You probably haven't seen it yet, but in this Sunday's New York Times Book Review, June 26, 2011 edition there is an essay on the back page by Carmela Ciuraru about pen names. Carmela is the author of a book that just came out last week called "Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms". I don't plan to read the book, but the essay is a good one. The book gets good reviews. I'm interesting in pen names right now. I have three blogs and I write each of them under a different name. Why? I'm not sure. Just seemed to happen that way. With one blog I was trying to be anonymous because it's a 12-step thing. With this one I've been very torn on whether to be anonymous or not. My low self-esteem is worried that I won't be taken serious if you know who I am. Then again, this blog has the lowest readership anyway I think, so why would it matter? The weight-loss blog is under a different name simply because it is affiliated with a website and message boards etc, and everyone there has a Username. I'm fine with that. There is a picture of myself on that site though, and I've revealed enough personal information there that anyone there could find me if they wanted to.
Still, to use a pen name or not is still twirling in my mind. If I were to publish something erotic or something sexual maybe I would want the pen name. If I were publishing something very personal I might want a pen name and fake names for everyone in my story to protect myself from getting sued or from hurting anyone's feelings etc... and yet there is another side of me that believes firmly in OWNING my story, OWNING my truth, and being HONEST about my life and my world. Why hide?
So check out Carmela's book if you want, and if you have something to say about pen names, leave me a note.