Today, I realized what deep gratitude I have for the fact that I have this blog to share with all of you who are reading it. Thank you for doing so! Often, as artists, we make compromises between what our intuition might tell us about a project, and what a client tells us they want. Of course, the client’s desires are at the forefront of our concerns — otherwise we couldn’t stay in business.
But sometimes, that means the concept is muted, or doesn’t follow the progression it would have, if we had the option to exclusively trust our own instincts. That’s why it is so absolutely wonderful to have a space carved out where I can share my own thought meanderings, and highlight work that had special significance for deeply personal reasons. I am also working on a couple of larger writing projects, which you’ll be able to buy in the very near future! It has been fantastic for me to write again, since it was my first job path out of college. In terms of my most obvious branding, I all but abandoned it for the last 10 years while I pursued photography. With the exception of my coaching clients — I help writers create copy, novels, scripts, as well as help edit them and/or serve as a script-doctor — I haven’t made much of a “thing” of my writing profession in the past several years. But that is changing now.
I have been writing morning pages for the last 10 years, as of this month. Writing is the most natural thing in the world to me. When I was in grade school, I used to type multiple copies of plays I wrote, take them to school, and make my classmates practice their parts during recess. (Yes, the first time I watched Rushmore, I got a little freaked out.) My teachers would submit me to writing contests, and my poetry was published in the high school year book. Sometimes, like photography, because it comes so easily to me, I forget what a gift it is to write. I am trying to be more mindful of that gift, and relish the experience as often as I can.
Certain people are enviably able to project themselves utterly and unabashedly into their brand, and I have found myself admiring that a great deal in the likes of Gala Darling. I’m going to be meeting her, Shauna Haider (of Nubby Twiglet) and a long-time, long-distance colleague, Kat Williams (of Rock-n-Roll Bride), for the first time at their workshop — the BlogCademy — in LA next week. While I have always tried to infuse a bit of my personality into my brand, I have also shied away from being too different. I have wanted people to know that my work is unique, but have been afraid of separating myself from the mainstream.
Something tells me the women who run the BlogCademy don’t think that way. I am so eager to hear what they have to say about willingness to share ourselves honestly, and just to be in their energetic presence. Standing out and being totally self-expressive might go against long-standing marketing principles about speaking in the “right tone,” for your target audience. But then again, maybe speaking loud and clear in my own unique tone will attract the right audience for all aspects of my work — whether or not I targeted them!
This is an especially appealing thought, as I begin to identify as a writer again. Many fears have been creeping up for me — since most people know me as a photographer, will adding this aspect of my work make sense? Will people get confused? How can I be as open as I can so that my work is pure and good? And, if I focus on that — the quality of the work — can I really trust that the right people will respond to it?
I guess the answer is that I have to. I have no choice but to trust that focusing simply on the quality of the work is the best thing I can do right now. I have to allow the work to work me; to inspire me, and to shape me into a better artist, writer, communicator. I feel like I have a lot of knowledge and insights inside, that will be of benefit to others, if I tap into my willingness to share them. I have started doing so here, on this blog, and I can’t wait to share my bigger projects with you. They’ll be announced soon, so stay tuned!
Thoughts on writing? On being authentic to yourself? I’d love to hear from you. The “comment” lines are now open!