~Google Friend Connect (GFC) is gone for us non-blogspot bloggers. Darn it. Over 500 faces disappeared. So I've added other options in my sidebar for following--email subscription, Linky Follower, and then there is always Facebook and Twitter. Just because GFC is gone, doesn't mean you have to disappear too~
I read an article about how authors who use pen names tend to produce writing that is of less quality than authors who use their true identity. Really, huh?
(I refuse to link the article here, but if you do a Google search, you're bound to come upon it).
Basically, it said in general terms, that when an author writes using a pen name, they can then hide behind it and not worry so much about the quality of work they produce. So pen names = bad writing.
If an author uses their birth given name, then a reader can expect a better piece of writing because the author has more on the line, they're putting it out there by connecting their identity to their work.
Again, I say really?
Now, some of you may know it and some of you may not, but I do write under a pen name. Angela Scott is not my true name. Angela is. Scott, as a last name, is not. It's not even my maiden name. Am I hiding behind my pen name? Maybe a little, as I will explain further on.
But does that mean I can be more relaxed in my writing because I use a pen name? Heck no. Pen name or not, I still plan to write to the best level I possibly can. I think the assumption that pen names equals less than quality work is pure ridiculousness. Pen name, real name, or not, there is plenty of crap writing found amongst them all. It has NOTHING to do with the name as much as it has everything to do with the actual writer's skills and ability to not only tell a good story, but to weave the words in an artistic way.
So why do I write under a pen name? The first reason, as much as I love my husband, my married name isn't all that cool. My maiden name isn't either. So I chose Scott. I like it. It works for me. Also, it's my husband's first name (a bit of trivia for ya) and so he's not totally being dissed. Angela Scott has a much classier feel to it (Ha,ha,ha...I write about zombies. Talk about classy) and it sounds better on the tongue than either my maiden or married last name.
The second bigger reason I go by Angela Scott has to do a bit with my faith and religious upbringing. I've always lived a little bit in the grey tones of the world--not entirely an angel and not necessarily devilish either; somewhere in the middle. With my pen name, I feel I have a bit more freedom to write the scenes and words that are true to my characters then if I wrote under my given name. My given name would limit me, I feel.
The funny thing? A lot of people within my religious community know Angela Scott is me anyway. Now, don't get me wrong, it isn't like I'm writing rated R or X type works. That's not me. That stuff makes me blush and giggle. I would say I hover more around the PG-13 area, but I take some liberties in my writing that some of my faith would disagree with. Probably the whole zombie idea in itself they would disagree with. That's okay. To each their own. So I guess I use the pen name, in a way, to place a separation between me and my faith. Some will agree with this. Some will not. This is a decision I made for myself and feel comfortable in doing.
All I know is that I can't have tough cowboys running around yelling, "Gosh Dangit!" and always doing the moral thing. They would come off looking like pansies and the Wild, Wild West wouldn't seem so tough.
As far as writing goes, it doesn't matter if I go by Angela Scott or Angela Stinkyface Pimplehead, I would continue to write to the best of my ability either way. I think every writer should. The decision to use an author's true name or a pen name is a personal decision--every pen name is created with a particular reason in mind--and should be respected.
To link pen names with crap writing is wrong. It just isn't true. What would Mark Twain, Dr. Seuss, J.K. Rowling, Richard Bachman, or A.M. Barnard think?