Why might we need a personal brand, an identity, a well-defined image of ourselves? Well, a mythology about life and more specifically about our own person keeps a lot of quandary at bay. If we walk around with preset definitions, we can quickly apply them to whatever life throws at us, plus a brand provides a target to aim at when striving for self-improvement. So in that vein, I will attempt to crystalize a personal brand.
For instance, I’ve witnessed people tell interesting and engaging stories about the life they live. But that’s not me. I’ve never noticed anyone respond with anything but boredom to one of my personal anecdotes. Abstract thoughts on the other hand, that’s a different story, people seem interested in those. And accordingly, I spend most of my time just thinking about life instead of actively participating. So part of my brand then, is focusing on concepts.
Throughout my life I’ve been provided with the perception that I’m “smart”. School, as well as people I encounter, tend to label me as such. And in my thoughts I typically identify as intelligent. Physically, I kinda give off a smart-guy vibe too. I’m short, thinnish, wear glasses, have a stern look to my face, utilize extensive vocabulary, and spend my time accumulating and analyzing data. In many ways I fit the portrait of this particular type of person and that’s what people seem to expect of me.
I’ve also noticed that I come across a lot better in written rather than verbal communication. For instance, my voice is kinda weak, I can’t think and talk at the same time, my face turns red, it’s just a mess. Whereas in writing, I tend to command attention, receiving at least some recognition for my abilities. With writing I can take time for ideas to formulate then craft my position and prose. Spoken words spill out of the mouth, oftentimes resulting in sticky messes with residues that aren’t easily cleaned. So my mouth is better shut as I let my fingers do the talking.
I seem to be sensitive, noticing unpleasant things to the point of upsetting myself and annoying those around me. But mine-shafts need canaries lest unseen toxicants overcome the entirety. Should I shun such a duty or embrace my status as an ever vigilant guardian? But it’s true that an overly sensitive alarm quickly becomes an ignored annoyance, so it must be tuned to those in need of hearing it. So for this aspect of my character, I must always take care to filter the noise and prepare an appropriate message.
Over the past few years, the message I seem to broadcast the most is: seek a pleasant perspective. In other words, the way in which we look at life affects our happiness and satisfaction. Early on, and throughout much of my life, I had a very negative outlook, I imagined the worst outcomes and focused on everything I didn’t like. I was anxious and miserable of course. But eventually I noticed that my perspective was pessimistic and illogical and causing me to dislike life — and since that realization, I’ve diligently watched over my thoughts, pruning the negative while promoting the positive. I now see life in a much brighter light.
And so today I see myself as a beacon. A messenger of hope to those so lost in darkness. Shining bright amidst shadows, I broadcast my message into the vast unknown, hopeful that others may find their way. It has been nearly four years and almost a thousand posts since I began transmitting by way of this website. I’ve even self-published a couple of books along the way. And although I received only a few dollars, I switched my declared profession to “Author” and utilized the industry classification code of “711510 – Independent artists, writers, and performers” on my latest tax form. The die is cast, I am a writer. Not a successful one, but what investment pays off immediately?
To further signal my commitment, I recently purchased the domain name WellCraftedWords.com and applied it to this blog. As always, thoughts will come and I’ll write them down — I have no grander plan than that. But to me, the world of thought is my home and I write of it fondly. A painter applies his vision to canvas, a writer applies his to paragraphs. And so, as a crafter of words I dedicate myself wholeheartedly to the trade, publishing my works for any and all to see. Sing, O muse, of the hero’s rage and its bitter curse inflicting chaos upon his companions….