I’ve seen Alexandra K. Trenfor quoted as saying, “The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.” as well as a couple of other things.
I never knew who Alexandra was but I just never stopped to think about it until someone asked me, “Who is Alexandra K. Trenfor?” after having seen her quoted somewhere.
“A writer…? Right?” I didn’t know.
“I can’t find her anywhere.”
I really couldn’t believe that. Surely Alexandra K. Trenfor was somewhere, so I began to look for her.
But it was true, all that I could really find about her was this post, where I found that many people have searched for her to no avail.
The whole thing reminded me of two things: how careful we should be when attributing other people’s work and the importance of consistency in personal branding.
1) Attribute Other People’s Work Like You Would Like Yours Attributed To You
Maybe Alexandra K. Trenfor’s name got attached to those quotes by mistake. This is pure conjecture because no one really even knows, but these guesses are not in any way impossibilities.
I can’t count how many times I see quotes, with incorrect attribution to the author. As an avid reader, this is a huge pet peeve of mine, because I either know the correct author, or I have read enough of the author’s writing to have a feeling that they didn’t actually even say that. In the past I have been known to key-word search a Kindle book or even page through a book I know very well, in search of a quote someone attributed to it– and when the quote isn’t even there, well, that’s confusing and frustrating.
Example: I have seen this quote attributed to “anonymous”, Charlotte Whitton, and as a Maori Proverb. I don’t know who really said it shrug.
This not only happens with quotes and their authors’ but also to artists and photographers who share their work online. I follow many artists and photographers on Instagram who had people share their art or photographs and attribute them to the wrong person by mistake (and unfortunately on purpose at times).
So when you are attributing someone else’s work or sharing someone else’s work— check your source, and then check it again.
2) Personal Branding
Whoever Alexandra K. Trenfor was is unknown. Maybe her name got miswritten and her name wasn’t ever actually Alexandra K. Trenfor, or maybe it was a pen name.
At times an online/public profile is a person’s real name, other times it’s a “pen” name of sorts, but whatever the name is, consistency is key, meaning if you’ve chosen a name, stick to it. Coming up with a bunch of different names to go by is not only confusing but harder for people to remember.
Keep the name simple and then keep the name– that way when people attribute your work, whether it be writing, art, photos, blog posts, or whatever your individual brand represents, they get it right, and you won’t become another Alexandra K. Trenfor.