I looked at branding as a necessary evil. Something marketers and salespeople do to get people to buy things of questionable value. This meant I would read articles on branding, nod my head, and think, “I write all kinds of things. There isn’t a single thread that ties them all together. Well, I write a lot of fantasy. With romance. I guess that counts.”
Discovering your category, I’ve learned, is not branding. It’s part of it. But I was willing to leave all that alone.
However, a while back I got a book from Kindle. (“Got” is a little vague. I purchased it.) It’s a pretty good book and I’ll eventually post my thoughts on it at some future point. One of the things it has you do is distill your brand. Obviously, I skipped that part and kept reading. But everything they suggested went back to that one exercise. So, I rubbed my eyes, took a deep breath and started brainstorming what my writing actually is.
The more I wrote, examined, pondered, the more I realized I wasn’t examining my stories. My writing is an extension of my thoughts, beliefs, essence. My brand, I learned, is a distillation of who I am. What had begun as a marketing technique, became a spiritual journey.
I learned why I read the books I read.
I learned why I find some plots more appealing than others.
I learned what I want to convey with my stories and how I want my readers to feel when they reach the end.
I learned more about who I am.
For those of you who are resisting examining your brand as another marketing trick, I strongly recommend viewing it as a look in the mirror. There are amazing things to find if you do.