Alias

CheneyOn Writing4 Comments

As I alluded to very slightly on my about page, I write elsewhere online under a different name. I could spend hours talking about why I chose to do this and why it wasn’t, at the time, a very hard decision, but here’s a brief rundown:

 

  • I wanted to give myself the freedom to fail horribly without ever having to hear about it from someone else
  • I wanted to give myself free reign on creativity – whatever I thought of or dreamt of I could write and post without worrying “Will they think I’m a total nutjob?” 
  • If I am ever to publish anything, I don’t want to publish under my real name for the simple reason that I really don’t like my real name. I don’t want to have someone holding one of my books in their hands and think to themselves “Is this a dude? Is he related to Dick Cheney?”
  • I wanted to say anything – without ever having to apologize or explain myself

 

In his book, On Writing, Stephen King says “Write with the door closed, edit with the door open.” And I totally get that. Writing under a pen name is essentially writing with the door closed. Sure, there are tons of people who read my writing. I have HUNDREDS of Twitter followers and subscribers to my web serial. HUNDREDS. It’s awesome, it’s amazing, and it’s totally stress free. I don’t worry that someone will come up to me and say: “Hey, I didn’t really like that last post, you should do —” or: “Man, you should really try writing about –” or: “Zombies? Why the hell are you writing about zombies? That’s stupid!” 

See, I just instinctively think that that is what would happen if I told my friends, my family, my Facebook, etc. that I write as much as I do. That I write as seriously as I do. I just don’t want to take any shit for it. I don’t want to explain myself, I don’t want to take criticism from friends (and I’ll give up the praise to avoid it) and I sure don’t want to know what everyone really thinks about me.

But then.. but then..

I’m excited about what I do. I love what I do. And sometimes there are moments when I just want to put it all out there, but don’t.

Last night I was hanging out with Alisha, Brian and Dan at Alisha’s place. We were getting drunk up in the attic in the middle of the night-ish, talking about god knows what, that led to a conversation about this guy we know who self-publishes his own stuff – short stories, poems, novels… I guess he doesn’t sell much or make much money, but he’s widely reviewed to the point that apparently even King himself has given this guy raves. And then Dan said:

“I wish more people would share their writing. I write, I want to write more. I want to read other people’s stuff. I think it’s cool.”

And it made my heart beat faster… To think, “Hey, maybe he’s on to something here. Maybe shoving a folder of hundreds upon hundreds of loose leaf pages into someone’s hand wouldn’t be a burden, but a gift…”

And so I wonder…

I’ve made a so-so committment to writing 25K more words for my serial this month. I’ve been slacking on it for quite a long time, which makes me really mad at myself because I always said that the serial was a lesson on endurance rather than a meditation on craft. I need discipline, and I need to work harder for the things I want. 

So I wonder, maybe someday, I’ll be coming out of that closet.

4 Comments on “Alias”

  1. Well, if that wasn't the most intriguing thing I've read all day.I think I can relate. I have another personal/mommy blog that I update (or fail to update) under a different username that has more of a following.I'm not sure what my purpose was with my writing blog yet, other than to maybe push myself a little. Also, if I'm slapping some crap on there it does feel easier to do so anonymously with as few readers as possible, though it is nice to have one or two random visitors dropping by. But it's definitely a closed door…with the blinds drawn inside a fortified castle with a moat that may or may not have hungry crocodiles swimming in it.I'd love to see your writing site some time. But no pressure. I get it. Write freely, my friend.

  2. Well, if that wasn't the most intriguing thing I've read all day.I think I can relate. I have another personal/mommy blog that I update (or fail to update) under a different username that has more of a following.I'm not sure what my purpose was with my writing blog yet, other than to maybe push myself a little. Also, if I'm slapping some crap on there it does feel easier to do so anonymously with as few readers as possible, though it is nice to have one or two random visitors dropping by. But it's definitely a closed door…with the blinds drawn inside a fortified castle with a moat that may or may not have hungry crocodiles swimming in it.I'd love to see your writing site some time. But no pressure. I get it. Write freely, my friend.

  3. i can relate, too…though not because i want to motivate myself to write more…i have too much of a desire to write and not enough time to BE…enjoy time with my family…do nothing…that is harder to me though something i'm ready to commit to…the writing is still there, in my head, trying to get out…i'll let it come when it can for now…i love stephen king. not just his writing but his advice on writing…i'd read that before, too…looking forward to reading more of your writing!

  4. i can relate, too…though not because i want to motivate myself to write more…i have too much of a desire to write and not enough time to BE…enjoy time with my family…do nothing…that is harder to me though something i'm ready to commit to…the writing is still there, in my head, trying to get out…i'll let it come when it can for now…i love stephen king. not just his writing but his advice on writing…i'd read that before, too…looking forward to reading more of your writing!

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