Apr 16, 2011

Nom de Plume - Should You Write Under a Pen Name?

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Photo by DontBBlu
Many writers write under a pen name, but is it necessary?  Whether to adopt a nom de plume is a personal choice and several factors should be considered before choosing a pseudonym.

Advantages to using a pen name

  • You can write in more than one genre without fear of prejudice
  • You can write on controversial topics and maintain anonymity
  • You can keep personal and professional life separate
  • Grandma won't find your erotica on the internet

Disadvantages to writing under a pseudonym

  • Tough to switch if you've already established a brand and following
  • You'll have to learn to juggle multiple personalities
  • Grandma won't find your erotica on the internet

My birth name is Marie Anne St. Jean and it will remain my byline.
Unless I decide to dip my pen into erotica.


  1. Ha! Love it! Poor Grandma -- always gets left out of the fun stuff.

  2. I began and remain writing with a pseudonym. Sometimes I regret it; would enjoy seeing a byline with my actual name on it.

  3. I'm known as BlogWriter on Xomba. I wish now I had chosen a more exotic name like Exotica. Until then I remain Theresa Wiza on everything else.

  4. I feel sorry for Grandma. This is an excellent N-word choice.

    I’m A-Z Blogging on Langley Writes about Writing and Langley’s Rich and Random Life

  5. I enjoy fiction writing, but do get a little oogy at the idea of writing intimate scenes. I've never written erotica, but even in mainstream fiction, characters do form relationships and at some point, go beyond strolling down a lane hand-in-hand. For me it's not Grandma, but the thought of my kids reading that gives me hives.

    My “N” post is right here: http://www.word-nerd-speaks.com/2011/04/nanowrimo.html

    And you can find the “M” one here: http://www.word-nerd-speaks.com/2011/04/medical-marijuana.html

  6. It's a good idea, especially if you are writing on some topics that are controversial to the audience that you have following you on others.

    It does become a little tricky to manage those multiple personalities though.

  7. I used my maiden name for my memoir, because a lot of people know me by that name. I use my knick name for my pen name for the rest of my professional work. I will use another pen name for my erotica. Working on that now, hope to publish in about a month.