Mar 16, 2012

OUCH! Branding Can Hurt

It doesn't take a genius to see that I've been neglecting my blog lately. I need to apologize for that. It's not that I don't love my followers, I've just hit a bit of a snag and am not sure how to get over it.

I'm empty. Got nothing to give.

I'm sure most of you have been in this situation at one point or another in your blogging lives and can understand my dilemma. To fix it (me), I decided to ask my BFF for help. Little did I know she'd be chasing me with a branding iron, forcing me to see the real me and asking questions that only made me feel more and more lost. Not her fault. It's me.

You see, I'm eclectic.

While finding a brand should be simple, it's only made me discover how different I am from the rest of the world. According to BFF Ninja Extraordinaire, Ali Cross, I need to FIND myself, discover my target audience, figure out what I have to say to them and run with it. Make that my theme, my mantra, my platform. I'm to consider things I'm passionate about, subjects I like to study or teach and causes I support. Even my favorite color.

So here's what I came up with.

Not a dang thing.

I like all kinds of music, all kinds of movies. Every room in my house is decorated differently. Nothing in my life is theme oriented or done because I rock at a certain subject matter. My favorite color is WHITE. I have a white car, white iPhone, white kitchen and I love to decorated with the shabby chic white on white look. Sure, I love color and I have lots of it around my house, but I LOVE WHITE.


I once told someone I was mashed potatoes. No gravy. No butter. Nothing. Just plain mashed potatoes. I believe that more now than ever. They said to think of it as a blank canvas, that I could create myself over again. BLECK!  I'm 49 years old. Starting over scares the crap out of me.

And as far as a target audience and message I want to leave my readers, well . . . I just like to tell stories. Of course I think about the readers, but I think more about the characters and where they choose to take the story than I do about leaving a message or moral behind. I just want to entertain, take them to a different place for a few hours so they can escape the humdrum of day to day life.

What am I passionate about? Good question. What are YOU passionate about? Have any ideas on how I can get out of this slump?


  1. Aw, Christine, you can be whoever you want to be, even mashed potatoes. Let's face it, gravy would be lost without mashed potatoes. Some people are meant to be the glitter and glam, and some are meant to be the foundation.

    Just write your stories and share them with the world. Many authors do well with absolutely no marketing. Besides, you need something to market. Write a few more books and then worry about the other stuff.

  2. Maybe that's your brand? Mashed potatoes. It's perfect. You understand not everyone wants to be the butter or the gravy, some enjoy being mashed potatoes.

    I think you are amazing!!!!

  3. I'm a newer reader but you seem to be doing good as "mashed potatoes." Maybe mix up a little sour cream & butter, chives, salt and pepper, and see where it goes from here. Usually when I feel drained, I concentrate on something else: TV, a good book, the possibilities become endless and even taking a walk might inspire you again. Good luck!!

  4. I LOVE mashed potatoes! I don't need butter, so that tells you that you're a-okay being regular mashed potatoes. Personally, I think you're also sweet potatoes sometimes. :)

  5. I love mashed potatoes too! *high-fives Karen*
    Sometimes our passions are right there and we just don't realize it. I'm passionate about the environment, endangered species, leaving a better Earth for our children's children, and of course writing. And honestly, it took me a long time to realize that could be part of my writing, part of my brand if you will.

    Sounds to me like you're passionate about storytelling and giving people a place to escape to, that's fantastic. That's a great brand!

  6. You guys are freakin' awesome. I feel better already. Maybe being mashed potatoes and a passionate storyteller is enough.


  7. I think sometimes we are so worried about what other people say is best for us, that we forget how to just be ourselves--which is truly the best thing we can do.

    A few things I think you need to remember: 1. White is a classy color. It goes with everything, everyone likes it, and it is the color of purity and kindness. There is nothing boring about white.
    2. I get why you want to try to fit yourself into a "brand" but I think sometimes we try to cram ourselves into spaces fit by other people, and that doesn't usually work. Create your own space. Be your own person. And find your own rhythm. The best "branding" you can do is to just be you. That's all. 3.If something you're doing is overwhelming, or makes you otherwise unhappy, you shouldn't be doing it, and it's time to let it go. The point of life, and of success, is to find happiness.

    I hope you find that happy place.

  8. Well, dang. I feel a bit like a bad guy. :P But I totally get what you're saying AND I agree with the others here that you probably ARE passionate about things you haven't "valued" yet.

    Like Lisa said--mashed potatoes are a foundation. Maybe you're passionate about being there for people, giving them something to build on. And, I think, the more you do that, the more "flavorful" you become as well.

    And you're passionate about storytelling. Why do you (we) need more than that? Readers want to read stories. Period.

    Check out Brandon Mull's website. There's no "brand" there per say. There's Brandon and there's his books. We know when we read a Brandon Mull book that it's gonna be full of fantasy adventure and probably lots of imagination. For Brandon, it's ALL about the stories he tells.

    So maybe that's YOUR thing too? People who come to your site will know it's all about the stories.


    1. HA! You are so not the back guy. You are fantastic at helping others discover their brand, I'm just a hard case and you've made me think more about myself than I have in a long time. Also made me realize I have a lot of work to do on ME. Sometimes that can be hard to face, but I'm doing it. Thanks to you. HUGS