Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My First IWSG Post

Today, I join the ranks of a mighty force.  A force of brave souls who stand with those who have chosen to face their fears and insecurities.  It's a force hundreds strong.  A valiant force of helping hands, encouraging words and cheering peers.

Today, I join the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

For my first post as part of this ever-growing group, I've chosen to reveal an insecurity I've had for some time. The insecurity is the name I selected for my blog.

As with most of us, I began this blog because that's what we aspiring authors are supposed to do.  Build a presence.  Become known.  Engage potential readers.  Establish relationships with fellow writers.  And that's exactly what I did.

When I decided to create this blog, I wrestled with the immense task of choosing its name.  For about thirty seconds.  I thought it was a no-brainer.  I intended to write an epic fantasy series.  The series title was Strands of Pattern.  And thus was born the title of my blog.

In retrospect, I wonder if I should simply have used my name instead.

"You'll most likely write more than just that one series," I've been told.  "People will search for you by your name, possibly by a book title.  The name of your series may, at best, be third in their search criteria sequence," I hear.  "Your name is your brand."  I read these things frequently.

And they're all true.

But changing the name of my blog at this point in time, I fear, is impractical.  Launching a second blog is an alternative I find none too appealing.  A website with my author name as title and URL is a possible alternative, I suppose.

So what do you guys think?  Are there viable options I haven't considered.  Oddly enough, I'm even insecure about revealing my insecurities.  Perhaps I needed to participate in this worthwhile group a long time before now.  I guess I was just, well, a little insecure.

64 comments:

  1. Welcome to IWSG!

    I don't think you need to worry about changing anything. I just Googled your name, and your blog popped up in the first five search results! :D It's true that your name is your brand but people can still find you very easily, and I like that your blog name is a little different!

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    1. So much for anonymity. ;-)

      Thanks, Kyra!

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  2. Hey Jeff! Have you considered adding your name to the subtitle? You can keep Strands of Pattern, then underneath add something clever that includes your author name. Easy fix.

    Happy New Year! :D

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    1. That approach seems to be the general consensus. But clever rarely comes easy for me. LOL

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  3. Welcome to IWSG! I was just on the blog hop, scrolled down and thought 'Strands of pattern. Interesting. Click!' Nice blog. And your tag line/ subtitle is great. It's definitely why I write. Don't sweat the name of your blog. It's good. If that's your only insecurity you are doing pretty good! Keep up the good work. Cheers

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    1. Thanks, Clay. It's always great meeting new faces. (Even half-hidden faces! LOL) In truth, I'm as pleased to hear you like the tag line as much as I am about the blog title itself. (The quote took at least a minute and a half!)

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  4. Hi Jeff! I think your blog title is interesting! And I agree with PK, simply add your name to the subtitle - problem solved!

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  5. Wow-- I feel so unoriginal in my comments. I'd say the same. Strands actually is an intriguing title and adding your name somewhere in the heading could do the trick. But, interesting,I've actually had the same question and told a friend that when he was developing his blog: if I had to do it again, I'd use my name as the address. The address is the part you can't change, heck, you can do what you want with the title. But no matter, we-- your dedicated groupies-- are just glad you blog!

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    1. Um, by the way, do you need to change your age in your bio information? (Ducking!) Hope you had a great bday! :)

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    2. Had a wonderful birthday, thanks! (At my age, just having a birthday is wonderful!) And I made sure to change the age in my bio Monday when I did the "Front Side of Fifty" post. Didn't want dedicated groupies thinking I was being less than forthright. LOL

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  6. Heh, don't worry about it...as everybody else has already said. Welcome to IWSG!

    Laura Eno

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    1. Thanks for the welcome, Laura! Lots of excellent folks to meet.

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  7. It's my first time in ISWG too and I love the blog name, it gives your history as a writer. Just think, anyone doing a search on you will land here!

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    1. Cool! We've been "inducted" together. Sweet.

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  8. Welcome to IWSG! Blog title is always tricky, but at the point don't worry about it. Leave it as is.

    Hope 2013 is wonderful for you.

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    1. Thanks, Miranda. I hope you have a marvelous 2013 as well!

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  9. I have the exact same problem. My URL completely miss-matches my title. Although I'm happy with my blog title, I'm not with the URL but like you said it's too much to change it at this point. I'll just accept it and carry on.

    As for your title, it's interesting and intriguing. I like it.

    Great post and happy new year to you :)

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    1. And a happy New Year back at you! Glad you like the title. Perhaps it's better that I only spent thirty seconds pondering the title or I might never have actually created the blog. ;-)

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  10. Why don't you just create a header that has your name in it as well as "Strands of Pattern?"
    And when people do a search, they are still going to find this blog rather quickly. Wouldn't worry about it now.

