Exercise: Core Traits

Take a moment to imagine your ideal authorial self. If you could describe a public persona that completely embodies your brand, consonant with your best self, how would you seem to others? How would you behave? What things would you always and never do?

Abstract virtues and self-congratulation won’t do you much good when hanging out with fans. What are your lines in the sand? What matters most to you? What inspires and galvanizes you? What makes you proud? Get concrete.

Make a list of essential traits reflective of your brand that make you proud. Begin five sentences with the phrase “I always…”

  • Aim for positives (always rather than never) and topics that matter a great deal to you.
  • Focus on important actions and beliefs (as opposed to routines or habits) central to your behavior as an author interacting with colleagues and fans.
  • Reconsider your negatives. Instead of saying “I can’t___________,” try rephrasing those inabilities with useful context: “I can only______ when___________.”
  • Verify that each of those qualities is completely accurate, important, and reflective of your behavior and brand.

© 2016 Damon Suede & Heidi Cullinan, All Rights Reserved

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