Pssshhhh…Top secret :-)

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This Week’s Topic:

                         If you couldn’t use your own name, what would your pseudonym or penname be?

Nothing fancy, nothing funny…I could actually use the pseudonym “Commutinggirl”which is the one I chose for this blog and twitter…:-)

For me, this topic  actually brings up another question: when will I stop using a pseudonym? I don’t know if you noticed but I’m not out of the writers’ closet yet. No, really my name is not commutinggirl 🙂 

Only a few selected friends, my hubby and some members of my family know that I write (and you of course :-)). I don’t want it to become a big deal at work and maybe I am afraid to jinx it. I have decided that if when I get an agent, I will  let my bosses know and then I can be somewhat out in the open.

This is a scary thought…be still my heart be still… because really by not using my real name I am mainly protecting myself, my current pseudonym resembles a security blanket if you will, or the teddy bear you may still have from your childhood, the one you could tell your problems to without worrying about being judged or laughed at. So my current pseudonym is both a shield and a necessity at the moment.

In the meantime, I thought I could at least give you my first name, to you who help me, support me and make me laugh on the interwebs. Thank you sooo much! I did not know the writing/reading/blogging/tweeting community could be so nice!

Once you find out what my last name is, you may actually tell me to use my maid name or a pseudonym (I mean hubby has a very long Ukrainian name with a weeeird spelling, lol)

So I’m taking a big breath and … : Hi *waves* I’m Elodie, nice to meet you!

Now I’m curious: what would be YOUR pseudonym or when did you come out as a writer?

52 Comments

  1. Ann Elise says:

    My pseudonym is Ann Elise Monte. My real first name is Annalyce, an unusual spelling of an already uncommon name, and my real surname is Dutch and hard to spell for most people. I decided to go with something easier to spell and remember.

    Most of the people who know me know I write, but I don’t talk very much about it except to my parents and boyfriend. I never kept the fact I wrote a secret and used to talk about it a lot.

    • Elodie says:

      Annalyce is indeed quite original and beautiful but I understand why you went for something easier to spell and remember. Elodie is not difficult to spell but my hubby´s last name totally is so I´m not yet sure what I´ll do on that front 🙂

  2. moosenoose says:

    Hello Elodie!! We all like our security blankets! I haven’t told anybody I work with that I have a blog. I just know that some of them will make nasty comments or have opinions on what I have written that I am not inetersted in! Also, my bosses have decided that employess are not allowed to mention the company in blogs etc so I don’t want them snopping through my posts! So if you want to stay hidden, then it’s fine with me 🙂

  3. Hi, Elodie, nice to meet you too!

    I have a friend in the same situation as you. She just uses Em and we never saw her face. but she promised she will come out of her hiding place someday lol I hope you do too!

  4. Colin Smith says:

    Hello Elodie! My oldest daughter and I were talking about this last night (she’s an aspiring author, too), and she expressed a similar hesitancy about “going public” by using her real name. And of course, being lumbered with my surname, she thinks she wants something a little more interesting. 🙂

    None of my co-workers know about my blog or my writing, but that’s more because I rarely socialize with them, and they never ask. Perhaps when I’m published I might come into work with some signed ARCs and give them to a few people. 🙂

    • Elodie says:

      Thanks for sharing your own experience Colin 🙂 I felt a little jittery revealing my first name but it´s nice to communicate with all of you on a first name basis :-)))

      By the way, great idea on the signed ARCs for work when you´re published (nice way to reveal your writing to them: :-))

  5. Amy Renske says:

    I’m with you, Elodie! I sometimes wonder if I get an agent (maybe for the next book?), it might give me the push to switch to my real name. But for now, like you, I’m keeping a tight hold of my security blanket. Writing is a unique profession (or hobby, as the case may be) in which the best work often comes from the most honest, vulnerable place. For me, reaching into that place would be very difficult under my real identity, although sometimes I wonder if “Amy Renske” is more real than my given name.

  6. Hi Elodie! I know a lot of people who keep their writing to themselves. Understandable, totally.

    I took the opposite approach early on…telling friends, family and aquaintances, in hopes that the fear of public humiliation will keep me from ever giving up on my writing dreams. After years and years of trying, I’m sure some think I’m crazy, but I’m planning to have the last laugh;)

    • Elodie says:

      Hello Jennifer 🙂 Sometimes, it´s hard to keep it inside as I want to share my story lines and struggles but for now it works 🙂
      And I think you´re right: you WILL have the last laugh! Good luck with your writing!

