✍️ An Author's Identity

we discussed Fernando Pessoa and his multiple heteronyms today in class, and that led me to think about the relationship between author, narrative voice and identity

so i wanted to ask you guys about it, in hopes of having new perspectives on the topic

  • do you have a pen name/alias or do you write under your legal/“real” name?
    • if you do have a pen name: is it only one? do you use different pen names for different sites or pieces? or do you write both under your name and your pen name?
  • do you think you have an identity as a writer (separate from your identity as a person)?
  • are there parts of your identity as a person that you think seep onto your identity as an author?

Octavio Paz wrote

“Poets don’t have biographies. Their work is their biography. I am, in large measure, the selfsame prose I write, I unroll myself in periods and paragraphs, I make myself punctuation marks… I’ve made myself into the character of a book, a life one reads.”
- Octavio Paz, introduction to A Centenary Pessoa

  • do you think what you write affects your identity or who you become later on?
  • do you think your readers can get a sense of who you are based on what you write?

if anyone's curious about my answers

in my case, i did have a pen name ages ago: “Cam Boulder” i called myself
then, “Cam” became who i really am, i felt much more of a connection to that “pen name” than i did to my legal name
Cameron (Cam for short) is now the name i go by, my “real” name, despite whatever my birth certificate says
i don’t have any other aliases now, or other pen names
tho i’ve gotta admit, i have considered making an alt account in AO3 so no one knows it’s me who writes what i want to publish there

i do think i have an identity as a writer
what i write is all the things i can never say aloud, be it because of shame or because it doesn’t fit how i present myself
i tend to joke about how what i write is for “longing gays with a short attention span”
no, i’m not joking:
Screen Shot 2021-02-02 at 4.17.37 PM
because well what i write, both in fanfic and original fiction, is full of thoughts and feelings i tend to repress, so Writer Cam is a hopeless romantic, someone who feels a lot and thinks about their feelings, instead of ignoring them and shoving them to a corner, which is what “real” Cam does; Writer Cam is everything “real” Cam has never allowed themself to be, their hopes and dreams, in opposition to “real” Cam’s realistic (and sometimes cynical) outlook in life

that said, a lot of “real” Cam seeps into my writing
mostly, my love for languages and learning, and my need to explore and know about things
also my own perspectives in love as an arospec person are definitely there when i try to write romance, even if Writer Cam is a hopeless romantic, they’re a hopeless romantic who views romance through arospec lenses

concerning what Octavio Paz said, i think, rather than affecting me later on, it affects the thoughts that stay with me, that i grow within my mind
and because of that, it affects the perspectives i may have in life, both in that moment and in the future

that said, what i write reflects my life at the moment, even if it’s done subconsciously most of the time
the best way to see it is through the characters i make
if anyone were to go through my repertoire of characters, they’d easily be able to match each character with a specific thought or moment from my life, one that was important at the moment i’ve made said character
so, in a way, my life can be narrated through the lives of my multiple characters, almost like patchwork: selecting little snippets of each character to create a bigger picture, a “Cam”

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wow this is so interesting!

I use the name “Venus” but I’ve often written under my real name, and a lot of people here know it. I lowkey like “Venus” because it makes me feel comfy it also depends on the person and where

I’m not on many other sites, but I would definitely consider using different pen names.

Hmm, I think being a writer is just a huge part of my identity as a person? I’m not sure. Maybe no?

Parts of my personality definitely seep into my identity as a writer.

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Added a few tags~

I used to use Chidimma F.A. when I was writing on episode, and that was what I used as an official pen name, I guess you could say. Although is it even a pen name if it’s my birth name… anyway
But since every writing site I’m on I have a diffferent username for, I guess I have multiple pen names now?

And I think my writing is far too casual for me to have a separate writing identity… idk. Though parts of me do seep into my writing aha, almost all the time lmaoo and it can be so subtle I don’t even notice it.

