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Pen name dilemmas

 
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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, Nov 22 2022, 5:45 pm
I have some things I'd like to write under a pen name (think personal mental healthy topics etc) and then some others that I wouldn't mind writing under my real name.

But then even under my penname, how can I know it won't somehow get known that it's me? We all know those authors that everyone knows it's really X.

And then there's also the thing that I may want to share with some close people that the penname is me, but then everything under that penname they'd know... so hmmmmm. 2 Pen names?

How do people go about this?
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amother




Caramel
 

Post Tue, Nov 22 2022, 8:34 pm
Following.
I wrote a book that was not supposed to be published rather distributed specifically via organizations to those that could benefit from reading about a very specific topic. But everyone that read the manuscript so far thinks I should publish. Thing is it’s the story of my child’s life and how it affected us as a family… everyone that knows us will know it’s us if I publish and will be privy to private details of our lives and whatever that may lead to. So even with a pen name it’s pointless. Without a pen name we’re Just put in the open for the whole world to know our story. Which is but isn’t the point of the book. It was meant to be more targeted.. so I get u op cuz I’m also torn
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amother




Lightblue
 

Post Tue, Nov 22 2022, 8:39 pm
I have two pen names and also published under my own name. Why not??
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amother




White
 

Post Wed, Nov 23 2022, 9:22 am
I use multiple pen names for various genres and for secular vs. frum publishing. I make a separate Chrome profile and corresponding email for each so I don't get them mixed up, and I write and sign all emails to editors with the appropriate name. It works! I've had to edit more than one contract before signing because they've used my pen name without thinking. As long as you don't share your pen names with everyone you meet and make it clear to the people you tell that they're private, it's unlikely that your name will get out.
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Nov 23 2022, 4:46 pm
amother White wrote:
I use multiple pen names for various genres and for secular vs. frum publishing. I make a separate Chrome profile and corresponding email for each so I don't get them mixed up, and I write and sign all emails to editors with the appropriate name. It works! I've had to edit more than one contract before signing because they've used my pen name without thinking. As long as you don't share your pen names with everyone you meet and make it clear to the people you tell that they're private, it's unlikely that your name will get out.


Interesting, thanks! I actually opened up a gmail under my pen name, but then I thought is it dishonest to submit writings without disclosing my real name?

Are you happy with the multiple pen names? Like do you never wish people would know that it's all you?

A part of me does want to be very open, even if I'll use a pen name it should all be under one. But then there's this other part that has all these concerns, like if I'll do a few genres and then I'll want to share with people that it's me and won't be able to.

Also, have you never had people asking you if one of your pen names is you?
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amother




Strawberry
 

Post Wed, Nov 23 2022, 5:02 pm
It's not dishonest to email from your pen name email. It's fine, people do it all the time. I have a pen name no one knows, a pen name people figured out, a pen name I use for pieces that are mildly sensitive and I also publish under my own name. I think it's pretty common.
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Nov 23 2022, 5:13 pm
amother Strawberry wrote:
It's not dishonest to email from your pen name email. It's fine, people do it all the time. I have a pen name no one knows, a pen name people figured out, a pen name I use for pieces that are mildly sensitive and I also publish under my own name. I think it's pretty common.


I hear! It just feels a little confusing to me to split myself in different identities Wink
Also if you want to publish under a new pen name but you want the publication to know you're an old writer, so that they take your pieces more seriously then I guess you'd share it?
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amother




Strawberry
 

Post Wed, Nov 23 2022, 5:23 pm
amother OP wrote:
I hear! It just feels a little confusing to me to split myself in different identities Wink
Also if you want to publish under a new pen name but you want the publication to know you're an old writer, so that they take your pieces more seriously then I guess you'd share it?

Correct. The publication will learn to recognize your email address and the way you sign off on your emails. If you send them a piece and want to use a different pen name you'll have to specify that on the document as well as in the email.
I'll be honest, I publish 98% of my work under my real name and then I save the pen names for something sensitive about one of my kids or something like that. So I don't feel like I'm splitting myself, I write under my name but to protect my loved ones, I use a pen name once in awhile.
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amother




Plum
 

Post Wed, Nov 23 2022, 5:33 pm
amother OP wrote:
Interesting, thanks! I actually opened up a gmail under my pen name, but then I thought is it dishonest to submit writings without disclosing my real name?

Are you happy with the multiple pen names? Like do you never wish people would know that it's all you?

A part of me does want to be very open, even if I'll use a pen name it should all be under one. But then there's this other part that has all these concerns, like if I'll do a few genres and then I'll want to share with people that it's me and won't be able to.

Also, have you never had people asking you if one of your pen names is you?


I do sometimes wish people knew that I wrote things that were under different names, but I'm still happy with it.
I've had some friends ask if I wrote things that they read. But only my usual one, and that's why I have a rarely-used private one. And I've made up a single-use pen name a couple of times. Plus, I've had people think that I must have written things I didn't write.
I don't use different email addresses or signatures. I use my real name with the editors and my pen name for printing.
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amother




Broom
 

Post Wed, Nov 23 2022, 6:19 pm
I have multiple pen names for different things.
I have a very distinct voice, so regardless ppl usually know it’s me
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Nov 23 2022, 7:10 pm
amother Strawberry wrote:
Correct. The publication will learn to recognize your email address and the way you sign off on your emails. If you send them a piece and want to use a different pen name you'll have to specify that on the document as well as in the email.
I'll be honest, I publish 98% of my work under my real name and then I save the pen names for something sensitive about one of my kids or something like that. So I don't feel like I'm splitting myself, I write under my name but to protect my loved ones, I use a pen name once in awhile.


I hear, got it. For me it's I guess protecting my parents? And also myself, because some things I write are about mental health and I'm not comfortable with just anyone knowing these things about me.
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Nov 23 2022, 7:11 pm
amother Broom wrote:
I have multiple pen names for different things.
I have a very distinct voice, so regardless ppl usually know it’s me

Are you upset that people know it's you?
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Nov 23 2022, 7:12 pm
amother Plum wrote:
I do sometimes wish people knew that I wrote things that were under different names, but I'm still happy with it.
I've had some friends ask if I wrote things that they read. But only my usual one, and that's why I have a rarely-used private one. And I've made up a single-use pen name a couple of times. Plus, I've had people think that I must have written things I didn't write.
I don't use different email addresses or signatures. I use my real name with the editors and my pen name for printing.


I hear, thanks!
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amother




White
 

Post Wed, Nov 23 2022, 8:21 pm
amother OP wrote:
Interesting, thanks! I actually opened up a gmail under my pen name, but then I thought is it dishonest to submit writings without disclosing my real name?

Are you happy with the multiple pen names? Like do you never wish people would know that it's all you?

A part of me does want to be very open, even if I'll use a pen name it should all be under one. But then there's this other part that has all these concerns, like if I'll do a few genres and then I'll want to share with people that it's me and won't be able to.

Also, have you never had people asking you if one of your pen names is you?


Don't think it's dishonest at all. You're not making this your identity, you're choosing a writing identity. You'll want to disclose your actual name for contracts, but it's very common in the frum world to write under a pen name.

I'm happy keeping most pen names private, personally. I have two that some friends and coworkers know are mine, and the rest are just for family or myself. It's a trade-off! It's not a bad idea to keep sensitive or personal pieces private and everything else vaguely public.

I've never had people ask me that, no, not without a tip-off from someone else. I don't think most people really notice the byline on writing or immediately jump to it being someone they know.
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