  7. Tarah Dunn says:

    I love that you used this question to “come out of the closet!” I found it really strange to start a blog using my own name. For years, I was just weirded out about putting myself out there. But so far, it hasn’t been that bad.

    • Elodie says:

      Thanks Tarah 🙂 It started to sound strange to be referred to as commutinggirl and I do like my first name lol…
      Glad your experience so far has been pretty good!

  8. Theresa says:

    Hi Elodie! I completely understand how you don’t want to let people know you write. I feel like the minute you tell someone you are a writer they automatically expect you to be on a bookshelf in a store. They don’t know the blood, sweat, and tears that actually go into getting to that point.

  9. Elodie is a beautiful name. Hello, there! I am open about my name (on the web), but at the same time I don’t advertise my writing at work. When I got an agent I told my direct supervisor, because I didn’t want him to find out another way.

  10. sarah says:

    A huge reveal!! And Elodie is a BEAUTIFUL name, I love it! I use a pseudonym and (like Katharine) I haven’t told people at work about my writing. I’m with you—don’t want to jinx it!

  11. Robin Moran says:

    Nice to meet you Elodie! I understand about keeping quiet. I haven’t told anyone I work with that I write and blog. and I don’t really have plans to. I also couldn’t have blogged in my real name because it seemed so open and like others have said I wouldn’t have been comfortable putting myself out there for the world to see. My pen name keeps me safe and hidden.

  12. kate scott says:

    I love the name Elodie, but if your last name is long and hard to spell/pronounce a pseudonym might be a good idea. Using your own first name and a made up last name may also help you keep some distance between your writing life and your personal life. Or you could stick with commutinggirl, that has a nice ring to it too.

  13. Jaime says:

    I LOVE the name Elodie. It’s so pretty and immediately makes me think of ‘melody’, which makes me think of music, and that’s just wonderful =) Nice to meet you, Elodie.

  14. Can I just tell you, Elodie is one of my most favorite names EVER?! I’m so glad to know it’s yours, because I always have the urge to address you by name when commenting/tweeting, but I’ve never been able to before. So, yay! Nice to officially meet you, Elodie!

  15. Donelle Lacy says:

    You big stinker! For all that buildup and anxiousness, I expected something like Agatha (which isn’t so bad if you’re Agatha Christie), and here you drop a pretty little jewel like Elodie on us!

    That said, I fully understand being hesitant to reveal your ‘real’ self online. As you read in my RTW post, I hid behind character names and usernames for years in chatrooms and gaming forums. I felt all uncertain and blinded when I emerged with my real name on my blog (and even my illustration website) for the first time. But now I’m just happy and accepting of it. I hope you will be too, however you choose to brand yourself.

    Your name is in a song, in case you haven’t heard it. The singer is David Mead. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrHE-q8_xwA

  16. I love yout name! I think Elodie is beautiful and melodic. I use my real name, and I often forget that random people from my life read my blog, even though they don’t ‘follow’ me. I ran into someone the other day who told me she bought a book based on my last recommendation, and I was shocked. Thank you for sharing!

  17. Robin says:

    🙂 Nice to meet you, Elodie. Coming out of the closet as a writer is tough–it puts your success rate on display, in a way. On the other hand, it also makes the whole process much more official. If I publicly commit to writing and submitting and editing, it makes my discipline and my resolve just a little bit stronger. Good luck!

  18. Mrs. S says:

    Elodie is a great author name! I could see it on all different kinds of book covers.

    One of the things that sets my current blog apart from my older attempts is the fact that I’m not hiding my identity! I started it as a model to show my students when I teach blogging. Keeping that audience in mind means that I’m basically my teacher-self, which is friendly but, like, appropriate and not terribly personal. I’m pretty sure my kids don’t really read it other than what I show them in class, but it keeps me honest 🙂

  19. Kitty says:

    Oh, I’ve got way worse issues than you when it comes to the name thing – as evidenced by my blog title “Kittynonymous” (lame, I know). At some point in the very near future, that will change. But I will be using a pseudonym anyhow! However, it will hit much closer to home because it will either be my maiden name or my grandmother’s maiden name. I just haven’t decided. My married name is a weird Finnish name that doesn’t go well with Kitty anyhow. Kitty is my real name, BTW – short for Kathleen. My bigger question now is, if I decide to e-publish, how does it work to get paid if I’m not using my real, legal name? Decisions, decisions! Elodie is a gorgeous name!

