D. F. Krieger

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ourselves or Someone Like Us

A lot of authors that blog have been talking lately about the process of finding an "Author Brand".  The first time I saw it, I was a bit worried.  Social media was a big step for me; and now you people are saying I need a brand?  It doesn't include hot irons and my initials I hope!  With a little wariness (okay, more than a little) I read several of them, and was transported back to my high school days.  Freaky, huh?  Let me explain.

Back in high school I was actively involved with the newspaper.  I was the lead editor and wrote quite a few articles.  I wasn't satisfied with writing about the latest basketball game or upcoming FFA activities.  I wanted to go beyond that.  With my teacher's blessing who happened to oversee the newspaper (thank you Mrs. Coker!), I created a controversial column under a pen name.  No, I'm not just blabbing on about 'back in the day'; this does have a point.

I wrote an article titled, "Ourselves or Someone Like Us".  It talked about the idea that social expectations of what we should be often shape our outer selves, but is it who we really are?  And is it because we see ourselves in a certain role that we tend to mimic its stereotypes?

Many of the bloggers speak of the layers that make up that which is 'us'.  Each one is different, but no less genuine.  A perfect example is myself.  I'm a gamer girl.  I love playing video games; from Horse Saga on Facebook, to White Knight Chronicles on the PS3, to Grand Fantasia on my laptop.  I probably dedicate at least one day a week to JUST gaming.  This doesn't have any relation to the fact that I'm also an animal enthusiast.  I volunteer at the local SPCA, have worked for rescues for over ten years, and write articles on how to improve animal behaviors.  The two facets of me don't correspond, but they are still genuine and I get recognized in both environments.  I just don't get recognized as "Farah" when I walk in to the SPCA, nor did I get known by my real name when I'm ingame.

Choosing your 'Author Brand' works on the same basic principles.  I'm neither the gamer, nor the animal enthusiast when I write fiction.  I'm D. F. Krieger, the (wanna-be) author.

It's been years since I wrote, "Ourselves or Someone Like Us"; but what sticks out the most about it is that six years after I'd graduated high school, I met a new girl in college and became friends with her.  We'd attended the same high school, though she'd been a freshman when I was a senior.  One day I visited her house, and was amazed at what I found on her bedroom wall; my article, carefully laminated and hung.

Now, reading all these blogs and that memory has inspired me.  Yes, it's been years since I wrote the article but I'm sure I could write it again.  With luck, I may get it published in a magazine directed at teens.  It wouldn't hurt to make them stop and think again...except this time I'll do it under my real name.

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