I can’t remember why branding myself with a reader-friendly, easily pronounceable name seemed important.
This past year, while living and learning among an intentional community of like-minded, kind-hearted people I discovered that there is one thing I must bring to the community, and thereby to the world, that fulfills my life’s (and my writing’s) purpose–Authenticity.
Karner isn’t the last name on my driver’s license or medical records.
I used to believe that being individually successful was an important goal in life. Now a renewed conviction–that authenticity within a stable relationship to community is essential for a meaningful life–has replaced former beliefs and fears.
Thinking about “branding” myself in order to sell books inhibits my authenticity. What’s the pulse on this topic — is it popular enough? Will editors and publishers like my voice? Will readers like me?
I’m demolishing those thoughts.
As Tracy Lee Karner I kept much of the truth of my heart and mind imprisoned, afraid that I would never get published if I didn’t fit into a certain mold of “author.” But now I’m moving forward in the company of people who value what I value, who empower me to be vulnerable, authentic, and obliviously unconcerned about how much money my words will make.
Because words ought to have nothing to do with money and everything to do with exposing lies and telling truths.
I am convinced truth is more important and more powerful than both the accumulation of wealth and the promotion of image.
Therefore, over the next months, while digging deeply in order to write from a place consistent with who I really am and what I really believe, my blog will be transitioning from Tracy Lee Karner to
What holds you back?
Photo via Visualhunt.com
15 thoughts on “Trashing My Brand: in rejection of the insane trend toward the monetization of everything”
Balance in life holds me back some, but I am learning.
Hi, J.! I hope you’re doing well. Balance is difficult to learn. Now that you have a lead pastor in place, hopefully your life will feel more balanced. Stay in touch!
Things are moving back to center. Thank Jesus!
My maiden name was Longenecker, maybe less euphonic than Rittmueller. I married to get rid of it, but it still shows up as the middle name on my driver’s license. This name has been “advertised” on my blog banner too. If you want to talk about branding, maybe Longenecker “sells” the Mennonite brand. (Ugh!)
I haven’t sold a thing yet, not even magazine articles published. Obviously, I’m not writing for the money.
Here’s to authenticity, Tracy!
The idea of “selling” the Mennonite brand is kind of creepy, isn’t it? Here’s to authenticity, indeed!
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Juliet.
Perfect. Of course. I <3 you!
I think that my nom de plume actually expresses my literary style, as my last name may conjure up plenty of sidebars.
You’re the best, John. And you’re one of the only people I know, who can get away with saying nom de plume.
Would it be OK if I cross-posted this article to WriterBeat.com? There is no fee; I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for our combmunity and I enjoyed reading your work. I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. If “OK” please let me know via email.
I applaud you for believing in and working toward your authenticity via your last name. I think what was really hard for me was not changing my name when I got married. My future in-laws didn’t understand it. My parents didn’t understand it. Thankfully my husband did. But I really felt strongly that I didn’t want to change my name and take away that part of my identity. I still feel strongly about this and I’m glad of my decision, even though it at times has caused problems and confusion. I’m just surprised that not more women (writers and non/writers) have made that same decision.
Hurrah for your commitment to authenticity! I like this paragraph very much: “I used to believe that being individually successful was an important goal in life. Now a renewed conviction–that authenticity within a stable relationship to community is essential for a meaningful life–has replaced former beliefs and fears.” I, too, am stubbornly walking my own idiosyncratic/authentic creative path using my own name. Let’s see what happens in 2018…
To 2018, Will, and to your idiosyncratic/authentic path using your own name. Bravo!
I realized after I pressed “post comment” on my previous reply that I am listed on WordPress as WillEDare, not William D. McMillan. Ha! So much for my claims of authenticity!!!
I’m in transition, too. It takes a while to round all the old pseudonyms up and herd them into authenticity! 🙂