Writing Journal Y4 Day 27: Pseudonyms


I’ve talked about this before, and recently on an episode of the Functional Nerds podcast.  But, I’m not a huge fan of pseudonyms or pen names.  I get why they are used.  I understand the logic.  I just don’t like either.

Acceptable uses of a pen name or pseudonym IMHO include:

  • Someone who wants to keep their writerly life separate from their everyday life

Huh.  Short list.

Some of the logical reasons for using a pen name I can accept include:

  • To separate stories you’ve written in one genre, from another
  • To create a brand name for a specific genre/type of story
  • To allow a prolific writer to push their work out without flooding the marketplace
James Oliver Rigney, Jr aka Robert Jordan aka Reagen O'Neal

James Oliver Rigney, Jr aka Robert Jordan aka Reagen O’Neal

The last one is the most interesting to me.  There are writers who produce so much, their publisher can’t publish it all, but they want to.  The writers option is to go with another publisher, which doesn’t solve the problem of over-saturating the market, or adopt a pen name.

For me, I want my name on the book.  I want my name on ALL the books I write.  It’s important to me in a way that can often be difficult to articulate.  Even in a post like this one…

What do you think about pseudonyms or pen names?

Have you ever discovered the ‘true identity’ of an author and found it changed your feelings about the book?

1 comment for “Writing Journal Y4 Day 27: Pseudonyms

  1. January 28, 2014 at 9:25 am

    When I first started writing, I planned to use a pseudonym. I was a teenager, remember. I thought having a pseudonym would be really cool. Not only did I pick a pen name, but I actually created a whole back story for her. So yeah, I was making up stories about someone making up the stories that I was writing. Crazy.

    My other reason for wanting a pen name when I was younger was so that people would not judge me by what I wrote, or judge my writing by who I was. But I’m much more secure in both my self and my writing now, and writing under my own name is not a problem.

    I haven’t forgotten my dear pseudonym… maybe someday I’ll write a book about her.

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