Breaking with Anonymity

Although I’ve been writing for a long time, only my academic or professional writing has gone out into the larger world.  My creative writing, with a couple of soul-scarring exceptions, has been shared only with a very small group of friends (thank you all!). Therefore, it is taking a nearly visible girding of the loins to leave the cave and proclaim myself a nascent author. I thought about using anonymity to make writing this blog easier, but I have been hiding for a very long time, and honestly am tired of it.

However, I’m not sure that I want my name to be on the title pages of my work. Certainly there are examples from myriad paths in the whole anonymity/nom de plume question. Actually, I have to admit that “Anonymous” on a title page makes me think of erotica, so I don’t think I can go that direction in its entirety. However, academic writers often use a nom de plume for their creative writing, to separate it from their professional writing; in many cases, such as Ralph McInerny’s Monica Quill, everyone knows the real name of the author. Many creative writers employ different names for different genres, so that their readers can easily find more works like the one that interested them. Finally, there is the centuries-long tradition of women writers hiding their sex by using male names or initialisms, so as to be taken more seriously.

Due to the amount of professional writing that I have to do in the near-term, I needn’t come to any conclusions about what name would go on my creative work. It is perhaps enough that I have come out into the light.

I’d be very interested in what you think, what choices you have made and why.