Basics of Author Online Presence Challenge Day 2: Define Yourself as a Writer

define yourself as a writer

Welcome to the second day (and task) of the Basics of Author Online Presence Challenge. You can check out the first task here.

The point of building your online author presence is to share your brand with the world.

And what is your author brand? You.

Define Yourself as a Writer

So for the second day of the challenge, take a step back and take a good look at yourself. Don’t worry about the future right now, only think about what you’ve done, what you’re doing and who you are.

Below I’ll define myself as a writer (answering the questions of who I am, what I’ve done and what I’m currently doing). Copy the stuff in bold and fill in your own answers. Then share it on your blog and that post’s URL in comments below (to do that: make sure you’re on the right page – you’ll see the post’s name in the URL after your blog’s domain name e.g. Copy the link and paste it below in the comments with the title of the post and anything else you’d like to share about today’s task.).

Defining myself as a writer

Author Name: Ronel Janse van Vuuren

Positions: Flash Fiction judge on Cracked Flash Fiction Competition, guest contributor on Writer to Writers, member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and contributor to the Author Toolbox Blog Hop.

Skill(s): creative writing (flash fiction, short stories, novellas, novels), beta reading, critiquing and non-fiction writing (blog posts and articles).

Social media platforms: Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Goodreads, Wattpad, INK, and my blog.

Other places on the web: Guest posts: Your Novel’s Genre Matters on the Writer’s Gambit, Zombies: Through Folklore, Film and Fiction on the FolkloreThursday website, and several guest posts on the Writer to Writers blog including The Art of Writing Explained, Why Authors Should Use Social Media and Why Writers Should Write Flash Fiction. Special mentions: Following Along.

Accomplishments: in 2015 three of my poems were published in the charity anthology Brose Genade, in 2016 I won the award for Fiction Writer of the Year on INK and in 2017 two of my short stories were published in the anthology Inkspraak. (There are more, like winning competitions and things that are in the works, but these three show the highlights of the last three years as an author.)

Interests: folklore, Rottweilers, writing, reading and sewing.

In one sentence, who am I? Difficult, but let’s do this thing: Ronel Janse van Vuuren is a Rottweiler pack leader who writes dark fantasy filled with folklore and mythology.


Ok, perhaps there’s a different way to describe myself, but right now that’s who I am. And that’s exactly the point: answer the questions for the person you are today and not for the person you hope to be.

If you have other questions you’d like to ask yourself to define yourself as a writer, do that and share them with us in the comments.

So why did I ask you to do this? Because you cannot communicate something that isn’t defined.

Why should you define yourself as a writer?

  • Choosing your author name (that by which you’ll be known and will appear on your by-lines) is important – it means you’re consistent and it’s easier to build your online presence with one name. (For some of us that’s difficult: Twitter only allows so many characters, so be inventive – that’s why I’ve made my handle “miladyronel” it’s short and easy to remember and I always make sure that you know my author name too.)
  • Did you see that my interests led to opportunities? (See the guest posts). Knowing what your interests are can lead you on unexpected paths. Be open about what you discover about yourself – and be honest with yourself. You never know when that love of classic cars can be the thing that makes you stand apart from others in the writing world (in a good way).
  • And now that you can answer the question “who am I?” you will find it much easier to build your author platform with that as a mission statement. (Check out my Pinterest boards if you don’t believe me.)

Your Author Photo

Now go and take a head-shot of yourself – the photo kind, and preferably let someone else take the picture. Make sure that you look professional (don’t show too much skin) and friendly (no-one wants to see your glum face staring at them from all social media networks). You know exactly who you are as an author, so make sure that your photo echoes the message. This photo is the one you’ll use as your avatar on social media. It’s the face people will associate with your author name.

A picture is worth a thousand words. What will yours say about you?

Did you answer the questions about yourself and publish it on your blog? Did you define yourself as a writer? Did you take an awesome photo of yourself? Remember to add your post’s URL in the comments so everyone can discover themselves and others on this writer’s journey.

Author: Ronel Janse van Vuuren

Ronel writes dark fantasy filled with mythology and folklore, some of which can be read on Wattpad and on her blog Ronel the Mythmaker. When not leading her Rottweiler pack or arguing with her characters, she’s writing award-winning fiction.

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