Friday, March 16, 2012

Writer, Who Are You? by Naomi Musch

Writers may struggle with figuring out their brand—how they’ll be described, distinguished, and labeled. We’re told that it’s important to decide on a brand at some point in our career because of marketing. But, I think it also helps give us direction in our writing. Today, author Naomi Musch shares how she discovered her brand during her journey to publication. ~ Dawn

Writer, Who Are You?
by Naomi Musch

Once upon a time, I was Cinderella, at least in the sense that I remember spending a lot of time by the fireplace as a child, imagining wonderful things for the future. With my legs curled beneath me, and a notebook resting on the hearth, I worked, writing my first stories. Great romantic tragedies they were, as an eleven-year-old might imagine romance and tragedy.

One day, bent in this posture before the fireplace while my parents entertained guests, a young man approached me. I'd guess him to be in his twenties. He asked me what I was working on and I told him.

"I wrote a book," he said.

My eyes bugged out, I'm pretty certain, a combination of awe and disbelief that this unstructured looking fellow in bell bottom jeans and mussed hair could have written a book. But he reached into his back pocket and pulled out a journal. Fanning it before me, I admired the ink-laden pages.

Of course I kept a diary. It said "diary" on the front and had a lock. But this was different. This was a plain black book that didn't have fancy padding and curly-cue words on the front. Even though it was a simple journal, it looked more like a real book. Mostly, it awed me that it was so full of words, and that he kept it on his person. I'd never seen anyone's journal before. My little golden diary was it.

He told me to keep writing. It was a momentary thing. He smiled and returned to the pool game in the basement. But I have never forgotten that man who appeared like a fairy godfather or the impact those moments had on me. I knew that one day I would produce pages full of words, of stories. I fully intended to follow my dream, to chase my ambition.

The night Cinderella found herself at the ball, I doubt she imagined how much longer the wait would be before her moment of joy became a lifetime of happiness married to the prince. She returned home once again to work beside the hearth. I, too, had to work. I had to grow up, wait, suffer rejections, study the craft, learn to leap through the hoops of submission. Part of that time I've had to define who I am as a writer.

These days we are told we must have a platform. We are told we must have a brand. So even after the long pursuit of my dream, I've still had to question who I am as a writer. What is my mission? How am I perceived? What's my voice?

I don't just write in one genre. My passion is historical fiction, but I enjoy penning contemporary too. I also write articles to encourage parents and homeschooling families. Finally, I work for a Christian newspaper in which I tell the testimonies of other everyday believers in whom God has done a work. 

This became my quandary. What exactly is my brand? So I gathered up the bits and pieces and looked at the big picture.

I tell Cinderella stories. In other words, I tell the stories of changed lives. Whether in fiction or through true-life testimony, I tell about people whose lives are impacted by Christ. The packages these stories come in show that I'm a woods-loving gal and home school advocate with a tough, outdoorsy family and pioneer bent, writing gritty, historical (and sometimes contemporary)  romance.

Understanding who I am hasn't brought a writing fairy godfather or godmother back into my life. Bu it has directed my writing. It's helped me discover my platform as well.

Have you looked at your big picture—the story of your writing that helps you discover your brand or directs you toward your platform? Writer, who are you?

The Red Fury is book two in Naomi's historical romance series Empire in Pine from Desert Breeze Publishing. Her aim is to surprise and entertain readers while telling stories about imperfect people finding hope and faith to overcome their struggles.

Naomi invites you to visit her and investigate her series and other works at:


  1. Thanks, Naomi, for giving me something to think about regarding branding. I love that you've found the common element in your writing, whether it's different genres or even non-fiction.

    And I love your Cinderella story (and how you told it). :)

  2. Thank you! And thanks to all you gals for having me as a guest today. What a great blogging group!

  3. Excellent, Naomi! And just what the "literary doctor" ordered. I've always struggled with this topic, since I like to write (and read) in a variety of genres and even voices too. Thank you for adding clarity to my journey. : )

  4. Great Post Naomi:-) Still discovering that for myself. I am passionate about historical romance novels but love to encourage others(which is what my blog is about). So I think I'm still in discovery mode...but thanks for helping me dig deeper :-)


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