Thursday, June 11, 2015

No Way Around It: It Is Time For A Change by Margo Hoornstra


The following was previously published a few days ago on my personal blog as part of membership in the Insecure Writers Support Group, a cadre of author/bloggers who post about all things writing on the first Wednesday of every month.

It’s not that I’m lazy, re-posting here. Well, maybe a little. But, this is all part of a necessary all or nothing strategy. Because, you see, the time has come to unveil a new profile picture. For me, a scary prospect. Of course Roses of Prose should be a part of this. What better place to unleash  my insecurities, uh, unveil new experiences, than in the company of friends? Non-judgmental friends, right? Here goes.

Write, re-write, edit, repeat. Write, re-write, edit, repeat. So it goes in the life of a writer. For most of us, a long and tedious process. But oh the rewards. Our manuscripts evolve and improve all along the way. There’s a reason we call our initial efforts rough drafts.

Sometimes, though, we get so hung up on the actual production process, we forget about the rest of it. For published and pre-published authors, that means connecting with the audience we write for. (After all, the reason most of us write is to be read, right?)

To accomplish this connection requires certain promotional efforts. A platform needs to be created, and a brand established. Included in this promotion process is the all-important profile picture. Let’s face it – pun intended – book writing really is a visual business. Words written on the page translate to pictures in the minds of readers. Plus the fact, it’s human nature to want to see what someone or something we’re interested in looks like.

When my fiction work was first published, good little do-bee writer that I am, I established a platform presence, website, blog, FaceBook, Amazon and Goodreads Author Pages. All complete with a profile picture. There’s only one problem. That was over eight years ago, very nearly a decade has passed. How time flies.

My looks have changed over those years. Not necessarily for the better. The pigment in my hair vanished. In other words, I went grey. Like it or not, it was definitely time for an update. To end the false advertising; as my critique partner and fellow Rose Jannine so aptly put it when she updated hers.

Once I made the decision to reveal a new image, as I said, an all or nothing attitude was in order. Kind of like taking one of those polar bear plunges for charity. To start by dipping a toe into ice crusted water then immersing the rest of your scantily clad body, ever so slowly, inch by tortuous inch really isn’t a comfortable way to go. You have to full out close your eyes and plug your nose, then sort of cannonball into it. So, I got my hair done, put on some extra make up, then handed my iPhone to my husband.

So, here they are, my new and improved—Nope, I can’t say that. Newly revised—more like gut wrenching reality check—profile pictures. With glasses and with contacts.
 
 
 
 
 
There that wasn’t so bad.

Pretty soon, in fact, my heart will start again, my breathing will return to normal, and my toes and all the rest of me will unfreeze. (Note the polar plunge analogy above.)

When that happens, I’ll go back to those parts of being an author I’m really more comfortable with.

Write, re-write, edit, repeat. Write, re-write, edit, repeat.
 
My days to blog here are the 11th and 23rd. For more about me and my stories, please visit my WEBSITE

23 comments:

Kristen Brockmeyer said...

This is a great picture! And I love your hair. I've noticed the pigment in quite a few of my strands has gone MIA lately. I hope mine looks as lovely as yours when the rest of it goes. :)

Lora Lee said...

Love both of the photos - first choice is the one with glasses. As for the new hair color, it doesn't look grey at all, more like a soft blonde. Lovely, Margo.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Kristen and Lora Lee. Well bless both of your hearts, thank you. Have to admit, though, I'm still not ready for going au natural. But, as my oldest daughter so wisely pointed out - If you dye your hair back to its former, dark color, you'll end up with the 'skunk effect' when it grows out. Sad, but true.

Patricia Kiyono said...

I agree with Lora Lee - I like the one with glasses better (looks more like the you I know!), and the color looks like a light blonde. But they're both great! Maybe you could use the second one for super formal occasions - like when you're the keynote speaker at a national conference of some kind.

Brenda Whiteside said...

I need to do this too but keep waiting for the day when I feel like I look good enough for a picture. LOL I like the glasses pic too, Margo. Lovely.

Susan Coryell said...

I'd say glasses make you look every inch the thoughtful writer. When I complained about how bad a photo of me was, my older twin brothers used to say, "You can't make chicken salad out of chicken feathers." Love this blog--very real.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Oh, Patty, bless your heart too. You just made me laugh out loud. National conference keynote, indeed. You're thinking life sized poster of course. ;-) Oh, and, glasses it is. Less 'false advertising'.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Thanks, Brenda. I can relate. I hemmed and hawed about doing this for way, way too long. That's why such the drastic change in looks. The longer I waited the worse it got.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Susan. Thank you. Thoughtful, huh? Nice. You can always depend on a brother(s) to tell the truth. I know mine does (he's older, too) and then some.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Nora Ephron (sadly, now gone from this earth), wrote a very funny book "I Feel Bad about my Neck." All about a woman's struggle with aging...and how gravity pulls us down. You are brave, like she is, to march forward, spitting at time. Our books stay forever youthful...let's relish that concept. PS, I agree with the group...your hair is blonde, girl!

Alicia Dean said...

Great pics! You look quite lovely. I like them both. I need to do the same thing. My author pic is quite outdated. I do color my gray. I'm not quite ready to let it go. The problem is, when mine grays, it's not a pretty silver like most dark-haired people, it's some yellowish looking awful mess. :) They are correct, you do look more blonde. Thanks for sharing and for giving me the incentive to do the same with my pic. :)

Jannine Gallant said...

I like the one with contacts--just to be different. You look great. Okay, took down the old "new" picture of me on FB and put up a new "new" pic of me with the new haircut. I'm waiting for my daughters to notice and make rude comments. I think we all picture ourselves 10 years younger than we are. Yep, BIG reality check. Sigh.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Ah, yes, Rolynn, the neck. One reason I developed a passion for scarves this year. Ms. Ephron was certainly someone to look up to. (No pun intended)

Margo Hoornstra said...

Alicia. You're so nice, or is it very diplomatic? ;-) I never have liked how pictures of me turn out. Ever. Just do what I did. Hold your nose, close your eyes and plunge in.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Jannine. I'm heading over to FB so I can comment before the girls. No wait! Your new do showed up here. It's adorable. Seriously.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

I just adore the soft color and if I knew it would look right on me and not grow out, I'd carry my laptop to the beauty shop and say I want this. But I was once a natural auburn or ginger. I keep it that color most of the time although I did go through a spell of highlights. I'm at the deciding point, too, let it turn mousy brown with white/silver strands, which is what I have now, or hit the beauty shop again for a dose of ginger. To color or not to color, that is the question. Whether it is more noble to suffer the slings and arrows of older age or fake the heck out of it...

Leah St. James said...

You look fantastic, Margo! It's almost as hard to reveal new photos as it is to reveal new writings sometimes. Good for you for taking the plunge.

Liz Flaherty said...

You DO look wonderful, and I wish I had the nerve. My true color is on the skunky side--not going there yet. I like the pic without glasses best, because your eyes are gorgeous!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Fake the heck out of it, Vonnie. You're only as young, or old, as you feel. My fervent wish is/was for the beautiful silver strands look. Alas it is not to be. I say go for it. Ginger would look beautiful on you.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Thanks, Leah. Funny how vain we can be sometimes. It was Jannine's 'battle cry' to stop the false advertising that got me moving.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Wow, Liz, thank you. I'm afraid I'm beyond that cherished skunky look. I'm told my hair is pure white, with a touch of grey under there.

Rohn Federbush said...

Yes, the glasses and close-up are a winner

Donna Michaels said...

Margo, I seriously think you look wonderful with glasses. Some people can rock them and you are one. You look very stylish!