In Which I Discuss My Brand

There’s so much talk out there these days for authors to have a brand. At first I thought that sounded painful—I mean, I’ve seen enough westerns to know that branding involves hot spiky things and lots of mooing—but then I realized that it didn’t mean a physical brand. But I’m still convinced it would involve a lot of pain and probably some mooing.

So, to get with the program, I learned the writer jargon-of-the-day and put the word “platform” on the back burner for now, despite the fact that I was convinced that standing on an author platform might at least make me a little taller and easier to see.

I’m always one step behind the changing lingo of being a writer. It’s bad enough that my work as a proofreader means buying new dictionaries like some people buy new iPhones. But somehow this author lingo never makes it into my new dictionaries fast enough for me to keep up with it. So I have to learn new words and catch phrases just like the little people do.

And I don’t like it. I mean, I don’t mind learning that “Google” is now a verb or that “anymore” is now one word or that the serial comma is a source of small civil war skirmishes in 27 states, but that’s because I get paid to learn that stuff. It seems a bit annoying at times to learn that “Ground Zero” means something entirely different now than it did when “Weird Al” Yankovic wrote his Christmas classic, “Christmas at Ground Zero,” but I’ve learned to roll with those punches because it goes with the territory of being a good proofreader.

Somehow, though, I feel a smidge of personal offense that the powers that be (and who be they, exactly? and are they elected officials we can impeach?) have secret meetings every year or so to change the current word for … well … for “brand” or “platform” or whatever it was before “brand” and “platform.”  Just when I get used to the idea of needing a platform, I discover I’m too late and I need to ditch the platform and have a brand instead. And yet, just as the word “brand” starts to fade to be replaced with something else (within about six months, if I’ve done my math correctly), I’ll realize that I didn’t really get the hang of that either.

Until then, I suppose, I’ll just have to be myself:  a wife, mother, and mostly family-friendly humor writer from western Pennsylvania who yearns to be the next big thing on the bestseller lists. There can’t be more than one of me, can there? A benevolent God wouldn’t allow it.


11 thoughts on “In Which I Discuss My Brand

  1. Branding used to be something you only did to cattle. People get so caught up in new words (usually for old concepts) that it makes me bonkers sometimes. “Sustainable” is one of those overused terms right now. Everything is better if it has “sustainable” in front of it—whether it is a business plan, a home garden or a pair of socks. What happened to the “ecology movement”? Now it is all GREEN. Snot has been green for all of history, but it hasn’t been ecologically advantageous. Bah, jargon babble!

  2. I recently spoke with a woman whose daughter was going to college for marketing with an emphasis on branding. Seriously? Do you think the word will be around long enough for her to finish a four year degree?

  3. It’ll still be around, I suspect, but it won’t have the same “hot topic” feel to it that it does right now. Kinda my point with “platform.” It still means what it meant just a few short years ago when it was the “hot word” of the day, but it’s not as sizzling as the word “branding” is right now. By the time she finishes her degree, it’ll be something else, that’s for sure.

  4. But Linda you already have your brand and it’s golden! Look:
    Name: Gold
    Symbol: Au
    Atomic Number: 79
    Atomic Mass: 196.96655 amu
    Melting Point: 1064.43 °C (1337.5801 K, 1947.9741 °F)
    Boiling Point: 2807.0 °C (3080.15 K, 5084.6 °F)
    Number of Protons/Electrons: 79
    Number of Neutrons: 118
    Classification: Transition Metal
    Crystal Structure: Cubic
    Density @ 293 K: 19.32 g/cm3
    Color: Gold
    I love the melting point!

  5. Couple of thoughts. 1) The world is blessed to have even one of you 🙂 2) I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets confused by the buzz words. I was starting think I just wasn’t with it! 3) Check out the very bottom of your page, Speak Out, Speak Up! Your page decided to leave off a few key letters! Brand without the last two letters is quite something else! Talk about a teaser!

  6. Bonnie… Ha! Not much I can do about that. It truncates the title on its own. But maybe a post entitled “In Which I Discuss My Bra” would garner even more subscribers and comments. 😉

    Shirley… I’ve known that about gold since my junior high science teacher pointed it out. The atomic number, 79, is also the year I graduated high school. 🙂

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