Should you use a pen name for your writing?

Jump to Last Post 1-8 of 8 discussions (9 posts)
  1. BethFairweather profile image69
    BethFairweatherposted 6 years ago

    What are your thoughts on this?  I do use a pen name and I'm really torn about it.  On the one hand it's convenient so that my private/public life are kept separate and I find I don't have to censor myself while writing.  On the other hand, I sometimes wonder if I am not cheating myself by not using my real name on things I am very proud of.  Thoughts?

    1. tsmog profile image85
      tsmogposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      You can do both. Famous authors have. Joanne Rowling used J. K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith. You can even have both here at HP. You can have two accounts.

  2. elnavann profile image87
    elnavannposted 6 years ago

    I am struggling with the same choice for the same reasons - keeping private and public life separate and putting down my honest thoughts.  If one would write a blog critical of society, it would be scary to write your own name - but at the same time somehow dishonest since people would not really know what your credibility is.  I also indulge in subjects like philosophy and poetry and would not necessarily like everybody to know all that about me.  I suppose the answer is to have more than one platform

  3. Shogun profile image41
    Shogunposted 5 years ago

    I think it depends entirely on the writer and his or her circumstances at that time. Since I started writing more than 15 years ago, I've written under a lot of different names. Currently, I use my Japanese legal name, which was done for SEO results (more of a unique surname).

  4. Marisa Wright profile image88
    Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago

    I would say, use your real name if you're writing online.  If you are just writing novels, then you can get away with a pen name. 

    When I started writing online ten years ago, I chose a pen name because I wanted to keep my private and online lives separate.  It's not a good idea, because these days, readers want to "connect" with bloggers.  Even Google expects you to have an "About Me" page where you post a photo and explain who you are.  You need to be on Google+ and Facebook (both of which officially insist on real names, not pseudonyms) so your readers can follow you.  All that is easier if you use your real name, but it does mean you wave goodbye to privacy.

  5. psycheskinner profile image81
    psycheskinnerposted 5 years ago

    It rather depends on whether being linked to online writing will have a net positive or negative effect.  Given that I charge upwards of $1000 to write tewwibly serious reports under my real name I choose not to use that same name for writing content about two headed-calves that makes $50 a month.

  6. K S Lane profile image94
    K S Laneposted 5 years ago

    It's really a personal choice. People use pen names for a plethora of reasons; their real name might be difficult to pronounce or odd sounding, they might want keep their writing life seperate from their personal life or they might write predominantly within a genre like erotica and feel that their friends and family would see them differently if they read their work. Some authors write under their given name in one genre and a pen name in another genre because they want to keep their different audiences separate. There really isn't any harm in using a pen name, as long as you choose one that's distinctive to you (ie. no other writer uses it; you want people to find you if they google your name, not some other writer!) and you don't pick something ridiculous, like P. B. Jellytime.

    On seconds thoughts, that would be an awesome pen name.

  7. mactavers profile image91
    mactaversposted 5 years ago

    I use my real name for non-fiction, and a pen name for my fiction

  8. JenniferWilber profile image96
    JenniferWilberposted 5 years ago

    I've recently switched to using my real name for online writing so that potential employers and clients can more easily find my writing when they inevitably Google me, though I have published some fiction under a pen name. I will likely continue to use the pen name if I decide to write more fiction in the future, however, and I did mention the pen name on my new writing portfolio website to kind of link both "identities" together. My name is sort of common, but I try to include my location and a photo with everything so people can make sure they found the right person. In today's world, I think it's important to maintain an online presence with your real name, especially for people just starting out on a new career path.

    I originally wanted to use a pen name for writing for privacy reasons, and because I didn't think my real name was unique enough, but I think it seems more professional to just use your real name in most cases. If you are writing things that are controversial or that could be seen as overly unprofessional, it might be better to use a pen name (such as if you're writing erotica, as K S Lane mentioned above). If you aren't pursuing a career in a writing-related field, it might be alright to use anonymous pen name as well if you don't care about people being able to link your writing to you.

    What name you use really depends on what you are writing and why you are writing.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)