Wednesday, February 22, 2012

On the use of pseudonyms

I published my novels under a pseudonym.  I did this because I did not want my novels to come up on an Internet search by someone associated with my day job, which is in a completely different field.

More recently, I have taken on several pseudonyms on the Internet -- so that I look like several different people, at least to the casual observer.  Presumably a sophisticated observer could figure it out, but not someone just doing a simple Google search.

When I take on a new pseudonym, I feel free to say whatever I feel like with that pseudonym; however, in the context of social media, I soon make friends and enemies -- and then have a community of people surrounding me.  I start having the same concerns with respect to that community that I have with respect to  people in in my real name life -- worrying about my reputation, becoming more careful about what I say, feeling constrained.

After a while, the pseudonym becomes my name in some sense, and is less and less a pseudonym and more and more a representation of me.  Then I feel like I should make a new pseudonym.

The irony of this is that this pseudonym, the one I am posting with here, is the one I would most like to draw attention to, since I am trying to sell my novels -- and, yet, this one is the one that has attracted the least attention and remains without a community.


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