On Creating a Persona

I originally posted this to a closed group on FaceBook. Had a few people say I should share it here, so hope you agree!

I’ve heard from a couple of authors now, who have struggled with either marketing or presenting themselves out in the world. It’s interesting in that many authors are introverts at heart, but they have to put themselves out there on a daily basis even if they don’t want to. It’s something I had trouble with at first, too.

The biggest thing to realize is that your public face, you as an author, is a role you put on. Just like an actor or musician. It’s a persona that’s still part of you, but it’s not you as a whole.

The two best things I can tell you to do are these: if you can, take a beginning acting class at a local college. In this class, you’ll get the basics of how to create a persona, become the role you’ve been cast to play. It really can help.

The second, especially if you can’t or don’t want to take a class, is to write down how you see yourself as an author. Go into details about what you’re willing to let readers know about your personal life. Are you okay with them knowing the city you live in? Or do you want to classify it as an area (like my use of ‘Seattle Suburbia’)? Do you want them to know you’re married? Have kids? Should you include their names, or do you want to keep them sheltered from readers? Do you want to talk about your hobbies beyond writing? Or are some of them things you’d prefer to keep private? Go into great detail and build the foundation of your persona as much as possible. Get comfortable with the difference between Kate the person and KateMarie the author.

Once you begin to separate you as a person from you as a public figure, the promoting gets easier. Because it’s now a role you slip into and not you baring your soul to the world.


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