Who are you?
You can come up with plenty of easy answers to this question. Your name, your age, your occupation … the list goes on. But who are you as a writer? Who are you as a creator?
The things that make up your identity, or your brand, might seem a lot more complicated than they actually are. If you want to be someone important (and who doesn’t?), you have to know who you are and what you stand for.
What is your identity made of?
1. The messages you want to send through your work
It’s not very likely you are going to create something you aren’t at least somewhat passionate about. Even though you might not realize it, we tend to write and otherwise create things with specific messages in mind; messages we truly believe the world needs to hear from our perspective. You might not realize that’s what you do because, really, it’s so much a part of you that it sort of just comes naturally.
You can easily support a cause through writing or however you most enjoy creating content or products. Those causes you support through creating on your own time are most likely the causes you hold closest to your heart. Those things eventually become part of you and part of your brand, whether you originally intend for them to or not.
2. What you’re willing to do for free
At some point in your climb toward success you will have to draw a line that separates what you will do for free and what you won’t. Making good money as a writer is not an easy thing to do, especially in the beginning. But you also can’t turn down every single opportunity that comes your way just because it doesn’t pay.
In finding a steady balance between getting paid to create and volunteering your creativity, you will discover something important about who you are as a creator. Sometimes we offer our services for free because we truly believe in and want to support a specific cause. Sometimes we love what we do so much that, every once in awhile, we don’t mind the “free” experience.
The things you are willing to give your time to without monetary compensation are often the things that are most important to you. Whenever you’re struggling to pinpoint your priorities, just think about the things you would immediately say yes to if someone asked. You might work a job as a video editor, but what you love most of all is actually being behind the camera during filming. You would probably jump at the chance to do that over a weekend for a friend even if they couldn’t pay you for it. It’s part of what you love and who you are as a creator.
3. Your overall mission
If you don’t have a mission statement, as a creator – don’t worry: we’re working on a super secret (and totally awesome) way to help you come up with one. Even if you don’t have a formal statement, though, at some point you will probably start to put together bits and pieces of who you are as a creator, what you stand for and why you do what you do.
The benefit of having a mission statement, or a brand identity of sorts, is that it helps you narrow down which projects you want to focus on and keeps you on track when your focus starts to waiver (especially on Fridays when you just want to curl up in the corner of your office and take a nap). Your mission also lets other people know what your creations and projects are all about, which can really help you build professional relationships with people all over the world.
So … who are you? Think about the above points. Write them down. Save them. You’ll need them later for something pretty amazing (and, hopefully, beneficial to you).
Image courtesy of wallpapercraft.com.