So hopefully, a few of you have noticed the silence eminating from the blog over the past two weeks.
Part of the problem was Thanksgiving, a class at work, and a lot of travel (to and from Dallas by car).
The other half of the problem is that when you have downtime, you have time to think.
So what have I been thinking about?
In part, now that I’ve had my Facebook page set up for a while, I’ve been thinking about what I spend my time on writing wise and what I should be spending my time on.
A Little History
I started writing on my birthday in 2003.
I had just turned 39 and I realized that I was getting old and that I had talked about writing novels since I was 16. I also bought a guitar, started drawing, and tried (unsuccessfully) to lose some weight.
Mid-life crisis much?
I drew one half-way decent picture, let my weight continue to fluctuate between 158 and 175, and set my (very nice) guitar in the corner.
But the writing stuck.
The first book was a first person mystery and then I started on a new novel about death, change, and overcoming odds. I wrote almost every day and loved it. My family, my friends, and a few people who ended up with copies liked what I wrote. Some of them were surprised at how good it is.
Five years later, I went to a conference. The conference was great.
I made some good friends and I also got hit over the head with this thing called “platform.”
Platform’s had me screwed up ever since.
How it’s going
I’ve written a lot of stuff. Built a platform (at least a little). And I’ve sort of gotten back on track.
I’ve also wandered a bit from a story point of view.
I’ve written mysteries, a love story, and lots of stories that explore relationships.
It’s been good to explore and fun for a lot of people to read, but it’s got me off kilter. I haven’t finished a new, full novel in the last five years.
The problem is that I don’t have a brand.
What’s a brand?
I drink Pepsi. When I went to India, one of the few things that got a picky eater who hates change through two weeks was the fact that I could reliably buy Pepsi from any number of street vendors.
And it tasted very much like the Pepsi that I had in the states.
It was reliable.
When you pick up a Stephen King novel, you know what it is going to taste like. Yes, taste like. You can count on that.
It’s not the same for me.
Some days I taste like Sue Grafton, some days like Nicholas Sparks, and lately writing Chantico, I’ve tasted a little like Clive Cussler.
I’ve got to find my brand.
I’ll still be writing, but there will be a few changes. Hang in there with me if you can. It won’t take long to find a reliable taste here again.
If you’re a writer, you’ll find some links below that I’ve been looking at in terms of branding. Check them out.