make the topic work within the confines of your chosen genre?

Or did you chose your writing/blogging topics and style because they are so inherently you that this isn't even an issue for you, because you're already writing about everything you could possibly care about? Why would anyone ever want to sell anything but bicycle tires, right? Those weirdos...

Tell me more. Who are you, and how do you present yourself? And, who are you and how do you present yourself as a writer or blogger?


  1. Hey!

    I really try to be intentional with my blog, only blogging about writing things. Sometimes I just want to have a "fun" post and show my sense of humor, so I try to find a way to tie it into writing.

    As a writer, I'm in women's fiction, which is a pretty broad genre. I guess I'm lucky. That's really all I want to write currently. Maybe it'll be an issue in the future, but then again, maybe I'll be at a point where I can try something else then. Right now I'm in my niche and happy about it!

    Have a great day!

  2. I don't know. I try to be honest on my blog--to show who I really am and not the way I WANT to be perceived. I am an extremely disorganized mother who just happens to write a little too.

  3. I considered starting new Blogs for topics that wouldn't fit into the Daddy niche. We'll see...Maybe even under a different name

  4. I don't go into politics or religion on my blog because I know those are "hot button" issues. But I still want my personality to shine through on my blog, to be truthful on anything I write about. It's the real me on my blog - I don't hide anything. I just choose not to talk about certain issues.

  5. I started my blog "Emergency Metaphor Technician" because I love metaphors and thought it would be interesting for other people.
    But as it turns out, I myself am way more interested in blogging about the writing process.
    Thus, I've added a description to my blog that says "Discussion about Metaphors and Writing".
    After all, nothing can be in a constant state of emergency, can it? Thus, when I feel like the interwebz need a little more metaphor awareness, I post about Metaphors.
    I also try to bring my post back to metaphors when I can.

    But sometimes, I just plain have to talk about what I learned when trying to write about a character, or what I discovered while writing the outline for a plot.

    I think bloggers should stick to one topic, and focus on developing their voice there, but that a little variance is ok, expected, and sometimes even longed for.

  6. My blog was an accident. I tried to leave a comment on my daughter's blog, and the next thing I knew, I had created my own. Of course, then I felt obligated to post and could not abandon it.
    Originally, 3 years ago, I was still living in Venezuela and used the blog to tell the truth about the politics there. My readership began to grow and I shared jungle stories from my life and had a great response.
    I am very eclectic and do not think I have a 'theme' to my blog, other than my life. I do touch on politics occasionally, and it does get interesting responses. I enjoy debate, but it scares some readers away, so I tend to get my point across by using humor.
    My problem is that readers want JUNGLE STORIES, but I must hold some back for the book!