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Essay, The Way I Was

Trashing My Brand: in rejection of the insane trend toward the monetization of everything

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

Tracy Rittmueller.

What holds you back?

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10 thoughts on “Trashing My Brand: in rejection of the insane trend toward the monetization of everything”

  1. 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!

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