The Art of (re)Invention: What’s Next at RedheadWriting

2013 square gasp lo res***the part where I’ve deleted 16 openers to this blog post because they were complete shit***

Have you heard the one about the cobbler’s children not having any shoes? It’s a tempting but oh-so-unsumptuous (yes, that’s a word) scenario that many business owners find themselves battling. We’re so damned wrapped up in doing for our clients and community that we rarely stop to do for ourselves.

We place everyone else’s needs before our Musts — those things that nag at our guts, define who we are, and cry out to be acknowledged in the middle of the night. Our Musts are different from cats and dogs and for some, children — while all keep us from that sound sleep, our Musts are the ones we actually have control over.

Somehow, though, we find them worth ignoring.

Not so long ago, it became time to embrace my Musts — as they have everything to do with you and me.

There’s a Change Coming

Sometime between January 15 and February 1, I’m becoming…me.

(huh?)

Me. Erika Napoletano.

Y’all have come to know me as RedheadWriting — a brash, ballsy, fuck-it-all brazen persona. It’s no mistake — it was by design. From the day I published my first blog in 2006 until today, being RedheadWriting has been an amazing ride. I’ve been able to fuck up (royally). Learn. Shift. Grow. Bend, break, and otherwise morph. My online persona has been an incredible shield — it gave me permission to say what I felt needed saying and how I needed to say it.

It also gave me the most important piece of permission in the world: permission to be me. And that’s why it’s time to become me.

The blessings inherent with an online persona aren’t exclusive of equal curses. People form impressions, feel they know “you”, and otherwise take liberties. I get it. RedheadWriting has always been kind of a bitch who could give two and a half frog’s fine ass hairs what you think of her, her thoughts, and her choices in vernacular.

The best compliment I receive when people meet me, though, is: “You’re just like you are online — but a lot nicer!”

And that’s because using the word “fuck” like a comma and being a good person aren’t mutually exclusive.

So here’s where I’d like to thank RedheadWriting for a few things:

  • For giving me the chance to fuck up. You’ve been an amazing broad with some big shoulders and helped me sort out what works and what doesn’t — daily.
  • For helping me learn the value of my audience. When I started blogging, it was for me. It was an outlet to share and I could never (ever) have imagined that today, I’d have a community of thousands and have words published in books, magazines, and…well, shit. Published – period. You — my audience — are the only reason any of this happened and are the reason behind everything that will ever happen — I’m very grateful that RedheadWriting introduced me to you so I could come to love you.
  • For helping me deal with the unthinkable. When Jason died, I truly discovered that there were people behind every avatar and comment in my community. RedheadWriting showed me (and clearly) the people I value most and helped me deal with the business of moving forward and finding happiness again.
  • For showing me…me. It’s been a six-year literary journey, and while merely a sliver of my 40 years, RedheadWriting helped me figure out that there’s a person behind the persona. I like her very much, I’ve come to realize. I’m beyond grateful for RedheadWriting’s willingness to step aside/head to the spa/shut the fuck up every now and then and with greater frequency so I could be me in front of you. As this is who I realize I like being most.

 A Sneak Preview

On a date still to be disclosed, here’s a glimpse of what you’ll see:

 

Website teaser

And of course, inside you’ll find Erika Napoletano’s RedheadWriting Blog — as there’s no fucking way I’d quit that.

Or you.

So standby. It’s coming. And it’s all I can do every day to not Happy Pee a little bit at highly inopportune times.

I’m most grateful, however, that all of you have embraced RedheadWriting and helped me get from where and who I was to my own version of fuck yeah. RedheadWriting — she’s not leaving the building, but it’s high time I did “me” justice. I do cool shit for and with incredible people, brands, and companies. It gets me off. And I’m tired of being my own best-kept secret and hiding the work I love doing and the people, companies, and brands I love doing it for.

I finally kicked that lazy ass cobbler to the curb and bought a rockin’ pair of Donald J. Pliner stilettos —

Because this cobbler is never going shoeless again.

PS: Thanks again goes to my amazing photographer, Darren Mahuron. He’s been with RedheadWriting since you first met her, and now, I’m delighted to say he helped me show my real “me.” Thanks, Darren. A metric shit ton.

 

87 comments
AmyOzarowOscar
AmyOzarowOscar

Thanks for the RHW ride! And many blessings as you become you - and help everyone else become... us. :)

christiano kwena
christiano kwena

I will just stick to RHW because you will still run it in the new site. I wish you success.

JosephRatliff
JosephRatliff

As someone who has had the chance, and the pleasure, of talking to you in "person" via Skype... I'm all for this transformation Erika. :) Just my opinion, but I think your brand will be stronger than RHW.

Bryce Katz
Bryce Katz

What the hell good is a new year if it doesn't come with a little re-invention of self? Thank you, Erika, for the last few years of, well, YOU. Your blunt advice (delivered, natch) has helped me (and my business) in more ways than I can say. Here's to 2013!

Erin Weed
Erin Weed

Chills. YES to catharsis! The best is yet to come...

