Why You Need A Nome De Plume

I’m a fan of experimentation. I am a fan of writers finding their footing, however they can get it. This may mean you try more than one genre before you find a home. This may even mean that you have your wheelhouse genre, and a genre that you want to dabble in. With this dabbling as it were, you may feel the need to shift a little bit.

In that shifting, you may want to become someone else. This may be for professional reasons, or personal ones. The example I most often refer to is Anne Rice when she wrote The Sleeping Beauty trilogy. Her father, a devout Catholic, was still alive, and she didn’t him to judge her for the work. Or embarrass him. In writing under the name A.N. Roquelaire, she was able to write what she wanted, and preserve her perfessional integrity.

With Joanne K. Rowling, her publisher told her that in order to have more young men interested in Harry Potter she should change her name. So, JK Rowling she became and has stayed. The choice of a pen name is serious, dear ones. In the choosing of an alter ego, you are (in essence) becoming another person. You are writing as someone that is not totally you. That may be a little disarming. But it is up to you.

In choosing to write under a pen name, you are giving yourself a permission few people are granted. It is a power that few people get to possess and implement! As a writer, with a pen, name you can have your imagination broadened. You take the limits off what you consider your home genre to me. You can even bend genders (ie Mary Wollencraft Shelley and the Bronte Sisters).

Can you be a writer, and a successful writer, without a pen name? Of course you can! Not every writer even wants a pen name! But, its a tool. And every writer needs those. In having this as a tool, you can broaden your creative horizons. Every writer needs that.

Writing is a journey, and on the way to success and consistent footing, you are allowed to make adjustments. So if you are on your way to finding your footing and need another avenue for a way forward–consider becoming someone else. Maybe for a little while.

You won’t regret it.

The Use Of Morning Pages

Writing is one of those careers that is both static and dynamic.

The latest thing that I have come across my desk is the idea of morning pages. I had heard of this concept, or writing exercise from a YouTuber I have followed for years now (Shira:  SugarFreeTV/SynchoncityStudios/VisionClass. If you haven’t followed her or heard of her, she is a gem!). She was going this free (FREE!) YouTube hosted class, Vision Class, and she introduced this concept. This was about 3-4 years ago. The idea, the purpose for this, is to write as the first thing when you get up.

No topic.

No theme.

No erasing.

  The ideal is to create, pour out if you will, whatever is on  your head.

Simple, right?

Now, this is  not a practice a lot of writers that I know implement. I journal, and have on and off since I was bout 8 or 9. Morning pages is alike a heightened form of journaling. It’s stream of consciousness–whatever is on your head–no feelings necessarily involved.

For some writers it could be assumed this will help clear your head. Clean the slate for the day ahead. I get that. It’s a tool. Every writer needs tools. What works for one doesn’t work for another, and that is the glory of writing. Use it if you can; if you can’t, it’s rubbish. Writing is a discipline. Remember that–we can use all the help we can get.

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The Five W’s And The One H of Writing

Image result for why i write quotes

Writing is one of the only professions aside from acting, I think, where the only authority is your self:  Can you do what it is you are being asked to do?

At times, it can be helpful to examine The Why. Every writer goes through a point where writing seems impossible, self-doubt becomes a religion and the words seem to be mud or muddled. In times like this, because they will come, consider this journalistic tool:  the five W’s and one H.

What.

Who.

When.

Where.

Why.

How.

All the breadth and depth of your talent can be answered and discovered by this tool. It may even help with the dreaded writer’s block! This tool can be used for a specific project as well.

Let’s examine further:

What.  This portion deals with subject matter, content, even a start date for the project you’re working on.

Who. This portion deals with character and audience. Is this going to fiction or  non-fiction? What is the target audience? Is this fiction? If it is fiction, is it age appropriate? Knowing your who will help you to streamline what you’re working on.

When. Is there a deadline, or should there be one? If there is a deadline is a hard deadline (meaning you can’t move it) or a soft one (it can be augmented). These deadlines can be given or issued by yourself or the entity you write for.

Where. Are you aware of the platform this work will be seen on? Is this going to be private or public work? You may think this is a trite question, but it something as a writer you need to consider! In that consideration, you are able to streamline what you desire to do and if you have the freedom to do just that.

Why. Here is where it gets interesting. This three letter word is one that determines the course of a work or a project. Here is your motivation to create, persist or keep going. This is the key to any project, the passion to any work, and a reason to see the end of a novel. If you can determine, capture and harness this–there is nothing to fear from blank pages.

How. This is your booster to your why. This portion compels you to see venues and opportunities to see your work, to finish projects and to collaborate with people just as hungry as you are.

Writing is thrilling, frustrating and also one of the most exhilarating things in the world. I’m glad you’re a part of it.

Keep going. You have an end to see.