IWSG: The Pen Name Game

1st Wednesday of the month is Insecure Writers Support Group. Wherein I post about the difficulties and joys of writing.

This might be shocking to my sixteen some-odd readers, but Mencara isn't my real name.Don't worry, I've put some smelling salts next to your chair. Thaaaat's it. Breathe deeply.

My name is actually Christina. After my grandmother died, I took her middle name (Mencara) as my pen name because I've always loved it. Matter of fact, when I got married and changed my name, I almost made my middle name Mencara but I chickened out at the last minute. If I had, I wouldn't be worrying about my pen name now.

In the last few months I've noticed what an enormous pain in the ass it is to have a pen name. I spend a lot of time on Facebook and I tried figuring out how to create a profile for Mencara. What a complete waste of time. You really can't do it, unless you buck FB rules and risk the possibility of being booted by creating a fake profile. You can create a page for your persona but you can't use it to join writer groups like Insecure Writers Support Group. Can't be done.

So I tried using Twitter because it would be much easier to use a pen name there, but frankly, I cannot figure out how to read Twitter conversations. They make no sense to me. Shut up, you damnable whippersnappers. I'm not old. Twitter is just... too young.

Then I began reading about all the nightmares that come along with using pen names. The difficulties getting paid and getting contracts from out of the country, etc. Now that my novel is finally getting somewhere, I'm thinking seriously about my name and my online presence. Based on info from writer blogs and publishers, I'm going to have to use some variation of my real name. It's a bummer but there you have it.

I have several writer friends who are all blessed with interesting, bam-pow names. This is not my reality. I write romantic comedy but I don't have a romantic comedy name. Think about how fitting names like Jenny Crusie and Jane Heller fit the genre of romantic comedy. But I'm Christina Mitchell. It's a name for historical romance writer. A stuffy one. I should write about masked balls and refer to man whores as "rakes". And I should develop a rather keen love of bustles. I mean, everyone likes a good bustle. But I'm not sure I can love them. Ya know?


My first and middle name are nice together. I wondered if they would work. So I Googled the combo and discovered an award winning romance writer, from my state no less, has that name already. I am filled with haterade. I'm not gonna curse her out because one day she might read this. But rest assured when I discovered her name, I lobbed some choice words at my computer screen. I'm sure she's a very nice lady, blah blah blah.

So, I let go of my pen name. I changed my blog address. I changed my header, my sidebar etc. My Google+ profile has been updated and I'm just hoping that I don't lose the few readers I have.

Oh and since it's IWSG, I suppose I should tell you that my book is coming along nicely, though I'm struggling a little with my current chapter. It refuses to be funny or interesting, no matter what I do. I rewrote it, I avoided it, I watched a marathon of Supernatural episodes followed by a marathon of Adventure Time... nothing helped.

Now I'm gonna try chocolate.