Ria's picture
Ria from New York is reading tons'o stuff February 19, 2013 - 1:31pm

So I've come to conclude that women are borked when it comes to publishing due to marriage. Generally, we are the ones that change our names, and then divorce possibly happens and we then change our names back to our maiden names. And then, possibly, we decide to get married a second time so our names change yet again.

This is all assuming that there are some sort of traditional values somewhere in there that the lady would continue to keep changing her name. Of course there are women who never change their names and keep their maiden name all through their lives. More power to you! I fall under the traditional values set and therefore my name is changing. Again. I decided to submit some pieces to journals and whatnot and then realized that because I'll be getting married next year that anything I do under my current name will be lost.

This being stated, are pseudonyms still in wide use by authors these days? I can't tell whether or not this is still a common practice as I seem to be getting conflicting opinions from sources. Or should I just use my current name as my pseudonym?

Carly Berg's picture
Carly Berg from USA is reading Story Prompts That Work by Carly Berg is now available at Amazon February 19, 2013 - 7:07pm

I guess it just depends on what works for you, and everyone has a different mix of situation and desires. There's what you tend to write, and your feelings on your privacy vs. enjoying the recognition of having your real name out there and etcetera.

As far as which "real" name to use, I'd think of if you'd rather have people who knew you way back when recognize your writing or the ones from your soon-to-be-married life?

If you use a pseudonym, married or not doesn't matter, so you don't have that hassle. I am not aware of any changes through time on it (I think you asked if many people still used them "these days"), but I know plenty of writers who use them and also plenty who don't.

I have read some hilarious discussions on writer forums that made it sound like a game of chicken, like "What's wrong whitchya, not man enough to own up to what you wrote, huh? Huh?" LOL. Personally, I prefer my privacy. People are dumb sometimes, as we talked about on here a little while back. They don't understand that it was "your character" and not "you" who took all those drugs or whatever. Sometimes using your real name can cause trouble on your job, especially if you write anything approaching erotica and work with kids. Some writers use different names for different types of writing. If you have kids (or PITA relatives, or whoever) you might not want them reading everything you write. I just feel much freer to write without that feeling that anyone is looking over my shoulder. I tell who I want to tell. Of course a pseudonym is only a screen anyway, no guarantee, and you lose some control when you tell it to some people, who can tell others. But it's good enough for me. Also, who wants to be totally anonymous and get no bragging rights at all, right?

Anyway, those are my thoughts on pseudonyms, fwiw.

Jack Campbell Jr.'s picture
Jack Campbell Jr. from Lawrence, KS is reading American Rust by Phillipp Meyer February 19, 2013 - 2:53pm

I have a friend who is divorced and remarried but uses her original married name as her psuedonym. You could use your married name as a psuedonym. I've known plenty of other people who have done that. Or you could come up with something else entirely, if you want. Or you can change your name, as necessary. I don't think it is as big of a deal anymore. The way social media works, these days, everyone is going to know who you are anyway.

Ria's picture
Ria from New York is reading tons'o stuff February 25, 2013 - 9:20am

Ya, I had meant "these days" as the days of social media running rampant. I decided to go with one, at least for now. If I ever "make it big" I'm sure everyone will figure it out.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs February 27, 2013 - 3:44pm

I regret not using a pseudonym since the beginning (because of the titles and content of my books).

Stacy_R_Haynes's picture
Stacy_R_Haynes from North Charleston, SC is reading Coffee Break Screenwriter March 2, 2013 - 12:13pm

Part of me sincerely thought of using a pen name for some of my work.  This is to keep several people out of my hair who fail to understand an artist is not his art. Also it would allow me some freedom. 

There's also a part of me that doesn't want to us a pseudonym, and let the chips fall where they may. I write with a sense of humor, and I don't want people to take me so serious. Sometimes I'm not serious.