Life is changing — always — yes. But there are those times when it seems that the changes are more profound, more apparent, more challenging. For me, that was 2014.
A book deal came in the first part of the year, followed by a madness of interviewing and wondering and writing and editing. As soon as the manuscript was done, I was moving on to video shoots and online content for the enhanced ebook. But before the last round of editing came two months of discernment about what this new project will come to mean for me. What kind of attention will the book bring? What will people want from me? What will readers expect from me?
Don’t get me wrong — at no point in this past year have I ever thought this to be some kind of a book phenomenon in the making. My expectations for the book are exceedingly realistic, and my goal is, simply, to reach the readers who will find support and encouragement in its pages.
But regardless of reach, I knew long before I had written the final chapter that I would need to pull together a polished personal brand online. If a reader, or potential reader, were to look me up online, I want to be found — and I want to be found in a way that clearly affirms my values, skills and traits. As impossible as it feels at times, I need to embrace ways to present myself as intelligent, thoughtful, connected and entirely human. The most logical place to do that was inside this blog.
The first time I blogged, slightly more than 12 months ago, it was just an outlet for me and my thoughts. My first post, in fact, squarely announced that I am not a blogger. At that time, I wasn’t a book author, either.
In August and September, I finally accepted that the time had come for a blog overhaul. What I’ve learned, over and over, in the time since is that this hasn’t just been a redesign with an updated font package and prettier photos. It has been a complete re-imagination of both purpose and personal brand. Thank goodness I had the forethought (and wise encouragement) to hire an expert to guide me through this process; I otherwise would have been lost at sea forever, blowing between questions of wording and photos and fonts and hosting and structure. (The worst kind of creative purgatory for this girl.)
Thanks to my designer (who also has served at different points as creative director, tech expert, career counselor and overall life coach), the site is now live. It’s not completely optimized for SEO; I have saved that special treat of a project for some of my holiday down time. But the site is ready for the world and, most importantly, ready for my readers. Ready for you!
Looking back, this year has been a roller coaster of confidence and vulnerability, thrill and fatigue, knowledge and ignorance. And because I officially deemed 2014 the year of more-than-I-bargained-for changes, I capped it off last week by getting a new cell phone.