Who Am I,Really?

‘WE MUST ACCEPT FINITE DISAPPOINTMENT,BUT WE MUST NEVER LOSE INFINITE HOPE.” Rev. Martin Luther King ,Jr.

When I think of MartinLuther King,Jr, I think of his overall message of hope. His words, his faith,his message have lived on through the decades since his untimely death. We all know who Martin Luther King is and what he stood for.

Now,at the risk of comparing myself to a legend, I know I need to take my lessons from him . I have to ask myself:  Who Am I , Really? I need to answer this question first before I can promote myself  as an author. It’s called finding your author brand, building your platform and marketing yourself. These have all become necessities in today’s publishing environment.

I take my lead from the experts, experienced writers and authors, who have walked the walk  ,like Copyblogger lists 125 ways to build a  brand..among some of the tips are:

* KNOW YOURSELF

* KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

* KNOW YOUR COMPETITION

* BUILD YOUR BRAND~ FIND YOUR UNIQUENESS

And here is a listing of links from other personal branding experts that I found to be very helpful in understanding why personal branding is important:

Joanna Penn,Author and Publishing Consultant , “How to Discover and Build Your Author Brand”

Dan Blank, Online Media Consultant, “Be Your Own Brand”

Cindy Ratslaff, Author and Social Media Strategist.”5 Secrets of Creating a Brand”

Joel Friedlander, Publishing Consultant and Blogger,”Author Branding the You That is Everywhere”

Dan Schawbel, Personal Branding Expert, “An Introduction Into the World of Personal Branding”

These are all questions I have to answer as I move forward in my memoir journey this year. 2010 was my year to learn as much as I could about writing and publishing; to read, study,experiment and ,oh yes, write. 2011 will be my year to hone in on my message. I’m no Martin Luther King,Jr., but I am a person who has survived a thing or too and has lived to tell about it. It will be a story of my faith in God and the miracles I have experienced as a result of that faith. It will be a  story of hope that I intend will touch those who need to be touched. My brand will be hope. That’s all I know right now. It will be my guiding light through the upcoming year as I unfold the layers of my story. Someday, I will have a memoir and it will help someone out there believe in the power of infinite hope in the midst of finite disappointment.

And Who Am I ,Really? I am an ordinary person who has lived an ordinary life and  feels a calling and a passion to share my faith in God and my hope through my writing. It’s up to me to turn my ordinary lifestory into an extraordinary memoir that will keep my reader turning the pages.

As Lucius Annaeus Seneca said”  If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.”

My direction is set and I know which port I will be sailing to. The winds that get me there will vary and I promise to keep you posted along the way.

I hope you will keep sailing with me. Your presence on my journey will help me reach that port.

If you were to build your brand, what would it be? Who Are You,Really?

The Power of Hope

” There is no better or more blessed bondage than to be a prisoner of hope.” Roy Z. Kemp

Our late summer garden has given way to weeds as tall as small trees and as full as rambling bushes as we search for any remaining signs of new life. At first glance, one would think it  would be time to plow it all under. Change is in the air as oppressive dog days of summer bow to the cool breezes of an impending autumn. But having spent the whole day in the garden, I am surprised at the bounty before me:

       

Remember, the compost pile from June ?  The small mound of earth and waste has grown and from it a glorious array of sunflowers bloom to remind me that sometimes the most beautiful things can arise from the  ruins and remnants of our lives:

 

It all reminds me of the power of hope in my life. So many times when I thought all was lost, due to some major life challenge, I was able, through my faith, to find a reason to hope. If I was able to be patient, I came to realize that many gifts arose out of those times of despair- gifts of  self-awareness, knowledge, gratitude, renewed faith, perspective. It seems to me that with every challenge ,my faith became stronger until I was  finally able to reach a place of joy,not dependent upon my life circumstances but on my inner strength and, for me, my relationship with God.

That is the message I want to share in my memoir-how I have been able to reach a place of peace and joy through my faith in God, kind of  like finding the sunflowers in the heaps of dirt. One can climb out of the abyss and see the light.

 And talk about joy, here are my grandsons, Jacob and Ethan, right next to those sunflowers. Life doesn’t get much better than this..

 

I’d love to hear about the sunflowers in your life…