What Makes Up Your Identity As a Creator?

The things you are willing to give your time to without monetary compensation are often the things that are most important to you.


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.

The Battle Against Identity and Purpose


Do you know who your characters are? More importantly, do they?

Identity is a common YA theme. If you’ve survived the deep fiery hell known as adolescence you can much better understand why. It can even take a lifetime to figure out who you are, or who you want to be.

But at least, growing up, you can discover who you don’t want to be.

I never intended for identity to become such a deep-rooted theme in my book. It’s part of the mysterious element of the entire series, actually. The sci-fi element comes in when the villain figures out how to disguise himself to look and sound like anyone he wants to, with the help of some government technology meant for, of course, a completely different purpose. But that doesn’t come in until after the prequel.

Yes, one of my characters has a twin. Spoiler alert.

Yes, there are questions about who is related to whom.

But mostly, the story revolves around five teenagers who think they have their lives all figured out until a contest is announced, one that, if they win, will get them out of conducting an honors project and guarantee them what is the equivalent of one of us being accepted into college without having to apply.

It’s not what they think it will be. As you can probably guess.

It changes daily, but at this point my favorite character is probably Lucas, who is so shy around other people he never speaks. He and the narrator become friends after she defends him against his big bad bullies. She can never convince him to tell her why he stopped talking. Oh, she also saves his life on multiple occasions, but no big deal.

The events following the isn’t-what-it-seems competition don’t just change Lucas; they change each of the characters, mostly helping them come to terms with their futures and how they want to contribute to their society. That, of course, sets the stage for the subsequent books, which fast-forward 17 years. Go figure.

Then it gets even more fun, with an unidentified villain taking the places of different characters at unknown intervals.

But I can’t go back to writing those yet. I have to finish what I start.

The hardest part is taking elements of stories we’ve all read before and creating something new out of them. New identity struggles. New revelations.

Such as, which twin really jumped into the river?

Has Ollia’s mother really been missing all this time?

Who is Charles?!

Oops, sorry. Wrong story.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.

A recent graduate with a B.A. in English and a completed major in nutrition, currently seeking a graduate degree in health communication, Meg is a twenty-something workaholic with a passion for writing, coffee and dietetics. In addition to her status as an aspiring novelist and Grammar Nazi (and the mastermind behind this site), Meg is an editor for College Lifestyles magazine and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine’s Stone Soup.  She is a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner and has written several creative pieces for Teen Ink magazine. Follow Meg on Twitter.