Monday, April 16, 2018

A Writer's Identity and Social Media

by Molly Jo Realy @MollyJoRealy 

If you’ve been doing this writing thing for a while, and you, like me, have grown oldermore maturechanged directions in life, it’s never too late to change your identity. You don’t even have to go into hiding to get it done! [A little Hoffa Humor, there.]

Think of it as decorating the house you’ve already built. The structure is there. Sometimes you just want to remodel and/or redecorate.

Recently I did something I never thought I’d do: I changed my handle on my social media sites. All my social media sites. Yup. I went from @RealMojo68 to @MollyJoRealy. I know, it was another DUH moment. As in, DUH.Why didn’t you do that in the beginning?

Well, when I started blogging, it was for fun. Sure I had aspirations of being the next Julie Powell foodie blogger who had aspirations of being the next Julia Child. But, really. Who was gonna listen to a single mom who lives in the SoCal desert and only has a passion for God, family, coffee, cooking, writing, and crafts? Oh, and who openly admits nearly every mistake she made in those areas? Turns out, a whole bunch of you do. 

And one thing leads to another to another to another… and now, well, I’m here.

Ain’t life grand? 

I figure, hey. I want them [translate: you] to take me more seriously. And while I thought of renaming myself #SoBeBoHu, I’m not too sure the majority would pick up on that, or even know how to pronounce it. [It’s my personal brand of Southern Belle/Bohemian Hurricane. I knew you were gonna ask.] So I’m having coffee with my mom one day, and I tell her I think I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna change my media “name.” She says, “Well, good. ‘Cuz it’s a good name.” I agree.

Cautionary Tale? Think before you plink your fingers on those keys. Some User IDs and handles are to the point, but if they don’t really tell who you are or what you’re about, think again. 

Cryptic does not equal cute. 

Your ID/handle should be memorable and personal. It should tell the world THIS IS WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR. And if you’re not sure what your ID is, ask your peeps to help define you. You might find your tag line over pizza with friends, or in a quiet moment with God. You’ll know it when it comes to you. In the meantime, don’t be afraid to test a few out privately. See how they feel, fit, sound, reflect. And maybe just use the name you’re born with. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that. 

Hey, it’s okay to rebrand and retarget. Companies do it all the time. Kentucky Fried Chicken is now just KFC. JCPenney’s dropped the JC. Starbucks’ Mermaid has undergone three transformations. Your audience from ten years ago isn’t the same or only audience you have now. So flourish! Grow! Embrace the new flowers in the field!

Just remember to remind your peeps you’re still you. Only better. 

And don’t forget to update links on your blog and bio. It may be tedious if you’re going through past posts, but it’s important. You don’t want your Swarm flying off to a “404-Page Not Found” error.

During your updates you may find material you can remove, or recycle. A new spin on an old page reaffirms why you’re still here. So go ahead and repurpose those posts.

Ooh, and just for fun: Google yourself. See how easy it is to find yourself in the world of writing. Whether you’re looking for a new identity or not, that’s a sure way to find out how others see you.

With a paint brush and coffee (just not together),
Happy identifying!
~Molly Jo

A writer's identity and #socialmedia - @MollyJoRealy on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

"Cryptic does not equal cute on #socialmedia" wisdom from @MollyJoRealy on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

A Southern Belle in Southern California, and known to her friends as the Bohemian Hurricane, Molly Jo is a writer, editor, social media ninja, and producer of Aaron Gansky’s Firsts in Fiction podcast. Her writings have been featured in children’s magazines, on national blogs and devotional websites, and have earned her awards and scholarships from nationally-acclaimed writing programs. She is the founder of New Inklings Press, author of The Unemployment Cookbook: Ideas for Feeding Families One Meal at a Timeand other books available through her website and on Amazon.

Her current work in progress, NOLA, is a location mystery set in New Orleans and is scheduled for publication in 2018.

You can find her on FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, and her blog, Frankly, My Dear . . .
For more information on her social media, marketing services and books, contact her through her website


  1. And I thought peeps were just for Easter. Thanks for the great advice Ms. Molly Jo. Your posts always bring a blessing, and a smile, ma'am. God's blessings...

    1. Thanks, Jim. And even the sweet peeps are good year 'round.

  2. I like the name Molly. My cousin's wife named their first child Adam and was fixing to name their second Eve. My cousin told his wife, well, you can name her whatever you want, but I'm gonna call her Molly. His wife said, What could I do? Her name is Molly... Anyhow, that aside, in the beginning I thought all writers needed a pen name so I chose one (Deboraw Ephraim) which I really do like, but non-fiction Christian (women's mags) apparently don't want pen names. Second, I'm a real likable person--to me and my mirror, but Christian sisters I guess believe pen names means you're doing something wrong, or I don't know what, but like the women's magazines it's a no no. Roll eyes, so I'm in that no man's zone as re-identifying. Personally I think it is just an excuse to sit on the other side of the room from me...ha, perhaps I'll brush my teeth and renew my deodorant? But it's confusing to me and probably others as to how to re-brand even a small brand. Thanks for the encouragement. Donevy~

  3. One of the few things I found easy about building my social media prescence was my names. My pen name is JPC Allen and my website and Facebook page are both JPC Allen Writes. It says it all. I'm glad I lucked into doing that part right.

  4. Mary Jo, this is such good advice, especially since I didn't have a clue how important a social media author identity was when I fist started out. My name wasn't available as a gmail address, so I added an arbitrary 87 after it, which is the year I graduated from high school (don't do the math). :) But as a writer's identity...87 means nothing. I knew enough to be consistent, so I used it for my twitter handle as well UGH (which I recently changed to better align with my website adddress). As for SoBeBoHu...obscure yes, but adorable! Thanks for explaining what it means because my brain was trying to figure it out.

  5. Love this article! It is very helpful and insightful. As a budding author, stepping out of my comfort zones, onto the steep precipice of the unknown. Your advice for building a sold foundation and platform is invaluable. Thank you Mary Jo!