Bill Dorman
Bill Dorman

You.rock.hot as some would say; keep up the good work and we will certainly follow your progress. Best of luck to you.

SL Clark
SL Clark

When you make it to Oahu, there are many rounds of drinks waiting for you. God knows you've helped me immensely being a North Shore giant via RHW. So, hell yes and congratulations to you and your artistry.

Christina Pappas
Christina Pappas

I've been thinking of the same thing. Should I purchase christinapappas.com and run my blog off of it to build up my personal brand? Sounds like that is more the direction you are taking here and I would love to get your thoughts on it. Looking forward to seeing more! Preview looks great :)

Lou
Lou

This makes sense. I suspected this might happen earlier last year.

Bo Mackison
Bo Mackison

I love re-branding into the YOU you. Yay!

Andrea Feucht
Andrea Feucht

Love it. Love you. Keep writing and being yourfuckingself.

Marti_L
Marti_L

You will be fabulous and do well, whatever your site looks like and wherever you go!

Jamie Wallace
Jamie Wallace

Can't wait. Glad you've decided to unleash and reveal even more of what makes you you. Bring it on. :)

Todd Schnick
Todd Schnick

very much looking forward to watching this unfold. good luck, and thanks for what you do....

shanna
shanna

And what better time to be(come) you than now? Fantastic, Erika!

IrreverentSalesGirl
IrreverentSalesGirl

You can only imagine how much I love this post. Being an avatar, and all. GO FOR IT! I love both (?) of you!

namnum
namnum

Just got to know the Redhead last year (thanks to a well timed share by @AmyVernon:disqus) and I've enjoyed (getting my ass kicked by) every word. Thanks for the education and congrats on the next step.

Merredith
Merredith

I'm more happy about this than most people, I think. Nothing wrong with RHW, but you are more of a lady, deeper, funnier, and even more sensitive than the persona ever credited you. Now the world will know.... (insert demonic cackle or other inappropriate sound here)... and they'll just have to deal.

Nikki Groom
Nikki Groom

I love it! Awesome. Excited for you!

melgallant
melgallant

I only "know" the online you and I enjoy your blunt truthisms (truisms?) very much. Looking forward to seeing the "real you".

John Trader
John Trader

Congrats to you Erika, looking forward to seeing the same you but with different shoes. The look on your face in that pic is priceless by the way. It would be cool if you ran a caption contest on what you were thinking at that moment in time.

Tanya Storm
Tanya Storm

I like the online you AND the offline you. Both versions make me feel happy inside. Keep rocking it sister... as if you could do ANYTHING else.

TracyKaye
TracyKaye

Every time I think you've dazzled me with new brilliant ways of authentic power you go and push me past your own damn envelope. Jesus Mahoney you make it hard to slack off. Seriously.

Flo Farrell
Flo Farrell

Congratulations Erika! And speaking of shoes... LOVE the sassy ones you have on in your pic!

Donna Eaton
Donna Eaton

Hell yes! To the real you and those awesome Pliner Stilettos!!

D.T. Pennington
D.T. Pennington

As always, accolades to you. Can't wait for your new site to launch so I can leave borderline-inappropriate comments on it. Poopdeck.

Robert
Robert

Good luck! Looking forward to continued awesomeness. That will never change!

D
D

Nicely stated. I'm thankful to The Redhead because being along for the ride has helped others, myself included, evolve along with you. (Well, at least those of us open to your expletives of wisdom.) Looking forward to the next phase of your journey.

Lindsay Goldner
Lindsay Goldner

LOVE. Rebranding can be messy as hell (as you know) but from that sneak peek, looks like you're going to nail it. :)

Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef
Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

It looks and sounds totally amazing, Erika. Can't wait for the unveiling. And congrats on getting there!

jr schmitt
jr schmitt

sassy now comes with a name :-) well done erika.

christopher demers
christopher demers

Congratulations on your coming out party. Shoes - and loving who we are - will never be the same...

hubbit
hubbit

Congratulations and big salutes! In the somewhere-between-three-and-four years that I've known you, I've watched you constantly grow, constantly evolve. You'll do many things in your life, but you will never stagnate. Not everyone can have that said about them. :)

AmyVernon
AmyVernon

Congrats!! So happy for you, lady!

Robert Bajak
Robert Bajak

Welcome to the land of the shoed! Pretty bawlsy move. I salute you!

Rich Mackey
Rich Mackey

Congrats on this huge step. So awesome. Can't wait to see what's next! Person and Persona can be a weird thing to navigate. Glad you were able to do it successfully without developing (more?) multiple personalities!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Or Erika Napoletano. She’s got it right; regular use of the f-bomb and being a good person aren’t mutually […]

  2. […] The rebranding project that’s not just four months in the making since I commenced with the most brilliant team in the world — it’s been 40 years in the making. For the first time, I’m able to look at my brand’s online presence and say, “How YOU doin’?” […]

  3. […] because I’m getting ready to unveil the rebranding. The Becoming Me that I mentioned. And I’m focused on Getting Shit Done like nobody’s business, determined to never again […]