What Is In A Pseudo-Name?

Using a pseudonym or nom de plume in French to conceal their real identity has been a common theme amongst writers for a long period. The main reason behind this trend lies in success or failure, it depends on which side of the coin you are looking at it from. If you are the ‘glass is half’ full kind of person then you are inclined to believe that using a pseudonym will help you navigate the world with ease once you write a best-seller and you wish to keep your personal life just that. However, the ‘glass is half empty’ brigade use pseudonyms to hide their true identity as a way to hide behind the shame should a writing project become a big flop. Whatever the reason behind it, it does not matter because everyone is doing it, and the reasons behind it do not need to be broadcast to the whole world. 

If you are an aspiring writer like Daniel Handler when he first started writing who is neither concerned about success or failure because you are driven by a passion to produce exceptional work but you are not too sure about when and why you should use a pseudonym for your work then carry on reading this article. 


The When or The Why

  • To Try Something Out of the Ordinary

If you have a couple of successful novels under your belt and wish to branch into an unknown genre without disappointing your devoted fans then this is a perfect time to change your name to whom you wish you had been named at birth. 

  • A Fresh Start

Who doesn’t love a new beginning? Especially after several attempts at the same thing that didn’t bear any fruits? It’s like moving to a new city where nobody knows anything about your past – a liberating moment. 

  • Already In Use

Having a common name can be a schlep most times because you miss out on finding creative ways to nickname yourself. So, why not reinvent your fantasies altogether?

Penning It Down

Some people like to use pseudonyms because they simply can not use their name for other serious reasons. Whether you will be the next best author Daniel Handler became after using the Lemony Snicket nom de plume remains a mystery worth writing about. For now, don’t forget to find your name and claim it and to let your publisher know that you have committed. 


I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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