A Writer's Journey

May 17, 2011

Nom de Plume?

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 2:45 am
Tags: , , ,

This wasn’t a post I was planning on writing so early. However, some recent events made me reconsider.

I’ll get to those in a minute.

An author has to decide what name to publish under. Do they publish under their own name? Do they publish under a pseudonym? I’ve had this debate. For a while, I wanted to use a pseudonym. I had planned to go into journalism and wanted to separate the two careers. I even had a pseudonym picked out. However, that name has become incredibly linked to my internet identity. Especially as no one wants to use their real name on the internet for safety purposes.

When I was in college, I was a theater minor. I wasn’t much of an actress, so I went the backstage and literature routes. Either way, I kept getting the same comment from all my theater professors. They would always comment that my name was the perfect stage name. And I realized they were right. My first name is exotic enough that it’ll capture people’s attention. My last name is rather small, which flows with my longer first name. (Hint for authors: It is wise to pair long first names with short last names and vice versa. It sounds nicer on the readers’ ears). My last name also doesn’t give away an ethnicity (thank you, nice people at Ellis Island!).

And I started to wonder, if my name is the perfect stage name, wouldn’t it also be an ideal name to publish under?

But I am going for some amount of fame. I do hope people like my book(s). I want to be able to publish more and get somewhat of a name, even if the only interviews I get is with my hometown newspaper. But I also know that I am not someone who likes the limelight. My parents even know that.

So, what were those recent events I mentioned earlier?

I am a fan of a group called Celtic Thunder. Maybe you’ve seen them on your local PBS station. One member, Ryan Kelly, became the second original member to resign from the group. The first original member to resign, Paul Byrom, did so to further his career. And I cannot wait for him to start his own tour. The second member, Ryan Kelly, resigned in order to return to a private life.

Now I don’t know the full story. I may never know the full story. From what I can tell, Ryan had been badgered by fans who didn’t know where to draw the line between public and private. It obviously got so bad, he decided to resign and pretty much delete himself from the internet. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Official Website. It’s sad when something like that forces a person to essentially hide. Closing his Twitter, Facebook and MySpace accounts were not announced and came as a shock to fans. I just hope he had time to warn those on his official website so they could exchange information to keep in touch. I know about friendships on internet forums.

Anyway, his sudden departure made me think again. Do I want to use a nom de plume? Do I want some barrier between my private life and my public one?

For now, I’m going to keep using  my real name.


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