I had the opportunity to market myself during an interview a few weeks ago. It was a nice experience but one question in particular stumped me. The interviewer sideswiped me like SUV running a red light when she asked me how important is branding to an author. I had to think about it for a second because that key word is everywhere. Branding in business, sports, and now writing. Personally, for an author, I think branding is overrated.
Now, maybe that statement is a little harsh and I should clarify my thoughts a little bit. Although branding can be an important tool, the reckless pursuit of creating a brand is pointless. I’ve come across dozens of budding writers who struggle to create an image for themselves through social media, logos, and swag. Having an image is great and maybe even necessary. But the pursuit of creating one, and the “final” product can feel a bit false and mechanical. Yes, you should have a consistent image across all of your social media platforms, but no, you shouldn’t be more concerned about your brand than you are with your writing.
If you are young, or just starting out, worry less about your brand and more about your writing voice and style, and all those other things related to the pieces that you publish. As you send those beautiful pieces out into the world, and post those daily pics on Instagram, your brand will develop. Your brand will become a living breathing thing of beauty that reflects your writing and personality. In other words, your brand will become, you.