  20. ClaireMcA says:

    So lovely to meet you Elodie and great to see you taking this step, I agree there is a natural inclination to protect something in its formative stages and talking about our writing at work can use up some of the precious energy that surrounds it, that is better saved for the writing itself, it is a journey of discovery and learning.
    I am someone that is used to keeping things private, and I still do, but the blog is like coming out of the shell for a peek and finding you are in a community of similar minded souls who share, encourage and understand. I am comfortable using my name now, but I only really speak about writing with others who write, because then it’s more of an exchange and not the focus of attention. And when I talk with those few, it is energising, motivating and something that makes us all want to rush back and get writing, pure magic.

  21. It’s so good to meet you, Elodie. We all have those security blankets. It took me a while to toss mine to the wind, but I finally did. Some people are supportive and others not so much. My husband and my family are wonderful about my writing. My dad even sends me ideas and links to writing topics he crosses. There are those that when I say I’m a writer, give me strange looks. It only makes me work harder. The wonderfully supportive online writing community erase any doubts I have, that and chocolate. lol 🙂

    • Elodie says:

      Hello Heather 🙂 Your dad seems quite supportive and it´s great to have a net around us to make sure we don´t fall too hard when the going gets difficult (and we know it sometimes does)….Chocolate and the online writing community is also great!

  22. Pingback: Happy Friday #2 – The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and other stories… « commutinggirl

  23. Elodie is a very pretty name. I’ve never used a pseudonym because I’m the only Kelly Hashway that comes up on a Google search. Before I got married I had a very common last name and met several people who shared my full name. I hated it. I like being the only one I know of with my name.

  24. Issy says:

    Elodie, what a BEAUTIFUL name!

    I’m using a pen-name for entirely selfish reasons– rather than use my real first name, I’m using my middle name:
    a) Because there is a girl with a terrible online presence in my state with my first name-last name (I think even middle name) combination, it keeps me from being associated with some of her insane shenanigans. I already had to deal with some of her actions back in college when I received a teary 4-page rant from a girl who found out “samename” was cheating with her boyfriend (after reading about how I’m a “Ho” and multiple other insults, I sent her an e-mail telling her that she mailed the wrong girl)

    b) I’ve always hated my first name, but my parents didn’t let me switch to my middle until it was too late for school records, recommendation letters, personal references, etc. I’d never be taken seriously in my current profession if I suddenly switched my name. Now that I’m trying to break into a new profession, I can switch without all of the baggage of 30+ years of people and documentation.

  25. Sheri Larsen says:

    Hi, back!! Lovely name, btw. Don’t worry so much about what others think of you and your writing. That can stifle your growth. Instead, look to those writers you grow fond of personally and look to those more experienced for solid advice and guidance. We all have to start somewhere. Glad you did. Thanks for joining us on YAlitchat and for being such a cool YAer!

  26. Elodie, what a lovely name!
    I use my maiden name, Catherine Stine, for my novels. I was thinking of using a penname for my recently launched YA thriller, Fireseed One. You see, it’s indie, and I am also traditionally published… but then I realized that I’ve been building my brand for years, and using a penname, I’d be starting over.

  27. Awww! I love your guts, Elodie! I’m glad to know your name. :o)

    I wouldn’t ever have a pseudonym. Partly because one would be so hard to come up with! Seriously, I’ve got nothing.

  28. Kris Atkins says:

    Elodie is a beautiful name! And so unique–easy to remember. Waaaay cooler than Kris. And one of my professor’s last name is Pietrzyk, which is actually easy to pronounce but not at all like the spelling (pee-trick), but she uses it for publishing and quite successfully too. Sooo … yeah.
    Thanks for reading my blog and I am SO sorry I’m only now getting around to commenting/reading yours. I’m usually not such a big slacker, I promise!

  29. Pingback: A blast from the past « commutinggirl

  30. Pingback: What happened in 2012… « commutinggirl

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