I have been trying to create a “Michell Plested” brand for some time now. To date, that has included being active on social media, having a website and a podcast. It has also included the several books I now have available.
But yesterday when I asked the question on Twitter what else I should do, @KevinWohler asked me who I was.
He wasn’t asking the question as in, “Who are you? I have never met nor heard of you.” Instead, he was asking, “Who do you think you are and how do you want people to perceive you?”
This is when I admit that I am lousy at self-evaluation and even worse at seeing myself through any lens other than my own ocular units.
I had to admit I had no idea how I wanted to be seen.
Kind of impossible to create a cohesive brand when you don’t even know what it is you want to be when you grow up, isn’t it?
So, with some back and forth we established that I am a YA writer.
I like to write adventure stories with humour.
Does that make me a YA Adventure writer (with aspirations of being funny)? I guess it does. And for the moment, that is a good place to start.
I could have tried homing in further to say something like YA Science Fiction writer or YA Steampunk writer or YA Superhero writer. I could claim any and all of those things.
But that muddles the message because I am all of those things and more. For example, I have also written a zombie book (one day to be a trilogy). I think, since adventure is implicit in all of my writing, I will lay claim to being a YA Adventure writer. The kind of adventure simply depends on the story.
Of course, that is only the very first step. There are many more to go. Imagineering (to steal a term) may be the easiest one. Next, I have to start looking at what should be included in the brand and what should be taken out.
Trimming the extraneous is never fun.