I’ve loved fiction for as long as I can remember. I’ve read voraciously and widely for the last 35 years, bouncing from fantasy to historical fiction, devouring mystery and adventure and horror like it was candy.
So when it came time for me to settle down and start really pursuing my dream of being a writer, I had a problem. I couldn’t decide which genre I wanted to write in, because I truly loved (almost) all of them. I spent nearly a decade learning to write, trying out genre after genre, getting halfway through manuscripts before giving up, debating myself on what direction to go.
Because common knowledge in the writing community, and especially in the self-publishing community, is that you should really stick as closely to one thing as possible if you want to have any kind of success. I understand the logic behind this, but after a decade of trying to follow it and trying to choose one major direction, I was getting nowhere.
And then something happened. After a particularly long night of tossing and turning and debating myself I had a new thought…what if I didn’t have to choose? What if I could try my hand at any genre I wanted, as long as I followed some rules and treated each one like an experiment?
Thus the pen name project was born.
The idea is that I can attempt whatever genre I want, as long as I keep it under an undisclosed pen name until I’ve decided not to pursue it any longer so that I can keep the sense of experimentation without others watching me, and I have to have predetermined stopping points, so I can’t give up on a project halfway through.
My hope is that I’ll actually start to finish some of the dozens of projects I’ve come up with over the years while growing and learning as a writer, and that at some point I’ll come to some conclusion about what I enjoy writing most and find some direction through action rather than through navel gazing. Of course, I might find that I enjoy writing in lots of genres, and that’s fine. As long as I’m finishing projects. As long as I’m getting my work out into the world.
This website will be my chronicle of everything I learn throughout my experiments. I’ll talk about writing, creativity, lessons learned, publishing and all the rest. And as I complete projects and let go of pen names I will list them here, probably as complete pages with books and my overall thoughts about the projects and reasons behind letting each go.
So if you’re interested in fiction, or if you have trouble deciding on a direction for your own writing, or you’re just curious how much pen name madness one woman can handle without going absolutely batshit crazy, follow along! I’ll try to update with progress reports and thoughts on related subjects as well as book and class recommendations as I have them.
Thanks for reading and may the fiction gods be forever in your favor!