Hello all, Katy Lee here, and this seems to be the song stuck in my head this week. Perhaps, The Who faced a time where they had to answer this very same question, and voila! A song was born. At any rate, it is the question of my week.
You see, my debut novel, REAL VIRTUE is set to release on April 4th, and as exciting as this is, and as grateful as I am for this amazing opportunity, it also means I have to now sell my work. Yikes! I have to step out of my tiny, writer’s cave and step into the big, wide world of marketing.
But before I can start to set up those blog tours or take out those Facebook ads, or read Jennifer Fusco’s latest, Market or Die: Integrated Marketing Plans for Writers, I have to answer the question: Who are you? I need to be ready with an answer, or people are going to pass me by…and my work.
Now this is not an easy question. Go ahead, try to finish the sentence: “I am a ________.”
What popped into your mind?
Did you immediately think of your job title? Did you identify yourself with a relationship term, like wife, daughter, or Team Edward fan? Maybe you described your body (If so, join me next week when I share my .02 on a great book I’m reading, EVERY BODY MATTERS), or did you mention your personality or favorite hobby?
Identity labels like these are useful, even necessary. They shape the way we act and feel (and the way people act and feel toward us) in every situation. However, many labels can be misleading, some even hurt us, but none can fully describe the multifaceted reality of a human being. They are only layers covering who you are and also, can change easily without warning. It’s the person underneath who stays the same…and the person, people/readers want to know and relate to.
So this past week has been a time of stillness for me as I peeled back those layers and zeroed in on my answer to the question: Who are you? It actually turned out to be pretty simple.
I am a child of God, created by him to be loved by him. He has put a path before me filled with abundance and responsibility. The experiences behind me help to prepare the way towards that life. I write stories that express this same theme for my characters. And through their journey, I peel back their layers, like skins of an onion, to reveal who they really are underneath.
But, like us, those layers do not define my characters. They are only the experiences that prepare them for their abundant lives God has planned for them.
The Unlocked Secret: The process of releasing your labels begins in stillness. If we hold still long enough, we begin to feel what we really feel and to know what we really know about ourselves. We can peel through the labels, we might even cry through the ones that hurt and left scars on our layers, but eventually, we realize all those labels do not define us. They are only our layers of experiences, and if we really don’t like one, we can peel it off and cast it aside.
Question: And don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you who you are. Unless you want to share, of course. So instead, how about sharing one of your experiences with us, instead. I’ll start. I used to be a Special Education teacher, teaching Autistic children sign language.