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    1. This all seems so obvious now. lol This is why our writing community is so awesome. Now, to create a header... oh my... is that another insecurity? ;-)

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  11. I change my blog look a few times a year. Just did it again a few minutes ago. Change is good. Happy New Year to you and yours!

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    1. I need to embrace change more readily. I loved change when I was younger, but I've become a creature of habit and predictability in recent years. Thanks, Stephen!

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  12. I too joined IWSG a few hours back. Jeff, I was given the same advice that my blog should have my name or atleast a part of it as that would be my brand.

    I echo Alex's suggestion. Its perfect.

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    1. Thanks for the thumbs up vote, Rachna. It's neat having several others join IWSG on the same month I did. It's also comforting in a sense to know that I'm not the only one who has wrested with this particular insecurity.

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  13. Welcome to IWSG, Jeff!!!
    I echo Alex's suggestion - sounds like the right way to make a quick, easy fix.
    Blog names are tough. Mine is a mash up of my name with writing and a bit of a nod towards Winnie the Pooh's Thoughtful Spot. It made sense at the time, and it works mostly I think.

    This is a good group to share insecurities with . . don't be afraid. We're all in this together.

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    1. Thanks, Tyrean. This is indeed a good group with which to share. I've been most impressed with the genuine support this group offers. (Which is part of what finally prompted me to join.)

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  14. This is my time with IWSG, and I think you have a wonderful title. I used something other than my name because it was an inside joke that became something of a mantra the further along the writing path I ventured. Be yourself, not a cookie cutter presence.

    Aren't you glad we found this group!?

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    1. It seems the New Year was when a number of people chose to begin with IWSG. And yes, I'm very glad for this group.

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  15. I've had this very same insecurity--not just with blog titles, but domain names and usernames. I often haven't gone with my actual name for various reasons, one of them being that sometimes I couldn't. It's something I still worry about at times, but I've learned to let go and accept the path I've taken. While branding is important, there's no one way to brand yourself, so feel free to embrace Strands of Pattern!

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    1. That's a valid consideration, Heather, about there not being only one way to brand ourselves. There is much I can do, playing off the current blog title, once the books are published. Just a matter of time, yes?

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    2. Definitely just a matter of time! ;)

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  16. I started my blog when I knew nothing. I still know very little, but I've given up worrying about it. I may not be the most popular blog on the block, but I'm among the happy ones. :-)

    Enjoy and have a great 2013.

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    1. And being among the happy ones is, I think, most important. Otherwise, what does it matter? A fantastic 2013 to you too!

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  17. Welcome to the club, Jeff. It gets easier to admit the insecurities as time goes on. Or they just get less as we talk about them freely and learn others feel exactly the same way.If you like the title of your blog, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Maybe you can add a tag line to the title...author Jeff etc.
    Karen

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    1. Thanks, Karen. We'll see how much easier it gets with time. I sometimes fret over the silliest of things. ;-)

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  18. Welcome to the IWSG, Jeff! It's great to meet you and I'm glad to have found your blog. I had to laugh about being insecure about sharing your insecurities, as I feel that way every month. Glad I'm not alone. :)

    Happy New Year to you!

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    1. Great to meet you too, Julie. It is good to know that there are those who can relate with that insecurity. Sad, but still comforting. ;-)

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  19. Hi, Jeff,
    I'm sure you're in good company. I had that struggle too, and eventually replaced the name of the blog with mine when it became too much work to manage a website and a blog.

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    1. Yes, just what little(?) I do now is a lot to manage. The biggest struggle is trying to squeeze it all in around a demanding job that has no qualms about sucking hours out of nights and weekends too. Social media could become a full time job in itself. Adding more to the mix is a little frightening.

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  20. You could add your name as a subtitle for now and think about your options. I had to do a blog move when my Follower gadget broke and it wasn't so bad. If you build it (and leave a forwarding address), they will come. LOL

    Welcome to the group! Great first post!
    IWSG #137 until Alex culls the list again.

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    1. Thanks for the welcome and compliment. I appreciate the pointers!

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  21. I don't think you need to start a whole new blog. Just put your name in the header.

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    1. That does seem to be the most appropriate move. I'll have to put out a call for those who can create nice headers. (That is a skill I don't have.)

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  22. I wouldn't change it. I vote for including your name in the header. It doesn't matter if you write other thousand of series with other names, Strands of Pattern still applies. At least to anyone who have read your first book. Strands of Pattern are weaved to create things that only those with magic sight can see. What could possibly be more appealing and accurate than that for this blog, where you create things for those with magic in the eyes to see?

