Identity Crisis

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

39. Pseudonyms

Pseudonyms are something that have always amused me. For anyone who might not know, a pseudonym is an alternate name or identity. For the purposes of writers, a pseudonym would be a pen name…a name that you would publish something under if you didn’t want to use your real name.

Pseudonyms amuse me because on the one hand, it’s almost like a game, picking a new name. Choosing a name is almost like creating a whole new identity; it’s like role-playing in the real world. You can be whoever you want! On the other hand, I’ve considered that I would want anything I publish to have my real name attached to it…wouldn’t I? It’s a bit of a loaded debate, actually. For instance, what if I decide to write a Harlequin Romance? There’s certainly nothing wrong with Harlequin Romances, but they do have a bit of a stigma attached to them. There’s the possibility of future publishers not taking me seriously if I’m a published “women’s porn” author. Not to mention there can be an embarrassment factor: who wants their parents or grandparents, for example, to find out that they’ve been writing smut for a living?

As an unpublished author, I currently have no pseudonyms, but I’ve considered a few in case I do end up deciding to use them in the future. I would prefer to use my real, legal name for anything I publish, but there are definitely certain publication situations where I might be a bit skittish to have my real life associated with it. As I am currently nowhere close to becoming published, it’s not a major concern for me right now, and the manuscript I’m working toward getting published is definitely one I’d want my real name on, so that pushes the concern back even further. But be aware that there is the possibility that in the future you may read something with one of my pseudonyms attached to it, and I’ll be quietly chuckling from a dark corner like the weirdo that I am.

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