I’m not gonna lie to you. I’m a little confused about my brand as a blogger. I’m not confused about the concept of branding, mind you. I know all about the concept of picking a topic/identity and sticking to it. But when it comes to branding my blog … *breathes out a heavy sigh* So I need a little direction here and I’m hoping you can help me out.
See, here’s the thing. I like it when people read my blog. It makes me feel like I’ve got something interesting to say. So when I log in and see higher numbers it makes me happy. However, and in keeping with advice I’ve seen on many people’s blogs, I don’t want to blog about Writing. (Okay, sometimes I do, but for the sake of this argument let’s pretend I don’t.) I see a lot of blogs offering advice to Writers that stress the point that Writers shouldn’t blog about Writing (all the time). What I find ironic about that is that these blog posts are being posted by Writers, retweeted by Writers, and followed by Writers. So Writers shouldn’t blog about Writing, but Writers read Writing blogs in droves. Hmm. Something isn’t right here.
I’ve posted a few things about Writing now and then and, well, occasionally they’re some of my biggest hits. Some of them aren’t. Those posts are cathartic to write, but I wouldn’t say they’re my favorite.
I also like to write about myself, my life, and the lessons I’ve learned. Those sorts of things are fun to blog about because, let’s face it, I’ve had a lot of THINGS happen to me in my life, good and bad, and I would like to think that (with the help of therapy) I’ve learned a lot from those experiences. I’d love to flatter myself to say that I have something that can be shared with the world. But is blogging about yourself an exercise in narcissism? Is it blogterbation? Hmm.
I also love, and I mean LOVE, writing my Unlikely Hero of the Week blogs. Actually, I love surfing the net for pictures of the guys I profile each week. That’s a whole other form of blogterbation, but I think I have this account set at a PG rating, so I will not be elaborating today.
But honestly, my absolute most favorite posts to write each week are my Medieval Monday posts. I love History.
No seriously. I LOVE History. I majored in History … TWICE! Yes, twice. I have not one but TWO bachelor’s degrees in History. I got the first one in straight-up History (emphasizing on the era between and including the French Revolution and World War One in Europe) and the second one as an interdisciplinary degree (translation: double-major lite) in History and Education. Because I thought I was going to be a high school History teacher. Long story about how that didn’t happen. Ooo! Maybe I’ll blog about it someday! Anyhow, point being, I love History, I know a lot about History, I grew up playing in a museum that houses the largest private collection of Medieval artwork in the United States, and my brain excretes a thousand happy chemicals when I find myself engaged in a conversation with someone about all topics Historical. And I love BBC costume dramas like they are crack (Downton Abbey – Woot! Lark Rise to Candleford – Woot Woot!)
Have we established the fact that I love History?
Because I love History.
And in my own humble opinion, I know how to talk about it like it deserves to be talked about, i.e. like it’s interesting. Because it is. This stuff really happened, folks! Today’s History report was yesterday’s hot gossip! I do believe I learned this delicious fact when I spent two summers at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire as an actor, running around in costume 12 hours a day, three days a week, convincing other people that I honestly believed I was a 16th century peasant. My motto for History has always been “This s%@t’s about to get REAL!”
Oh, by the way, my Medieval Monday blog posts get the highest number of hits of anything I post in any given week. They continue to get hits weeks after I write them. Hmm.
Okay, so tell me why I am in denial about the fact that I should spend more time blogging about History? It seems pretty clear, if you ask me. I personally think it has a lot to do with the fear of being put in a box. I think a lot of Writers fear being put in a box. Some apparently love it, or so I’m told, but to me it seems like the kind of person who is attracted to living on the wild side of their imagination is also the kind who likes to color outside of the lines and occasionally make the sky pink, not the sort who likes to be pigeon-holed.
So anyhow, in order to narrow down my branding for this blog I’ve come up with an idea and I’d love your feedback. Here it is…
I write Historical Romance. I blog about History, I blog about Unlikely Heroes, and I blog about my life. The History bit is obvious. Unlikely Heroes are, in most cases, romantic in some way. And I am really hoping that my life turns out to be a Romance in terms of the classical definition of a Romance in literature. (There’s a great explanation of this in the film “Stranger than Fiction”, btw) Romance implies a happy ending where all the characters who should get together do get together. But I think I would also love to blog about these truly awesome Historical TV series, most of which are British, and why you should be watching them. With an occasional film thrown in. I’d also love to blog more about Historiography. And if you don’t know what that term means, then yeah, I need to start blogging about it because it will make you stop and think and go “Oh!” I would also love to toss in the occasional book review and, yes, maybe a piece of Writing advice here and there.
But I also want people to actually READ my blog.
So, does that sound interesting to you?
And while I’m at it, has anyone else experienced the existential crisis of figuring out how to narrow your focus as a blogger? Please tell me I’m not alone!
P.S. So when I went looking for a picture to represent my love of History I found that awesome pic of Cleo depicted on a Greek pot (which I also love, btw). But half an inch away from that picture on the same webpage (http://sailortwain.com/sailortwain183/) was THIS picture:
Okay, have you seen the Horatio Hornblower series???? This is my point exactly, folks! Oh my gosh, Ioan Gruffudd! It’s a sign, I tell you, A SIGN! I would never get a chance to talk about him either because he’s not an unlikely hero. He’s a VERY likely hero. *fans self*