Daily Archives: January 1, 2015

When to Use a Pen Name?

Has anyone ever considered when to use a pen name?  Well, I suppose that’s a dumb question.  If you’re using a pen name, you’re not going to tell me that your name is a pen name.  Just as I most assuredly affirm that the name on my birth certificate reads, “Bookshelf Q. Battle.”

It’s something I’ve been thinking about, if I ever do get around to writing and/or publishing a novel.

CONS

1)  Writing a novel is a lot of work to not get some credit and name recognition out of it.  Even if it is only a little bit of recognition and credit, it is better than nothing.

2)  You pick one and then what?  You have to introduce yourself as “Dirk Hardfist” or whatever you chose as your pen name, at every gathering you go to in the writer’s world?

3)  You kind of end up losing your little impact on history.  If you write a novel that withstands the test of time, people of the future will be all like, “Wow, that Dirk Hardfist was a helluva writer!”  But no one will be talking about you.

4)  You could try to split the difference – use a pen name until you’ve established a successful and profitable writing career, then announce to your fans who you are, but really, by then, everyone will just want Dirk Hardfist.

5)  Damn it.  Now I kinda want to be Dirk Hardfist.

PROS

1)  We live in a sad, ridiculous, petty world where everyone claims to be insulted at the drop of a hat.  While I don’t intend to write anything too salacious or scandalous, there are people who can find a reason to be offended by anything.  There are people who are offended over frigging Harry Potter!

2)  Should the writing thing not pan out, I’d just assume to live out my normal, bland life in peace and not have the easily offended types hounding me in my personal life, demanding that I be strung up from the tallest yard arm because I dared express myself through the written word.  I can see it now.  “I only sold three copies of my book on Amazon (two of them were bought by my Aunt Gertrude) but everyone in town is coming at me with pitchforks because I wrote a naughty swear word on page 4!”

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