I have an idea for a new venture I would like to embark on. It can feel exciting to try and think through details and dream of what could be. In the same breath, it feels daunting. Yesterday, I had one word flash through my mind, and it almost made me toss the entire idea out the window. Branding.

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Part of me hears that word and wants to throw up a little in my mouth.

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Then I scroll through my website and see the branding I’ve worked on to create myself. I mean, I’d buy that I’m a real author if I didn’t know me and scrolled around arstanley.com

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Wait. I am a real author.

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Right?

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Branding. It’s this weird thing that I feel like has come up several times in the last week. You can’t create something and expect anyone to care much without it. You can also overdo it. But you really don’t want to under-do it either.

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My exhusband is a graphic designer and we used to argue over my branding a lot. He had a lot of opinions about my website and book covers and headshots. I had my own ideas.

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There’s branding your product and there’s becoming a brand. There are several authors I follow who I feel have become a brand in and of themselves. They are more than their books. If I’m honest that feels exciting and terrifying.

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I don’t think I want to become a brand.

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I do have to brand my work.

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Branding is really just storytelling. I can tell a story, I can tell a good story, I can brand, right? I just have to narrow my focus and engage my energy in a specific way. It’s hard. Sometimes I’m a little all over and other times I’m zeroed in.

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Right now I feel all over the place.