In the dream, I enter a bookstore, sashay to the children's section, spot a table stacked with novels, and beam as I snatch one with my name on the cover.
And then the dream grows fuzzy and bends around the edges. What name is on the cover? What? My name.
But my name is Barbara Watson, and it's just so.....common. A google search boomerangs 32.2 million results. Adding my middle name Ann still bounces 3.23 million. The name filters into the same role as white drywall. Dull. Boring. Humdrum. Snooze. Now, I'm not saying I am those things, just that my name is. (Glad I clarified that one. Phew.)
This begs the question, should I have a pen name? And with the publication dream so far in the future, should I even be concerned about this right now? The answer is complicated, as most good things in life are. And the reasons I consider writing under a pen name are the same reasons you paint a wall. Color. Splash. Flavor. Pizazz.
If I toss the idea of a pen name around, I guffaw (or at the very least giggle), but this post last week by Jami Gold, forced me to consider it more seriously. Even consider it right now. Because if I (or, in dreamland, a publisher) declare my real name too vanilla later on, there's much to re-brand at that point. Twitter. Facebook. This blog. A website. Maybe other things I'm not even aware of.
So, reboot the dream. I enter a bookstore, sashay to the children's section, spot a table stacked with novels, and beam as I snatch one with my name on the cover. What name is on the cover? Barbara (Something). Because I can't be anyone but Barbara, but maybe I should snag a last name with some snazz.
A pen name. What do you think about them? Do you have one? Have you considered one? If so, why? If not, why not? Share any insight you wish on pen names.