Photo via
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?

Photo via


11 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!

  2. I applaud you for believing in and working toward your authenticity via your last name. I think what was really hard for me was not changing my name when I got married. My future in-laws didn’t understand it. My parents didn’t understand it. Thankfully my husband did. But I really felt strongly that I didn’t want to change my name and take away that part of my identity. I still feel strongly about this and I’m glad of my decision, even though it at times has caused problems and confusion. I’m just surprised that not more women (writers and non/writers) have made that same decision.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s