My name is unique–in the United States, anyway (Norway is a whole other story). As far as I know, I am the only person with my first-last name combo. This can be frightening in some ways, and exciting in others. It’s my selling point in some cases, but makes me my own weakest link when things go wrong–which happens hilariously often.
It would be wise, then, for an aspiring writer (well, aspiring professional writer) to use a pseudonym. But pseudonyms are assumed, people will find out my name anyway, and I’ll have to answer the same questions I always do–likely even more of them–and invariably my given name would be of far more interest than any false one I could choose for myself. I envy those who embody their pen names and can confidently wear those personae, but I can never run from my own birth name. I wouldn’t want to.
Maybe this seems ridiculous, to start a public blog with my legal name just to establish myself. It could be–but then maybe your name is John, or Beatrice, or Jennifer. It’s something you’ve never had to think about the way I do. My name, in all its uniqueness, is finite.
I enjoy the fruits of my labor in my anonymous blogs (yes, plural), my hidden online writings, where my name is just online gibberish and my message is more important. It is the most fulfilling thing I do, but it doesn’t pay my bills.
A few years ago, I relocated from Minneapolis to Los Angeles. It was the single best last-minute stupid thing I could have ever done, and I regret nothing about it. The premier disguised failure from that has been a huge shift in my career, and being honest with myself about what it is I should be doing with my life: writing.
This blog will document that journey, the transition from whatever semi-professional mask I wear week-to-week, putting together my first book (and the second, and the third…) and navigating the world of rebranding myself as a 30-something with the one thing I cannot–and would not–change.