Writing under a Pseudonym

Now that I am seriously writing, the idea of writing under my real name or a pseudonym/pen name has been on my mind. I actually started this blog/website and my new twitter account with a pen name, and a thought to use it to publish.

What I’ve been reading on other blogs has suggested that many writers, including famous ones like J.K. Rowlings, have done so in order to not have their gender affect the popularity or marketing of their novels.  This can happen to males and females (imagine the impact of a male author writing a romance novel, not that it doesn’t happen, but it makes a difference in marketing and audience). While others have wanted to project a different persona for a different genre, separating romance from historical writing, for example. Or even keep their personal life separate from their creative pursuits.

My pen name might not hide my gender, and I’m not sure if I should worry about that as I don’t think I will be a best seller anyway. I don’t think my real name is very catchy, and I still have my ex-husband’s last name, however, I don’t want to use my maiden name. So, using a pen name makes some sense. I thought it would also be fun to use something different, although there is some history to the name.

I am tweeting under “Dovelyn Wood” which is totally made up, but I could use a combination of my first and middle names, or initial and middle name. I’ve even thought of using my son’s middle name as my last: Reid, making it A.N. Reid, or some combination of first and middle names with Reid.

What are your thoughts on using a pen name? Would you use one to become gender neutral, or to be creative? Would you use your first and middle names, or use initials, or make something up from scratch?

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