I write under a pseudonym.
There are pros and cons to writing under your own name. Can’t really tell you what’s the right thing to do for you (if you’re a writer or want to be one). I can, however, tell you about how I came to write under a pseudonym and why that ended up being Felix M. Bloom. Maybe that can serve as inspiration. Or make you do the opposite and write under your real name…
Back in 2014 is started sharing some of what I had written online on a site called Wattpad.com.
I met a lot of really nice people there, mostly fellow amateur writers fumbling around in the dark, trying to figure things out. I still have a user there, but it’s not as important as it once was (the site is massively skewed towards young(ish) women and the romance genre).
Anyway. To have a user, I had to have a username. So I picked a username that I already had used elsewhere: “twilightpeaks.” There’s a story behind that username, but it’s not important right now. Fast forward a bit, and I’m a little bit more serious about my writing, and can’t go around calling myself “twilightpeaks.”
I’m not interested in using my real name. I’m writing in English, reaching out to an English-speaking audience, and my real name doesn’t have a good ring to it in English. In fact, it contains the letter ‘ø’ which doesn’t even exist in English.
I also wanted my writing persona to be separate from my IRL persona. I had already tried to involve people I knew in my writing, and that didn’t work out as expected. Nothing to be ashamed of, but it was just… plain weird.
Showing this other side of me to people who thought they knew everything about me made me uncomfortable. Some of them didn’t even have an appreciation for the genres I was writing in, so why show it in the first place? Why spend any time at all explaining myself or thinking about what people I new might think of what I wrote?
Pretty silly, eh?
Well, the mind can be a silly place sometimes but you better take it seriously nonetheless. If something makes you uncomfortable, you can either try to change so it’s not a problem anymore, or you can take the hint and do it in another way.
I couldn’t see any practical way to change how I felt about the matter, so I went for a pseudonym. I haven’t regretted it. It’s still me, my pseudonym, but writer-me, not IRL-me. I’m not trying to hide from the world, I’m trying to distance myself from distractions. It’s actually pretty easy, I think, using only the info in this post, to find my actual name. If you really wanted to, that is.
Why Felix M. Bloom?
Well, I wanted something that had a nice ring to it in English and that also incorporated parts of my real name. Nothing more to it.