Why I am done living behind a pen name

penname_header I have a confession to make. I am a lying liar who lies.

My name isn’t Ariel, it’s Jodi.

I chose to use a pen name.

When I first started blogging, I was blogging for the sake of eventually being an author. I wanted to write book reviews in the meantime, and eventually merge my blog into an author blog. I got ahead of myself and didn’t realize I was going to want to keep book blogging. I knew I wanted a Dot-Com address for my blog, even if it were to just remain on Blogspot because I know the value of having an easy URL like that. I chose to come up with my author pen name before anything. Ariel Avalon popped into my head and I loved it. I figured it could be my online persona and when I eventually did get my novels ready for release, I would already be well enough known in the community that it could only help me. Instead, it’s only hurting me.

A pen name makes me forget my own identity.

I feel like a secret agent. I live two lives, have doubles of a bunch of my accounts, and play pretend in the process. For a while, I didn’t want to be connected to my real name because it would just be confusing. Instead, the separation was confusing me. I had to start using two browsers. I hate Chrome. I hate it. I am a Firefox girl all the way, but everything for my blog is on Chrome. I’m over it. I hate opening Chrome, so it hinders my work and ability to get things done. On firefox I have to log out of twitter and facebook, and gmail and just everything to log into my blogging things, which takes too long. But I don’t want to sit around in Chrome. It doesn’t have any of my things!! Not using two browsers wasn’t an option though. In Chrome, I became Ariel. I would remember to sign my name properly and watch my profanity and snarky sense of humor. I started to hate opening Chrome at all because I hated having to step into that shell. Why did I need to be Ariel instead of Jodi the Blogger?

So why drop the pen name now?

Lots of reasons really.
  • It’s no longer practical. I’m planning on opening an online business this year. While I will be handling it elsewhere, there will be bookish things to buy that I will want to talk about here. If I am Jodi there (which is easier, what with business forms and tax information) it will be too confusing here. What are people going to think when Ariel is sending them to Jodi’s store?
  • It’s hurting my blog. If I never want to work on my blog, then it just leads to blogging funks. Blogging burnout is such a huge thing and I have taken too many breaks. I get over-whelmed and then am lost when it comes time to getting back into it.
  • My traffic is still sparse enough. I’m not a big name, high profile book blogger. I’m still enough of a nobody that I can change it now and pull it off without confusing too many people. It’s kind of like a fresh start.
  • It will make me happier. Really, this is probably the most important thing. If I’m not happy, the blog will only suffer. I’m seizing this year and making it what I want it to be. This is just a step in that direction for me.

What all is going to be affected?

Mostly, just past links and social media. I’m changing my link structure to remove the dates in the post urls, which may or may not break any direct links to things. Otherwise, I am changing usernames for my social media. These won’t be too difficult. Twitter will keep me on your lists and just change the username. Same with Goodreads. Direct links will be the only things that might break. Facebook, I am deleting my Ariel account sometime this year and have already given my personal account administrative control of the Fictively page. Names will change in other places, like Amazon. I don’t think there will be any changes to Bloglovin’ since that works off the blog address. My instagram will be changing, or going away, I’m really not sure. I never use the stupid thing. I always want to, but I just can’t give a damn. I’m totally not an instagramer. Otherwise, you will see the name change in the mailing list campaigns. It should be a really simple change. I’m going to have everything changed and updated by the end of the month.

Hi! My name is Jodi. It’s nice to meet you!

Hopefully this won’t end up being too confusing for everyone. I feel like a big foolish dope for ever making it a big deal to begin with. I need to start learning to not make things harder on myself.


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3 responses to “Why I am done living behind a pen name

  1. Hi Jodi! My name is Casey, though I commonly go by Jitty! Not surprisingly I found your post very intriguing with its concept and your bravery for admitting your true name. I never truly understood the concept of a pen name, to be honest, as they never truly remained anonymous. Some people misinterpret my “name” Jitty as a pen name when in reality it is silly a nickname I have grown accustomed too and use as often, if not more, than my given name!

    Personally, I like Jodi better, but even if I didn’t, you should always do what makes you feel happy!

    1. I had mostly chosen a pen name because my married name is Davis, which is insanely popular. My husband’s name is Jason and at one point I looked it up and there were 167 Jason Davis’ in Texas alone. It’s insane. So picking a more unique name made sense from a publishing standpoint, but with life constantly in the way right now, I don’t even know when I will get my novels ready to be published, so it feels silly to be messing with such things now. Like, I am jumping the gun or something. I considered using one of my nicknames (Raven, Pixie, and Luna) for my blog, but it’s just simpler to deal with my name, especially if I want to open an Etsy shop.

      Jitty is adorable! Such a cute nickname!

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