While you can establish your authorial presence without consciously examining and claiming an archetype, harnessing universal symbols offers you a perfect tool for managing how you appear to others. Archetypes are not a mold but a lens through which you can more easily see yourself and reveal yourself to others. They shouldn’t dictate but calibrate how you behave.
Whether online or in person, using an archetype will keep your public presence on track, emphasizing your strengths and guiding your choices...not as a rigid mold but a lens to focus your efforts. Readers cast us as characters in the drama of their imaginations. Presenting yourself as an author without being conscious of your archetypal role in the public imagination is like attending a major convention in whatever clothes you scooped from your dresser, or worse, wearing clothes someone else has chosen for you.
By definition archetypes are high concept because they are hardwired into the human consciousness, helping us make sense of what we see and establish symbolic relationships that allow us to interpret the world quickly. Your best archetype is the one that helps you navigate the public sphere to accomplish your goals. There are no bad archetypes, only options better or worse for you. Make sure you aren’t trying to be someone you can’t be.
We offer these archetypes not as a rigid framework, but as a focus for a consistent public persona. Archetypal roles shouldn't dictate but can calibrate how we behave. As you check them out, consider not only where you fit into this matrix, but where your peers and professional contacts operate as well.