Becoming an Author Using a Pseudonym

The undercover writer….

This post might not appeal to a lot of people – I know that most authors are more than happy to put their names against their work. Too right, you’ve put in all the hard work to write your masterpiece, you are fully entitled to claim the credit.

But for me I’m more likely to use a pseudonym if and when I ever get round to publishing my work, and I wanted to address the issue for anyone else who might be feeling the same way as I do, or who’s just curious to know why.

For me the reasons are twofold. The main one is something that I’ve mentioned in previous posts: that I’m super anxious about having other people read my work.

Now I am fully aware that this is something I need to get over in order to be published – I’m working on it, I promise!

However, even once I break through the barrier of anxiety to allow friends and family, and then publishing professionals to read it, I’m not personally someone who seeks the limelight. So even if my wildest dreams did come true and I became a bestselling author, I wouldn’t necessarily want anyone to know who I am. I just want them to enjoy the book and kind of forget about me.

I also think, for me, it would help me to detach from any negative criticism I would inevitably receive. With only me and a select few others knowing that I’m the author of a book, I think I’d be more able to focus on the positive feedback and ignore the negative. To some people, I’m sure that sounds like I’m being a total baby, but I’m not going to pretend that I enjoy criticism, even when it’s constrictive, so I’m happy to add a buffer between my ‘real’ self and the harsh words my book might one day engender.

The other part of this decision is a more personal one: my mother, who is sadly now deceased, always dreamed of writing a novel, and like many people, never quite got round to it. I’ve therefore decide that if I am ever to be published, I’d like to use her name as my pseudonym.

For me it’s an important mark of respect for all the things she did for me, and all the help she gave me that allowed me to get to that point (assuming I ever do).

Again, some people will see my reasons as utterly nonsensical, and I get that. But for me it just feels right. And as I’m always banging on about, Becoming an Author is all about doing what’s right for you.

So, what do you think? Are you planning to write under a pseudonym? Why or why not? Always keen to see what other folks think about these things!

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