Pen name – yes or no?

Should you use a nom de plume, or pseudonym as it’s more often called? As an author there are a number of reasons why you would want to use your own name. You are already known to a circle of people and can capitalize on that with your first publications. However, using a different name can be useful as well. We can all think of reasons why we might choose a new name:

  1. You have another life as a pediatrician and you want to write a crime novel
  2. Your name has always been awkward – Mr Stalker or Ms Bludgeon
  3. Your name can only be written in a foreign alphabet

Seriously, there are many reasons why you might consider a different name for your publications. See what they say on Write To Done for suggestions to consider – http://writetodone.com/use-a-pen-name/

Either way, I think it’s important to make the decision early in your career. Changing names mid-stream can create an uphill climb to make a new name known to your audience, a climb that you’ve already committed to for your first choice. There’s no point doing all that work twice, so pick your best name, be it your own or an invented one, and put it out there for all to become acquainted with right from the start.

Passing on Your Left

Walking trail IMG_0670

There are a lot of biking and walking trails where I live on Vancouver Island. They’re well used, mostly gravel although some lengths are dirt and lead through streams and over tangled tree roots. The trails lead past farm land, up steep hills, through dense forest and down old train routes.

When you’re riding a bicycle and approach people who are walking ahead in the same direction, the practice is to call out – “passing on your left”. It’s the polite way of giving notice that you’re overcoming walkers and to let them know you are there if they don’t hear you approach.

This morning as I walked along, I thought of how my writing is going. I’m not passing anyone these days. It’s been slow for a while now and will probably stay that way for a few more months. Life has happened to me, and it will take some time to sort it out, recover and regain my equilibrium. So it is others who are calling out to me – “passing on the left”.

But you see, I don’t mind that. Those who call out give hope to the rest of us who are moving at a slower pace. It’s as if they say – “I’m blazing the trail for you. Don’t give up hope, just keep on and soon you’ll see where we are going.”

Thank you everyone for the call out.