I’m going to spend the day choosing my new name. I’ve never written that sentence before. Feel free to make suggestions in comments.
I take moderate steps to conceal my identity around here. I’ve never named my school, I don’t ever use my real name, and I’ve occasionally altered comments from people who know me so that they don’t use my name. I name my specific town and district occasionally but not often. I am under no illusions that someone determined could wade through my posts, collect clues, and pin me down to one or two buildings– and through that, very likely uncover my actual identity– but I’ve made it so that you will have to work for it. And that’s a sufficient level of anonymity for me. My main thing is not to make sure that you don’t know me, it’s to make sure that my students never do a Google search on my name (they do that) and find my blog. Note that I have another blog, registered under my actual name, called “Stop searching for your teachers, you creep.” If you go to my real name and throw a .com at the end, that’s where you’ll land. Yes, they do that too.
All of this presents somewhat of a problem if I want to start using my blog to sell my writing. I would be an idiot to not use this space to market my writing– I have close to 1500 followers and traffic is continuing to increase at an impressive pace– I got nearly twice as much traffic in January as I did in December and I’m averaging around 425 page views a day right now. That’s not much compared to lots and lots of places, but it’s a hell of a lot more than I’d have if I tried to create another real-name “author” blog and had to start over.
Which means a pen name. Once I have something up and available for purchase somewhere I’ll put up some contact information here and start using an actual name that people can call me. It won’t be my real name, but it’ll let me put a face on the site and make a start at an actual public presence for whoever “writer me” turns out to be.
I’m trying to come up with some guidelines for my new name.
- Relatively unique. There turns out to be a country musician with the exact same name as my first choice, and “formalizing” the first name makes it sound a lot like a well-known actor. I need to not get any obvious Google results when I search for it.
- Available domain name, which I’ll point at this site. I suspect anything that fulfills goal #1 will also fulfill goal #2.
- Easily spelled, pronounced, and remembered. This goal works slightly counter to #1.
- It should sound like a human name; I just spent three seconds considering making my new last name “Bumplehammer,” which means that perhaps I should not be trusted with this decision.
- Shouldn’t sound porny, or like a venereal disease, or a combination of the two, which “Bumplehammer” certainly does.
Fuck it, it’s Bumplehammer. Marvin Q. Bumplehammer. Wait, new rule:
- Also nothing that sounds like Dr. Seuss.
I’ll let you know when I come up with something. It’s snowing like hell so once I get through with school stuff I’ll have hours to worry about this at OtherJob today.