Why do we use pen names?

I heard another Author say that it was a good idea to use a pen namer when writing outside your genre.

Since I’m new to this idea how many of you have used pen names and why?

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17 thoughts on “Why do we use pen names?

  1. I have only used one so far which is “phoenolf” (even though a lot of people I know think its a ridiculous name but it actually has a history behind it 0w0). I use a pen name for the hell of it >W<

  2. I use one to build myself an identity as a writer. Something varied from my confused versatile being 😉
    Although if you think you can carry your real name just like that, its better not to search for pen names 😉

  3. I was thinking of using a pen name for my Sci-fi short stories because my real name reveals my ethniticy and I thought that more people would be drawn to an Anglo sounding name, like Mcsomething? I’m not sure.

  4. I think author’s should use pen names when they feel they will be stifled artistically if they do not; Stifled either because they feel their name with be wrongly stereotyped or that they may have to filter or censor their work because of it, so as not to tarnish their personal image, etc. It really comes down to personal choice. I use my real (married) name with my first name shortened for some anonymity.

  5. I used a pen name for a while, when I thought I would become an academic and the fiction I was publishing would not be considered to reflect positively on me by the powers that be. That was a long time ago, though, and I regretted my decision afterwards, because I didn’t go into academia and I didn’t keep publishing, but what I had written is not recognizable as mine now.

  6. I use pen name so that my boss wouldn’t know lol just kidding, I think pen name is great for freedom of expression 🙂

  7. I thought of using one. Then if my book was a total flop I could distance myself from it. No idea who she is. But I got too involved with the process and the hassle of creating a whole new online identity just seemed too much. Putting yourself out there for criticism is scary, especially when you self-publish and have no editor or publisher to hide behind.

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