How to Choose a Brand as a Writer
Finding Success in My Voice -Not My Niche
I read all the time about Branding and Marketing our work, as writers in the freelance world, as well as on platforms such as Medium.
Is it okay that I disagree with branding my work or my niche in my writing?
Other writers seem to have topics and niches that they choose to write about on Medium and other platforms, and that is 100% okay. I simply haven’t found one topic, or a single area to keep me interesting as a writer. I have written fiction, poetry, advice essays, blogs, and other forms of work since I have been a “writer” and I love the diversity. I enjoy the fact that my work varies from day to day, and write according to many variables: my mood, events in my life, influences from the experiences of the day, or random thoughts. I don’t see a reason for branding myself in any particular niche.
Open Honesty is My Niche
If I had to choose what my categories are, or what I would brand myself as I would choose Open Truth and Honesty. I would also choose Fearless.
The problem with these topics and the standards of being truthful is that it has a cost. At least for me, it has. Being fearless has also had consequences.
I have written stories about life events, as truthfully and honestly as I am able to, without naming names or causing external drama. Unfortunately, with Medium being a form of Social Media, we are easily followed and subjected to the scrutiny and judgement of others. In my case, “friends” who followed my work have caused a stir in my real life. This resulted in threats and harsh emails from my past life. It also resulted in the change of my writer name, a loss of followers due to my name change, and ultimately, I was forced to begin again on Medium, as my new self.
Here’s the thing. When you tell your stories of pain, hurt, and unfair treatment, there is always a protagonist and an antagonist, just like in fictional stories. When you tell a story of how others have hurt you, the truth comes out and stings your perpetrator, regardless of the damage they have done to you. In my case, my perpetrator became “the victim” and now makes it known that I am the “psycho”. So be it. The problem is, on an open forum such as Medium, people will read your work and share it to stir up shit in the life you have tried to put behind you. I am not bitter, nor am I upset that my work has been shared in this way. In fact, I am flattered that people take the time to read my work and then share it with whoever will find it offensive.
We don’t all write to be fluffy rainbows and butterflies. We write to be read.
We write to cleanse our palates of distaste in our lives.
We write to help others through situations the same, or similar, to our own.
We write as therapy, and to earn a living, or a side hustle.
We write to have voices and to be heard and understood.
Silenced too Long
I was physically, mentally and emotionally abused as a child. I write about it, as I believe I finally have a right to. I also write about being in emotional and abusive relationships, because I have a voice.
Some may dislike what I write, and that is fine with me. My words aren’t always pretty to read. However, I have a right to talk about how the past abuse in my life has affected me, and I am always open and honest about my struggles. The residual effects will always be with me, to help me get through other challenges. One thing for certain, however, is that I don’t lie about it. I write my stories to hopefully reach others who struggle the way I do.
When it comes to other relationships I have been in, I don’t “paint characters” to fit my writing. They have created their own characters, and I simply describe them, and their actions, as honestly and accurately as I can.
In my niche of Open and Honest, I don’t exert energy into writing to tell untruths. Nor do I write my stories as attacks on those who have damaged me. If anyone sees a reflection of themselves in my work, my mission is accomplished. My story was read, and heard. If readers see a glimpse of their reflection in my story, that means they find me relate-able. Again, mission accomplished.
I have survived enough in my years, that I feel that I deserve to tell my story. It may not always be what the readers wish to read, but it’s here, in black and white, filled in with matching pictures. I will not change my style of writing or my niche for anyone.
I am no longer silenced-by anyone.
My Damage — My Brand
I often write about mental health challenges, not as a professional, but as someone who has experience with the struggles. If you have been abused, or hurt by others, or if you are a survivor of any kind, ad struggle with mental health, I get it.
I understand PTSD, anxiety, depression, eating disorders and healing.
The damage that others have done to me in my lifetime have the makings of many stories for me to write. I write as a victim, a survivor, and as someone who has daily struggles of anxiety. Some of this damage may be self-inflicted, but I would never have developed the extent of them without the help of others who have done damage to me.
I write about these topics to clear my head, and to reach others in the same rocky boat. I write in hopes to help, or to make others feel less alone. I rarely play the victim when I write, as it isn’t beneficial to anyone-especially me. But, I have damage to share, and damage to heal.
I harbor no ill intent at those who have done damage to me. In fact, I have learned that I simply don’t have the time or energy it takes to feel rage or anger towards the actions of others.
I do, however, feel badly for others who fall victim to the same damages I have incurred. I have a lot of empathy for anyone who falls into my backfill. They have a world of hurt ahead of them. They may not see it now, but it will rear its ugly head. Patterns never change and narcissistic abusers rarely become gentlemen. Just saying.
If I need to stand on a soapbox and speak out against those who have abused me, I will. We all need to find ways to our voices, in order to heal and to face our fears. People who have done damage can not keep on going in their pattern. We teach children to disclose if they are being hurt by others. As adults we need to be fearless and do the same.
I am not concerned if others see what I write as personal attacks- because it’s not about that. It is NEVER about personal attacks. It is about being open, honest, and having a voice to use, to share my experiences.
If I can help ONE person to move past a toxic relationship, I am a success in my work. If I can help another person get out of bed on a high anxiety day and go to work, knowing they aren’t alone, then my work was not in vain. If I can handhold someone leaving an abusive situation, simply with words, then my work is done.
We all have voices, and through written words, we can tell our stories without worry. Daily journal writing or blogging does wonders. Being creative helps us sort through our thoughts. Writing statements or biographies gives us the freedom to get our thoughts in front of us. But, in order to heal, we need to be open and honest, and have our voices heard.
“From a small flame of abuse, comes a spreading fire that cannot be snuffed out. If the fire is fed, and not doused, it will keep on going in the pattern of its intention, damaging everyone and everything in its wake. A voice can extinguish the flames, even if it is just around your bubble of safety. Others may let it burn, but at least you are now safe”. — KristinaH