I think that who you are affects what you write tbh
Like perhaps writing a lot of one subject can affect you, but I feel like it’s something about you that would make you write that in the first place. Unless it’s like a school passer or something but you get it lmao

I think soooo

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I usually use something Duck related as my author name online, because I wouldn’t feel comfortable with people knowing my last name :eyes:
I’ve used Ducky, Ducks Quack, Hanna Quack and a few other variations so far :eyes::green_heart:

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Hey @Cam, everything you write about is amazing and so detailed, even just when asking questions. If there is ever a subject you know or have learnt about in class, that you’d like/want to talk about, you’re more than welcome to write a blog post about with the website. I know that there are loads of us that’d love to read it, and Shani would be very grateful. (wink)

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Rainy Day

I choose that name because I feel at my happiest when it rains, I’ve never had a bad memory tied to the sound. It calms me.

The sound, the smell, the sight.

It’s an aspect of me that never changes.

And it’s the part of me that is brought out in my writing

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sdhbvchdfkjsbf i’m flattered! thanks :3
i may write something sometime~ (depends on how uni goes this sem)

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HEHEHE. Good, glad to hear it.
No worries, just wanted to put it out there for if you ever had the time.

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I write under a LOT of pen names
some of them are more private than others
one I use a lot now is melani lore

yes and no, they’re different but they still are the same
there’s a lot of irony, and philopshical thinking when I write, writer mel is someone who puts thought on emphasis on life, it’s irony and the philosophies sorrunding it. my deepest thoughts happen when I’m writing something out.
HOWEVER, I do love writing funny parts and lighter parts – I do feel like that a lot of me seeps into my writing, my writing style for one is an example. You can tell how I feel about topics by the way I depict them yk

yes, for example I’m very liberal and pro-rights for literally almost everything
:woman_standing: you can bet im not going to be protraying anti-lgbtq as a good thing
I think I write a lot of things I can’t say, especially under aliases where I know no one knows who I really am and I don’t have to censor myself for the sake of how I appear to others or just because I feel I can’t speak directly about certain things without being judged by certain people

ooh yes, it depends on what they’re looking at. My writing style has been very influenced by lemony snicket these days and well :joy: I think that you get a sense of people based on who and how they write

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I used to read the Deltora Quest series while I was a kid and even did a presentation on it. That’s when I found out that the name of the author (Emily Rodda) was actually named Jennifer Rowe.

She used her grandmother’s maiden name when she published her first book at the same company she worked to get an honest opinion from her colleagues.


Ive heard simular reasons why some YouTubers stay faceless. 'when I walk out on the streets, I get an honest reaction, not because I’m famous or because they already know me. I don’t have to second guess people’s reason and intentions to talk to me and when they befriend me, it’s because I’m myself, not my persona".


I think some people like being on forums like this because of the same reason.
You’re not judged on how you look, where you are from or what gender you are/ like.
You are getting along because of your ability to get along with people and there is a barrier less to worry about.


I know some voice actors here don’t share their identities for the same reason or because they want to make sure that every character they play will have their own voice and not all the voice of one old man or woman.

I like those reasonings a lot.

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I have a pen name

I think I do! I am very different from my writer self-

Yup

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Funny thing, I was thinking about this exact same thing earlier.
I would probably use a pen name- something to do with stars cuz you guys know lol. Stars just have such a significant to me and like I like being anonymous and stuff - that idea is very intriguing to me. Especially since I do want to be an author… but I don’t want that as a career, more of a side thing.

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I use a joke Alias based off my username but I like using it and works and it’s only one and it’s just on Wattpad so not like an official alias
I don’t think I have a different identity as a writer, I do have a different mood when writing though, I’m more determined after I started writing and so on.
I wouldn’t say anything I’ve currently written has affected me currently, unless it’s on the subconscious level
They can probably guess some of my morals through themes and such but nothing too specific

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Hello!

  1. Well I don’t use my real name at all when doing thing on the internet, so I’m unsure if that can be considered “using a penname”. I guess?
  2. Yes, definitely. My online persona is different from my real life wreck of myself, or so I want to think.
  3. Well, basically I as an author is I as a person+, so that would be a definite yes.
  4. I’d think the reverse is usually the case. You pour your soul into the words, not the other way, right?
  5. I guess they might, although it will be an incomplete picture, of course.
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