Monday, October 11, 2010

Online Persona Workshop Week Two: The Many Layers of YOU

We are all of us more than just one thing. Many of us fulfill dozens of roles in our lives and those of people we care about. Today we’re going to explore all those different facets of ourselves and look for fertile ground from which to create our online persona.

List all the roles you fulfill or all the things you do or are interested in. Include your hobbies, your profession(s), personality traits, Yeah, it could be a long list. All the more material to work with!

Spouse, parent, sibling, child,
Excellent cook, poor housekeeper,
Household tech support,
Writer, reader, publishing professional, critiquer,
Research geek, writing craft junkie,
Writer of MG, writer of YA
School presenter, workshop teacher
Introvert, reluctant public speaker
(unintentional) collector of clutter
(have you recognized this person yet? ☺)

Other things you could include on that list:
Seamstress, intuitive mechanic, homeschooler
Artist, Musician, Poet
Teacher, librarian, literacy advocate
Political junkie, pop culture geek, reality TV connoisseur
Ambidextrous, dyslexic, multi-lingual,
Life coach, dragon lover, wannabe hobbit
SCBWI volunteer,

You begin to get the idea. We are all comprised of so many different pieces and parts, and some of them or some odd tangential combination of them are what make us uniquely us. So this week’s assignment is to list all those parts of you. Take as much time as you need. Ideas may occur to you over the course of the next few days, so just add to the list. It’s a common fact of brainstorming that often those items at the bottom of the list are the most unique or unusual.

For Part Two of this exercise, once you’ve finished the list go back and examine it. You’re looking for traits or layers that feel unique and fresh to you, something that you haven’t seen someone else do already, AND that gets a little flutter of interest or passion moving when you think about it. Circle or put an x next to all those that apply.

In my list above, clearly the introvert and reluctant public speaker were the foundation for this blog. The other most interesting things on the list (I think, it’s hard to be objective about your own traits) would be unintentional collector of clutter, research geek, writing craft junkie, poor housekeeper. However, looking over that shorter list I also know that there are a TON of other writing oriented blogs out there already, so I would probably cross that one off. I would also suspect there are other blogs out there about being a poor housekeeper, but is there one that combines that with being a writer? IS there a way to do that?

Of course, it can also come from your area of expertise. A definitive blog on the ins and outs of school visits, say. Or a life coach. Or based on your passion for reading and writing middle grade novels. Or a geographical location, even.

A related but optional and FUN exercise is to start a list of things you love. Sit down for fifteen minutes and just begin listing all the things you love. Add to it over the next few days and weeks. It will be great raw material for later in the workshop.

I’ve learned my lesson from last weeks post and will be keeping today’s workshop short.

Next week we’ll explore those points where our most interesting layers connect with our writerly selves.

Also, if any of you are feeling brave, you can show us your list in the comments, again, anonymously if that’s more comfortable. If the blog feels too public to you, we could also take the exercise sharing to the (very quiet) yahoo group. Let me know if that sounds more comfortable.

Hm…I may have to start handing out prizes for class participation. ☺

(Also, if you note, I went back and split last week’s workshop into two posts so when I move it into the archives it will be less overwhelming. If you haven’t had a chance to do those lessons yet, you might consider tackling it in two parts.)


Yat-Yee said...

I haven't done this type of exercise in a long time. But this one intrigues me. Maybe it's because I got a packet to fill out yesterday, as a volunteer to teach Sunday School at a new church, and the questions are also thought provoking.

Thanks for this series of posts.

pierre said...

I'm waiting for the next workshop. I hope it will be soon

R.L. LaFevers said...

I'm so happy the excercise intrigued you, Yat-Yee! Here's hoping you find some fun, interesting stuff from it!

The next workshop will be up next Monday, Pierre!

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your list, Robin. LOL! Here’s mine:

Daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, sister-in-law, friend, teacher, writer, artist, inventor, SCBWI Florida volunteer, gardener (although the aphids have put a pinch on my enthusiasm), mediator, critiquer, potato chip connoisseur (I am currently on a Chili Cheese Frito kick!), perfectionist, and happy hermit.

I love reading, writing, researching for projects, collecting picture books and dolls, designing various unusual items, decorating and party planning—which is really weird because events can be so exhausting. Cooking is fun too, but I sure hate the cleanup!

Can’t wait to see where this workshop leads!

Anonymous said...

Here you go: I'm a wife, mother, writer, painter, retired-racing-greyhound lover, reader, writers-workshop member, grantwriter, newsletter writer/graphic designer, homebody, wine drinker, quote junkie, dirty-joke teller, exerciser, multi-tasker, uninspiring cook, lackluster housekeeper, reluctant laundress, houseplant murderer, and a maintainer of an unshakable can-do attitude.

Anonymous said...

Fun list, Melissa!

R.L. LaFevers said...

Kimberly, I love the potato chip connoisseur and the happy hermit! :-) And I am also impressed with how very many creative talents you have!

Great list, Melissa! And again, I am struck by how very many types of writing you're involved in. Although I must confess to being especially drawn to the lackluster housekeeper, reluctant laundress, and houseplant murderer. Now you're speaking my language! :-)

Thank you for sharing your lists, brave souls!

Julie Anne Lindsey said...

What a great exercise for writers. Knowing which foot we want to put forward is essential and understanding who we are is the first step. Thanks for an interesting post & concept!

Anonymous said...

Loved your list Kimberly Lynn...I laughed at your hate the clean up because I hate to cook dinner, but don't mind doing the dishes. There's something mind numbingly soothing about the warm water and the simplicity of dirty to clean that I like it much better than the stress of cooking. ha!
And RLF, I do a lot of writing, but the grant writing isn' all that fun. Although I do love to tell people that I've made hundreds of thousands of dollars from my writing (of course it's for my job and I just get a pitiful hourly wage, but sounds impressive. Hahaha!!)

Grandpa said...

Hi,you've described me there. Almost. Take away the seamstress part; add farmer who talks to animals and plants who somehow return the courtesy.

To prove that I'm an introvert go here:

R1se Hluoluo said...

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