Why I Use a Pen Name
I try to be as upfront as possible about my use of a pen name. I also try as much as possible to keep my real identity and writing identity as far removed as I can. This is difficult in some regards, and surprisingly easy in others.
First, why? There are numerous reasons, to be honest.
- My husband is in the military and I don't want anything I say or do online to negatively impact his career. For those who aren't in the military and may not understand, it is actually quite a common problem. You'd be surprised. I always try to conduct myself in such a way that it *should* be of no concern, but in this day and age or people's lives getting ruined over stupid viral shit, I don't want to take any chances.
- I have children, and for the same reason as above, I want to protect their privacy and reputations. I can't imagine how horrible it would be for one of them to get ridiculed if any of their friends ever found out their mom wrote some of the smutty shit I write.
- Similar to my husband and children, I want to protect my *own* privacy. Because not everyone in my inner circle knows I'm a writer, and I don't want them to know because, well, I sometimes write smutty shit that might shock the little old ladies at church (Insert ad nauseam anyone you could imagine might be judgy about things like that.).
- Another reason that most people would never consider, is that my name is actually quite common, and it was extremely difficult creating an online author presence that would easily point to me amid the slew of every other person with my name who pops up on a google search. There are even published authors with my name so imagine how confusing that would have been! I do have my "real" Facebook" that is strictly for friends and family, and a very old Twitter account that is mostly to follow Twitch/Youtube gamers and politicians, neither of which I wanted mixed in with my writing life, for obvious reasons.
Those are the main reasons, though I could probably continue with a few more.
It is easier to keep up my Author persona than it is my real one at this point. I rarely ever go on my "real" Facebook, so keeping "Tabitha's" updated isn't confusing or time-consuming whatsoever. Same for Twitter. I actually have two separate account profiles set up on my computer too. One for me, and one for "Tabitha". Mine is where I play all my video games and keep tabs on news and politics. And my Tabitha profile is where I keep up with everything on the writing side. I stay logged into one most of the day, and log in to the other when I'm ready to wind down with a game or two at night. It's seriously as simple as that. Simpler for me than most, I'm sure.
And last but not least, most people who know me in real life and know I use a pen name, often ask how I came up with it and if there is any special meaning. Yes, and no.
- Tabitha, just because I love the name. I love it so much that I wanted to give it to my daughter but my husband wouldn't let me so I found a way to use it anyway. :)
- Drake is the middle name of one of my four sons.
- I thought the two together rolled off the tongue quite nicely.
- The name is so uncommon that the virtual real estate was practically wide open for the taking. I was able to scoop up just about every domain and social media account I wanted without having to use underscores for anything, and numbers for only a few. Given how difficult it was with my real name, this was very important to me and I actually spent an exorbitant amount of time making lists of name combinations and going through to see what was and wasn't available.
Rest assured, I conduct all official business with my real name.
And the pic is really me. :)