The Freedom of a Pen Name and other Musings

According to Wikipedia, “a pen name, nom de plume, or literary double, is a pseudonym adopted by an author”. I decided a few months back to embrace the concept never guessing what a journey of words would follow my entry into this world. I came to the decision because as a teacher, even writing a simple sweet love scene, I felt the hard breath of critics standing behind my shoulder. It was such a fine line between acceptable and not acceptable it was stifling. Hence the pen name. But a curious thing happened after I introduced my new ego onto the internet, she began to collect more friends than me! And it was without a personal photograph because I can’t show “me” or I lose the anonymity. That I found strange. Here I am as my first self, January Bain, with smiling photo and “she” gets more friends and hits. I think I’m jealous!

I have been driven for some time now by my characters and my books. A day without some time spent writing feels wasteful and I have fully embraced my need to tell stories. I keep thinking I won’t have enough time to get it all down. (Possibly because I lost two precious brothers so young.) Time spent doing other things feels like just time getting ready to go back to my writing fresh again and sometimes it’s just annoying that other things need to be done. I’m going to assume this is normal for writers because a lot of us are an obsessive Type “A” personalities. I’ve blogged about balance in life before and how hard it is to achieve. I’m still working on it. It’s helped that my wonderful husband is aware of my obsession and encourages me to keep control of it. With just a few words he can remind me that having a life is also valuable and will only help my writing.

Which gets me to my main point to muse about today. I’ve heard it said it’s the third point in a letter or discussion that is the one a person is really trying to get around to. I have been blogging about my writing journey for a few years now and just recently began to wonder if I had anything fresh or new to say. I find it easy to write about the journey of writing, especially in a new genre. When I began my first science fiction book I think I wrote as much about the journey of writing it as words in the book! But this time round I’m writing in a new genre that January Bain cannot blog much about as she is a teacher, if you know what I mean, so that’s out for fodder for blogs. So now I turn to my fellow artists and will read even more of what they are blogging about and hope for inspiration to hit in those wealthy veins. So I’m thanking all the writers, entertainers, actors and comedians out there well ahead of time for being my possible new muse. Thanks a heap!

Wishing everyone a wonderful day!

Best,
January Bain
The Forever Series
Champagne Books

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The Freedom of a Pen Name and other Musings

  1. Fascinating post. I use a pen name too. When I started writing fantasy, I was embarrassed that anyone who knew me would connect me with such trivial stories. I mean I was a serious computer programmer and I wrote about magic. Nobody I knew even read fantasy. Now, I’m kind of sorry I didn’t use my real name, but it’s too late. I already have 3 books published, one soon-to-be, and numerous short stories in magazines. It would be senseless to change the name now.
    I think a pen name is as much a liberating trick as a trap.

  2. januarybain

    Fascinating Olga, it is so wonderful to connect and learn how it has worked for others. Wishing you a wonderful Easter. Best, January (real name, my pen name is Angelina.)

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