Home » Random » Why I’m using a pen name…

Why I’m using a pen name…

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time and actually read my entries, you’ve probably seen me say at least once that I’m a very private person. If you know me personally, you might not even realize how private I am. I do tell people a lot of things, but when it comes to personal matters . . . I generally don’t. There’s a line, I think, and there’s some part of me that finds it damn near impossible to cross over that line – even with people I care about, a lot of the time.

That being said, that’s not actually why I’m using a pen name. In fact, it’s almost irrelevant in the ‘reasoning department’ and is mostly just a small thing that makes me feel a little better where my life is concerned.

While I am very private, I do war with myself over it. Honesty and openness are a VERY big deal to me and I’ll spare you all from me going on some tangent where I could ramble for days about those two walking hand-in-hand and whether or not they’re constantly required to walk together, or how I feel about either of them, and how my feelings about either of them clash with me wanting to keep my personal business personal (and by keeping it personal, I mean keeping it ENTIRELY to myself).

And while I’ll say something I said in one of my first blogs on here (that I want to keep me as a person separate, in a sense, from my work – meaning, yes, I am responsible for the work, but the work is not ABOUT me), I’ll also say that I do understand there’s no escaping from the fact that . . . I am responsible for my work.

My desire to use a pen name is less about my instinct to go hide under a rock (you have no idea how tempting it is . . .) and more to do with ‘personal choices’. So, in this entry, I will drop a barrier that might seem very small to other people, but is VERY large for me.

I call the name I’m using a ‘pen name’, but . . . it’s kind of not. It is not my legal name, but it IS my name.

My legal first name does not begin with a C. EVERY nickname I have (apart from one) begins with a C. Only about three people call me by my real name (mom, mamaw, and my niece after she could say my full name) regularly. Everyone else calls me something that starts with C (apart from my dad, who has the different nickname for me). I sign most of my emails as C, and have done so for a very long time. I’ve used those nicknames as my ‘name’ on most social networking sites for years. If you want to know my first name (or even a nickname) so you can stop calling me ‘C’, I’d be more than happy to tell you. But . . . I’m pretty used to being called C, and I prefer the nicknames (as they’re what I hear most often), so . . . yeah. I’m content with it. Meaning, if there was a room full of people and someone shouted, “C!” behind my back . . . I would turn around. I would be more likely to turn around for that than my real name, if I’m being honest.

As for the second half of the ‘pen name’ . . . it’s my maiden name. I’m partially using it because . . . that’s the name I had at birth, and that will never change.

But mostly?

I am using my maiden name because I’m unsure if I ever want to have children. I’ve done quite a bit of battling with myself on that. And yes, part of me does possibly want to have children in the future, but . . . I’m not entirely sure. And I think about the fact that, if I don’t . . . my father’s ‘blood’ will stop with me. It brings about more guilt than I could probably say on here. So, using my father’s name is a potential ‘repayment in advance’ (meaning I at least put SOMETHING into the world) in case I don’t ever have children. Not really a fair exchange, but . . . it is what it is. That’s why. Very personal.

And there you have it.

Anyway, I have some things I need to do on here, which I’ll be trying to do over the next several days while simultaneously attempting to nitpick this proof I have. Now that I’m almost completely over that cold (which kicked my butt a LOT harder than I expected it to), I’ll be able to start knocking some stuff out.

Hope everyone is doing well.

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14 thoughts on “Why I’m using a pen name…

    • I’m publishing it under the name I have on here and my author page thingy. πŸ™‚ (Though I have to admit that I sometimes wish I could just do something like that and nobody would know, but that would kind of defeat the purpose, so…guess I’m stuck with everybody knowing!)
      I hope you’re doing well Pamela!

  1. Interesting. Well, using a pen name is no unheard of, and is a personal choice a writer should make, for whatever reason – no explanation is needed, thought it’s good to have a well thought out response whenever (inevitably) asked.

    As for using your maiden last name, that makes sense, though in a way your novels are akin to having children – they are created and a part of yourself, you help nurture and develop them to be the best they can be, then release them into the world where they will have the opportunity to flourish. Of course this is not exactly the same as having an actual child but I suppose it’s as close as could be.

    • Oh yes, you definitely get asked. The first time I said, “I’m going to use a pen name,” the reaction was, “Why?”
      I figured I should be proactive. Now, when people ask, I can just send them a link or tell them to come here. That way I don’t have to explain it however many times or say something along the lines of, “Because.” It’s difficult for me to repeatedly talk about personal things and I’d rather just direct someone here. haha

      I agree completely with the child thing. I don’t have children to know (obviously), but that’s what they all feel like to me. And it’s a very scary thing in that regard.

      I’ve seen your NaNo updates on Facebook. That’s super awesome! πŸ˜€

  2. I give you credit for choosing to use a pen name. I’ve actually thought about writing a book before, under a pen name, and I might still do it. Might being the keyword there. I would want to keep the two worlds separate if it did happen. I think it’s a good idea to use your maiden name as well :] Hope you’re feeling 100% again soon!

    • You should do it if you want to! Life is too short not to do what you want to do in/with it.

      I was really hoping to keep the two worlds separate, but I’m kind of realizing that they seep into one another regardless. It took me a little while to accept that, but I guess it’s all a matter of choosing the road you want to travel down and taking what comes with it. Privacy seems like the most important thing in the world when you’re a hermit, but this is forcing me to come out of that a bit. Trying to tell myself that’s a good thing!

      And thanks for the well-wishes. Still coughing and whatnot, but much better than I was. πŸ™‚

  3. I think a lot about privacy too. If given the chance to be famous, I would really struggle with it because of the complete loss of privacy. I hope after your book is published you don’t get too famous!

  4. I debated long and hard about using a pen name before my book came out but ultimately decided against it, figuring it would be difficult enough to lead people to my book using my own name. A pen name might just make it harder. But I’m still not sure I made the right choice. Your pen name is well thought out and should serve you well.

    Thanks for visiting my site. I appreciate it!

    • I did go back and forth about it several times, but once I had my mind made up, I couldn’t even think of using my real name. It just didn’t make any sense for me to use it, which might be a bit weird. I definitely get what you’re saying though, about it making things more difficult.

      Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚

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