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    1. The wise insight of a beta reading dragon should never be dismissed. And it won't be dismissed by me! You raise a good point, Al. Thanks! (And I'm glad you made it back in once piece!)

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  23. Welcome to the IWSG, Jeff.

    As far as the name goes, I've been thinking the same thing about my own blog title and URL. But you have such an interesting blog name (and book title), I don't think you should change it. Maybe just add your name to the header.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer, for both the welcome and the compliment. I'm actually surprised at the number of comments stating that the title was interesting or intriguing. That gives me a little confidence.

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  24. Welcome to the support group!

    From what I've observed, a lot of writers have a website based on their name and a separate blog with a sometimes unrelated title--though managing two sites can take a lot of time.

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    1. Yes, I barely have enough time to manage what I've got going now. An additional outlet requiring that much maintenance isn't practical for me right now. And thanks for the welcome!!

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  25. You can change the URL of your blog and retain all the posts, links, stats, etc. But you would need to create a new blog with your old URL name, to redirect people to the new one. I'm in this same situation 'cause I gave my blog URL its name without a great deal of thought. When I started my blog, the series "the farseas" is from was probably farthest down my list of "stuff to work on", so I have no clue why I chose that name. :P Now, I am trying to decide what to change it to.
    Another problem for me is that I don't put my surname all over the place, and I'm not sure if I should put it in my URL or not.

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    1. That's good information to have. Thanks!

      And your point about consistency, even when using our name, is important too. My first short story is published as "Jeff Hargett" which is the same as my Google+ account, but my Twitter and Facebook Page is "Jeffrey S Hargett" so I'm not even consistent there either. LOL

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  26. Timely, Jeff. You seem to be doing just fine with your current arrangement. Hmm, yep, that's me done with the technical advice.

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    1. I love your technical advice. It's so much like my own! :-)

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  27. Hi Jeff,

    Personally, I would leave things just as they are. Your blog title has much significance. And like me, you also have your name on your blog site. I know there are a number of bloggers who have side blogs for varying genres. However, you are the expert on what you really think is best. Although I do not participate in these various blogfests, I wish you and all those who do participate, much encouragement and support.

    In kindness,

    Gary

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    1. Hey, Gary! Like you, I would offer up encouragement and support whenever possible (and still try to) but I figured it was time for me to finally bite the bullet and "officially" join the group. Glad you stopped by! Take care.

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  28. I agree with other commenters - I wouldn't worry too much about the name/blog title conundrum. I've seen folks who do it both ways, and it doesn't seem to confuse people either way.

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    1. Cool. I think, however, once I can get a decent header image, I'll probably add my name to it just in case. But getting a really nice header may prove difficult. :-)

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  29. Hi, Jeff,

    Happy New Year...

    Don't sweat it. AND welcome to IWSG... I am one of the first who signed up when ALEX decided to launch this. AND I am so glad I did. I love to be supportive of my fellow writers because our community is the BEST!

    I have a title for my blog too and I wouldn't change it for anything, It represents my feeling about our journey. In time .... All our dreams and aspirations can come true. And I use my name over it. Perhaps that might work for you...

    JEFF HARGETT

    STRANDS OF PATTERN



    That way you don't lose your title and we all know who you are.

    I hope this helps. ALL THE BEST FOR 2013!

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    1. And a happy New Year to you as well! So, you're an original? LOL It's great to hear folks like being supportive. It really is an excellent community of writers around here.

      I think you've got a good idea there, Michael. And thanks also for the welcome to the group. May your 2013 be a fabulous one!

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  30. I'd register your author name as a .com domain, (I've been meaning to do that,) but otherwise just go with your instincts. So far, is 'Strands of Pattern' working for you?

    Myself, I like that my Wordpress blog isn't just a conventional author name - it has my pseudonym in it, but also a little twist to make it sound more like a place or a thing. That's cool.

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    1. I've found myself admiring many blog titles over the past year. It's always fascinating to see what happens when folks wax witty and creative. Registering a domain is getting bumped higher on my to-do list, I think. ;-)

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  31. Hi Jeff, I'm using the fact I'm ill to catch up on blog posts, specifically IWSG!

    I had the same insecurity. My blog started off as Wake up, Eat, Write, Sleep but one day shortly after my book was published I added my name to the front of it. I'd taken too long thinking of a great blog title to want to get rid of it totally, but I like that my name is there too.

    Just my tuppence worth!

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    1. I hope you're feeling better. I must admit that I was unprepared for the slew of IWSG activity. I tried to hit all the participating blogs, but I'm sure I missed some. I must work out a system of some sort for next month! ;-)

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